Books that go beyond the basics of web design?
November 26, 2004 8:48 AM   Subscribe

CSS, XML, XHTML: What are some good books to bone up on newer technologies for someone who already knows the basics of web design?

The last time I did seriously web work was when JavaScript and frames were the Next Big Thing. Since then I've kept abreast of new developments only enough to get a vague understanding of how they work and why they are useful, not nearly enough to be able to use them in any practical way. What are good books/resources for me to get up to speed? I'm specifically looking to make sites with very distinct physica/logical separation for ease of updating (think CSS Zen Garden). O'Reilly tomes tend to be my favourites.
posted by sid to Education (11 answers total)
O'Reilly stuff is great, but I find their books are ideal when I've already got a grasp of something. When I'm trying to learn, I find the Bible series does a great job of explaining things, while providing a thorough reference for advanced concepts.
posted by spaghetti at 9:22 AM on November 26, 2004

Come on, this is web programming, for crying out loud!

Forget books - where are the good online tutorials/references?
posted by Caviar at 10:09 AM on November 26, 2004

Amen to Caviar's post. Go for web tutorials first. A List Apart has some good tutorials, but they ramp up in complexity pretty quickly. Zeldman, Simple Bits, and a few other blogs / sites offer good insight.

But since you asked, I hear Zeldman's book and Eric Meyers' books are good for CSS and standards-compliant XHTML. Caveat lector, though: I haven't read them.
posted by Alt F4 at 10:55 AM on November 26, 2004

Response by poster: Web tutorials are great, keep em coming. But I'm specifically looking for a well written book that will cover basics and theory and also make a good reference that I can keep on my bookshelf and open in front of me while coding. There's just something about an ink and paper book that lends itself to easy learning and reference.
posted by sid at 11:21 AM on November 26, 2004

O'Reilly. for reference, you can't beat it.
posted by sauril at 12:17 PM on November 26, 2004

O'Reilly. for reference, you can't beat it.

That should be their slogan.
posted by pissfactory at 12:42 PM on November 26, 2004

Heh. I still remember getting frustrated with web design in the late '90s and giving it up for two years. Somebody gave me O'Reilly's HTML: The Definitive Guide, and I still remember flipping it open and saying out loud, "Waitaminute—the font tag is deprecated?!" and never looking back.

Back on topic, the Zeldman book is a good way to figure out how to use web standards practically. O'Reilly's CSS: The Definitive Guide should be an excellent reference, and it's written by Eric Meyer too. :)
posted by DrJohnEvans at 1:54 PM on November 26, 2004

another great online resource is W3Schools Online Web Tutorials. if a web browser will render it, odds are they have a tutorial for it.
posted by mcsweetie at 2:18 PM on November 26, 2004

Dan Cederholm, Web Standards Solutions. The hows and the whys, without preaching or theory.
posted by Pericles at 2:47 PM on November 26, 2004

Best answer: Alt F4 is right.

Jeffrey Zeldman's Designing with Web Standards is a great book. Keep in mind, though, that it's more of a "why" than a "how." So if you're already completely sold on the web standards philosophy, then you should check out Eric Meyer's CSS: The Definitive Guide (make sure you get the second edition). It'll tell you everything you need to know about CSS; all you need to know about XHTML can be summed up in three or four rules.
posted by savetheclocktower at 8:38 PM on November 26, 2004

another vote for w3schools.
posted by juv3nal at 1:12 PM on November 27, 2004

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