Technologist. Leader. Music lover. Noise maker. Philadelphian.
1 min read
WebVisions is an annual conference held in Portland, OR. I was fortunate to again be invited, along with Christopher Schmitt, to give a full day workshop on HTML5 and CSS3 and to speak about web forms. I also got to talk about interviewing for a job and give some speed interviews! All of my slides and code are available online, so check them out.
3 min read
O'Reilly's HTML & CSS: The Good Parts by Ben Henick is a new book to educate and aid web professionals in building quality web experiences. A quick disclaimer about this review: I worked on this book as a technical reviewer and the author is a colleague and friend.
This book is primarily for those who have some experience with HTML and CSS and want to refine their skills -- but even front-end code ninjas will find some valuable reference material in this book. While the title implies a focus on HTML and CSS, Ben takes the time to touch on a number of related topics, such as the client-server model, creating usable interfaces, image optimization, and web typography -- thus giving the reader greater insight on the wider range of knowledge and skills it takes to build a quality web site.
One of my favorite sections of the book is chapter 4, "Developing a Healthy Relationship with Standards." Ben gives an excellent explanation of the history and benefits of standards adoption and then wraps it up with 10 rules for "standards-friendly" development. If you're still trying to make the case for adopting standards where you work, definitely check out this chapter.
If you've read any of the "Good Parts" books then you know that these books also highlight the "bad parts" and "awful parts" of the subject matter. While Ben gives a good overview of the browser wars as context, he spends a number of pages calling out the various issues with Internet Explorer. (I like to think that I helped tone down some of the harsh criticism he originally wrote by reminding him of how advanced IE6 was at the time of its release.) He goes on to explain the concept of graded browser support (something near and dear to my heart) and hits on a number of seemingly nit-picky but important concepts which standardistas care about.
It's really amazing how much information Ben packed into this 352-page book -- far too much for me to address here. Besides touching on HTML5, there's a helpful glossary and numerous reference tables. As I'm writing this review, in fact, I'm sticky-noting the book so I can easily find reference information that will help me in my day-to-day work. That said, you can also sit down and read the book cover-to-cover. (Ben's an incredible writer.)
If you're looking to enhance your skills, improve the quality of your work, find a better job, or even if you just want to have a backup brain handy, I recommend HTML & CSS: The Good Parts.