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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Recommend a book to me!

    Like many old designers (or newbie ones), I was trained the old school way of using tables. I feel comfortable and would actually consider myself an "expert" in it. I can take a design and code it into tables in very little time. So, going back and retraining myself to use the proper XHTML markup and CSS is being quite difficult on me.

    I haven't really found a good online source to sit down and spend time reading. I feel like they got me there simply because they wanted the traffic, not to really provide useful information.

    The majority of the XHTML/CSS makes since to me since I've used CSS in all of my other work. But, <div>'s is what i'm having trouble understanding. They are a little bit crazy on different browsers and the floating and all that has my head spinning.

    I really feel like I need to just sit down, start from scratch, and read a book that goes into great detail with a tutorial type feel to it (similar to Kevin Yank's PHP book). Can anyone recommend something similar to me?

    Regards,
    -PHPGator

  2. #2
    Unobtrusively zen silver trophybronze trophy
    paul_wilkins's Avatar
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    This has been the best site that explains how it all works in a visually understandable manner
    http://www.brainjar.com/css/positioning/

    I don't know of a book that explains it better, but if there is then I'm sure that someone will suggest it.
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  3. #3
    Guru in training bronze trophy SoulScratch's Avatar
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    Pro html/css design patterns
    Cross browser css bugs

    Dan Schulz you will be missed

  4. #4
    SitePoint Evangelist Ed Seedhouse's Avatar
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    DIVs are just another html element. The real move is from tables to proper semantic html with CSS for markup. Content should be marked up with html according to what it *is*. A paragraph gets a P tag, a list a UL or OL tag, tabular data goes in a table.

    You separate concerns so that you completely ignore layout when marking up your html. How it is going to look is basically irrelevant at this point.

    Once the html is properly marking up the semantic meaning of your content, then you add in CSS to style it. CSS alone should determine how your page is styled. HTML should be concerned only with the meaning of the content. After all with CSS you can make any element look like pretty well anything you want it to, so there's no point being concerned with how it will look when you are marking up your content with HTML.

    Once you have good semantic markup you might want to use the odd DIV or SPAN to group sub elements or to add in hooks for the CSS. DIV and SPAN are just generic elements with no special semantic meaning other than to group elements or text for special treatment.
    Ed Seedhouse

  5. #5
    billycundiff{float:left;} silver trophybronze trophy RyanReese's Avatar
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    To be honest I can't recommend a better book then this. I read their Java book from HeadFirst and I have to say, it is the best book ever.
    Always looking for web design/development work.
    http://www.CodeFundamentals.com

  6. #6
    Unobtrusively zen silver trophybronze trophy
    paul_wilkins's Avatar
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    I concur. The Head First series is incredibly cleverly done.
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  7. #7
    billycundiff{float:left;} silver trophybronze trophy RyanReese's Avatar
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    HERM, indeed good sir. They incredibly make it interesting whilst learning incredible information. IMO first book to ever do it about this subject.
    Always looking for web design/development work.
    http://www.CodeFundamentals.com

  8. #8
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    I also have read a few head first books. They make learning interesting! I would definately recommend reading one!

  9. #9
    SitePoint Zealot
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    I know this is slightly off topic, But you wont find better reading material then various online spots, I promise you.

    Google is the best book for learning ever.

  10. #10
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    Google isn't a book

    But I agree there are very good online resources but you can not deny that (at least in my opinion) it is easier to read from a book and code at the same time then keep switching from pdf to your text editor!

    Cheers

  11. #11
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    You're right, i would opt for a book or print if i didn't have 2 monitors o.O lol.

    Ill stop derailing his thread now.

  12. #12
    Unobtrusively zen silver trophybronze trophy
    paul_wilkins's Avatar
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    Be warned, there is also ancient crusty code that is also available via Google. Separating the wheat from the chaff can be quite a challenge to those new to the process.
    Programming Group Advisor
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  13. #13
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    Hopefully googles althorithm can help put away those ancient links so us viewers get the highest quality when visiting google.

  14. #14
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    Web Standards Solutions was written specifically for someone moving from table-based layouts and presentational HTML to CSS layouts and semantic HTML. It gets my full recommendation.

    Opera Software offers a free and complete Web Standards Curriculum on their website. We recommend this in our Refresh group to all who are getting started with HTML, CSS, (and JavaScript coming soon).

  15. #15
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    I have also read that. It doesn't have to be someone trying to come from a table mindset. I also found it helpful when I was a beginner!

  16. #16
    From space with love silver trophy
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    This sitepoint book looks like what your're looking for.
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