Standards, argues Jeffrey Zeldman in Designing With Web Standards
, are our only hope for breaking out of the endless cycle of testing that plagues designers hoping to support all possible clients. In this book, he explains how designers can best use standards--primarily XHTML and CSS, plus ECMAScript and the standard Document Object Model (DOM)--to increase their personal productivity and maximize the availability of their creations. Zeldman's approach is detailed, authoritative, and rich with historical context, as he is quick to explain how features of standards evolved. It's a fantastic education that any design professional will appreciate.
Zeldman is an idealist who devotes some of his book to explaining how much easier life would be if browser developers would just support standards properly (he's done a lot toward this goal in real life, as well). He is also a pragmatist, who recognizes that browsers implement standards differently (or partially, or not at all) and that it is the job of the Web designer to make pages work anyway. Thus, his book includes lots of explicit and tightly focused tips (with code) that have to do with bamboozling non-compliant browsers into behaving as they should, without tripping up more compliant browsers. There's lots of coverage of design and testing tools that can aid in the creation of good-looking, standards-abiding documents. --David Wall
Topics covered: Why Web standards (such as XHTML, CSS, ECMAScript, and DOM) are good for everyone, and why site designers and browser makers should move towards standards compliance.
You code. And code. And code. You build only to rebuild. You focus on making your site compatible with almost every browser or wireless device ever put out there. Then along comes a new device or a new browser, and you start all over again. You can get off the merry-go-round. It's time to stop living in the past and get away from the days of spaghetti code, insanely nested table layouts, tags, and other redundancies that double and triple the bandwidth of even the simplest sites. Instead, it's time for forward compatibility. Isn't it high time you started designing with web standards? Standards aren't about leaving users behind or adhering to inflexible rules. Standards are about building sophisticated, beautiful sites that will work as well tomorrow as they do today. You can't afford to design tomorrow's sites with yesterday's piecemeal methods.Jeffrey teaches you to:*Slash design, development, and quality assurance costs (or do great work in spite of constrained budgets) *Deliver superb design and sophisticated functionality without worrying about browser incompatibilities *Set up your site to work as well five years from now as it does today *Redesign in hours instead of days or weeks *Welcome new visitors and make your content more visible to search engines *Stay on the right side of accessibility laws and guidelines *Support wireless and PDA users without the hassle and expense of multiple versions *Improve user experience with faster load times and fewer compatibility headaches *Separate presentation from structure and behavior, facilitating advanced publishing workflows