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FortKnox's Journal: Learning CSS and some Java stuff 10

Journal by FortKnox
As embarassing as this is to say, I, a web developer, don't know CSS. Any good books to learn this quickly? I know the high level concepts, just not how to put them into practice. I usually work on back-end systems (spring/hibernate/daos/business logic/etc...), which is why I never even attempted to learn it. Its not a requirement for me to learn it, but I think I've ignored it long enough...

Oh, and in Java 1.5, I'm using enums to their full potential. Great little things, those enums. Can have their own methods, implement interfaces, and even have constructors! I even use a visitor pattern in the enum to seperate some sql building from the enum logic...
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Learning CSS and some Java stuff

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  • Cascading Style Sheets 2.0 Programmer's Reference [amazon.com] - Very good book by The authority on CSS.

    If I were buying a book now, I'd get CSS: The Definitive Guide (Paperback) [amazon.com] by the same author.
  • I have yet to stumble onto a great CSS book, but over the years I've just added classes to my "standard" style.css that I see as useful. The biggest way I learned was to take a random table based site and re-implement it as css, slashdot's front page and comments pages were great tests back in the day, but, cnn and msnbc's front pages were also good trials early on.
  • I, a web developer, don't know CSS. Any good books to learn this quickly?

    Hmmm... I'm guessing you've been doing back end web development. Anything else is just too scary to contemplate. As for learning CSS, there are really only two options. Either Eric Meyer's "CSS: The definitive guide", or just read the spec [w3.org]. The book is a good introduction, but a bit slow in places, as if it was designed for the hard of perceiving. Strange though it may sound, the spec is actually a pretty good tutorial, as well as be

  • One of my favs is Web Standards Solutions [amazon.com] by Dan Cederholm. Lots of good example code.

    You can even borrow it if you want ;)
  • I use their CSS [w3schools.com] and Javascript [w3schools.com] refs all the time.
  • In cast you haven't already seen it, check out css Zen Garden [csszengarden.com] for some real world application of CSS.
  • Eric Meyer's books on CSS are generally considered to be the best resources on the subject. There are a few other CSS gurus who have written good books, but most seem to include too many of the "tricks of the day" for my liking. Eric's material is (mostly) solid, straight-forward and more comprehensive than the rest.
  • I've found the best way to learn it is to download sites you like and try to make incrementally larger changes to the local copies. E.g. first change colors, positions, fonts, positioning, design elements, etc. until you have a completely new site. I haven't worked with CSS for years, but when I did using this method along with web reference sites) was much more fun than a book.
  • Get the Firefox WebDev toolbar. Whenever you get to a new site, hit ctrl+shift+e, look at the code, and play with it. Here's an example that I'm working on now: http://www.oswego.edu/~stg/newsite/ [oswego.edu] .

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