CSS Master from SitePoint

On my return from San Francisco and An Event Apart I found a copy of Tiffany B. Brown’s CSS Master book waiting for me. I had worked as technical reviewer for the book so it was lovely to see the work in print and be able to look through it as a completed book.

I frequently act as a technical editor and reviewer for other authors. It is work I really enjoy, and working with SitePoint on CSS Master was no exception. The book is pitched at intermediate CSS developers, so it isn’t a book for CSS beginners. However it will be very useful once you are past the beginner stage and are keen to develop your skills.

You can find a full table of contents and more details about the book over at SitePoint. Here are some of the things that I think are real highlights.

There are lots of books showing you CSS syntax however one area that I feel is often lacking is the topic of how we organize our CSS, and straightforward guidelines to stop us getting into a specificity tangle. Chapter 2 is dedicated to this subject with some common sense advice.

Chapter 3 on Debugging and Optimization offers tips on using various tools, both within the browser and externally to debug problems and optimize CSS. In particular the section about identifying properties that might be causing reflows and repaints is useful reading.

The book also has a strong focus on CSS transitions, animations and transforms along with the use of SVG. These are topics that any front-end developer should be getting up to speed with, and I think make the book useful even for experienced developers who perhaps learned their craft before the days of such CSS magic!

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