Web Concepts, Deep and Clear

Whenever technology evolves over many years, it becomes necessary to stop every so often and take stock of the current state of standards and practices. In the world of Web development, that time is now — because of two books.

The first is Designing With Web Standards, third edition, by Jeffrey Zeldman and Ethan Marcotte, which is much more interesting than its title implies. Zeldman is one of the greatest writers on Web topics, and his knowledge is encyclopedic — which translates to helping *you* understand what does and doesn’t make sense when using Web design standards such as XHTML and CSS, as well as how and why they came to be.

Coders will appreciate the detail in the book, while the rest of us can skip the code and understand the principles that ideally drive the decisions we make. New to the third edition: How HTML5, CSS3, and web fonts will change your work, new strategies for selling standards, changing what “IE6 support” means, and more. 393 pages, $31.49 from Amazon.com.

The second book that causes me to write about this topic is Developing With Web Standards, by John Allsopp.

As he says:

“knowledge a mile deep and an inch wide is of little use in our field,”

so his book provides a clear, deep understanding of the technologies and methods that are most successful today on the Web.

With simple, straightforward explanations, this book provides relief from the nagging feeling that you don’t fully understand some of the core concepts of your craft. 390 pages, $31.49 at Amazon.com.