The Book of CSS3: A Developer’s Guide to the Future of Web Design, 2nd Edition by Peter Gasston
$24.34 at Amazon ($15.41 Kindle)
One of the interesting things about CSS3 is that it’s not a fixed standard; new options are being constantly added. It would even be more accurate to say that there is no CSS3; instead, we have a set of separate modules that are independently updated, giving us a continuously evolving CSS standard. However, CSS3 is a convenient shorthand to mean “those features added after CSS2″ (plus it sounds good in marketing materials) so it will no doubt continue to be used for the next few years.
The Book of CSS3 actually starts out by explaining this, along with a little more detail about how the W3C recommendation process works, so that the reader understands why the book covers what it does and in the order it does. The current usability of the various CSS modules varies widely; some have been implemented across all major browsers for half a decade, while others are still completely experimental. The book starts with features that are universally implemented (such as media queries and selectors) and ends with an overview of features not yet available without vendor prefixes (such as regions and variables). There’s also an appendix showing the current implementation status of each module (although this will, of course, change rapidly) and another of online resources.
If you don’t know CSS yet, this is not the book for you; there’s no explanation of the difference between IDs and classes or how to include a CSS file in an HTML document. Instead, you have an explanation of what the new features are and how to use them. As someone with a reasonable background in CSS, I found the book to be extremely readable and expect it will make great reference material.
The content of this edition is very similar to the previous edition, which I also own. The chapter on Template Layouts was replaced with one on Grid Layouts (Grids being listed as a not-yet-implemented module in the first edition). Two new chapters have been added, one on Values and Sizing and one on Blend Modes, Filter Effects, and Masking. Many of these are not yet available in Internet Explorer, but can be expected to be added in the future.
Overall, a very solid book, one I’d have no problem recommending for a web developer looking to make the move to CSS3.
Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book.