The Ultimate CSS Reference, by Tommy Olssen and Paul O’Brien

by Peter

The Ultimate CSS Reference by Tommy Olssen and Paul O’Brien is exactly that – a broad reference guide covering all the CSS syntax. It covers every single CSS keyword, selector, pseudo-class and The Ultimate CSS Reference, by Tommy Olsson corresponding attribute known (including some that aren’t even in the official ratified W3C standard but supported by certain browsers) from CSS version 1 right through to the latest CSS 3. So it is broad enough to be useful for quite a while.

The Ultimate CSS Reference is also well laid out, easy to look up as a reference, and well organized. The writing is short, clear, concise and to the point. Just as a reference book should be.

It also has some additional, very useful and great features. One is that after every property, there is a little box that explains which browsers are compatible with it. The book even explains if the property is buggy, and explains why and if there is a fix – it contains a lot of useful CSS hacks. Also, there are quick references stating whether or not attributes are inherited, what their initial values are, and which version of W3C specification they come from.

As with any book of this nature, it is out of date virtually as it’s printed in some respects. For instance, the newest versions of the major browsers are not covered. Even so, this book, and also its companion, The Ultimate HTML Reference, are definitely two books that are useful and that will stay so for quite a while.

To me, this book is a must. The only other reference book that can compete with it is Eric Meyer’s Cascading Style Sheets – The Definitive Guide. However, this book has a slightly more complete coverage, at the same time as it doesn’t go quite as deep into some issues as Eric Meyer does in his book. So if you don’t want to keep both around, it’s a matter of taste and preference. Recommended!

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