On Updating a Book (Webdesign mit CSS, 2nd Edition)
I’m still working on the second edition of Webdesign mit CSS (in German, estimated release in August). And I can say: I like this work, though updating a book is more challenging than starting from scratch. It looks like less work at first, but that work is different.
Some changes in the next edition:
- general content and didactics revision,
- several refreshed layouts bringing more eye candy,
- four new designs crafted by Ingo Helmdach,
- improved accessibility, largely referring to scalability and contrast (some problems will persist and are even intended, though—those are noted),
- revised user agent support—support for Internet Explorer 5 has been dropped while IE 7 and Firefox 2 join in (remember that the first edition has been written in the beginning of 2005),
- several complementary updates including:
- different common DTD (surprise!),
- fewer entity references (replaced by corresponding characters),
- better typography (not only improving readability and scannability, but also meaning the correct use of characters like dashes and ellipses),
- more specific font size definitions,
- an additional preface, by a well-known web dev magician (another surprise!),
- a new, fresh book layout, and an
index of all HTML elements proposed since 1992.
If that’s no outlook for an updated CSS design book.
Sometimes I would have loved to start all over again as it’s more difficult to change the path once you’re moving (and we entered the highway more than two years ago). This affects certain methods and several designs but also things like coding guidelines—but what’s the cost of problem of personally “undesired” uppercase color values? From time to time I would have also liked to write more about information design, information architecture, or usability but that’s out of scope and not really critical in a CSS book.
The book will continue to promote a consistent, clean, and straightforward approach towards web standards. So while I still debate all things perfectionist, let’s look forward to the new Webdesign mit CSS!
I’m Jens Oliver Meiert, and I’m an engineering manager and author. I’ve worked as a technical lead for Google, I’m close to the W3C and the WHATWG, and I write and review books for O’Reilly. Other than that, I love trying things, sometimes including philosophy, art, and adventure. Here on meiert.com I share some of my views and experiences.
If you have questions or suggestions about what I write, please leave a comment (if available) or a message.
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Perhaps my most comprehensive book: The Web Development Glossary (2020). With explanations and definitions for literally thousands of terms from Web Development and related fields, building on Wikipedia as well as the MDN Web Docs. Available at Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play Books, and Leanpub.