I’m a bit late to the party with this one, having felt a bit short changed by Jeffrey Veen‘s tome, I wasn’t in any rush to be preached to by a standards purist like Zeldman. But this is where I was completely wrong about the approach taken by Designing with Web Standards.
Zeldman’s book is well written, insightful, and probably one of the few books you really should own if you’re a professional web designer or developer. Zeldman hasn’t just walked the path of standards compliance – he’s paved the way for those who follow, and I defy any web professional to tell you that the standards he fights for have made it harder to create websites.
For a good couple of years now I have designed my sites with CSS and tried as hard to be standards compliant as the nuancies of validation will allow, yet after reading this book I’ve found myself stripping my code of extraneous mark-up that I now realise is bloat.
If I had to find something to complain about, it’s the occasional quips from Zeldman that show he’s trying too hard to be witty, for example; “…about as useful as a beard on a baby.” That’s probably the worst he has too offer, but many times the pace of a chapter is tripped by phrases or entire paragraphs of text to that effect. Just like the “classitis” mentioned in Chapter 7, the flowery comedy moments are surplus to requirements, especially since the rest of the writing is as warm and light hearted as the subject will allow.
To be perfectly honest, though, that would be nit-picking to a high degree when compared to the benefits offered by the advice in this book. This title is on sale at Amazon at the moment, and if you’re a web pro that hasn’t already, you really should pick it up and reap the benefits at your earliest opportunity.