1. Computing

Discuss in my forum

Everything You Know About CSS is Wrong by Rachel Andrew and Kevin Yank

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating
User Rating 3 Star Rating (1 Review)


Everything You Know About CSS is Wrong by Rachel Andrew and Kevin Yank

Everything You Know About CSS is Wrong by Rachel Andrew and Kevin Yank

Image courtesy Sitepoint

The Bottom Line

This is a book about CSS tables and Internet Explorer 8. But until IE8 is widely adopted, most professional designers won't be able to use these techniques because they aren't supported by IE 7 and below.
<!--#echo encoding="none" var="lcp" -->


  • Clear and understandable explanation of CSS tables properties
  • Good solutions for some common problems
  • Exciting new way to look at CSS design


  • Many designers will find this hard to implement
  • Focuses on a technique that is not supported by IE 7 and lower
  • Title is deliberately inflamatory
  • Price is fairly high


  • Chapter 1: The Problem with CSS
  • Chapter 2: CSS Table Layout
  • Chapter 3: CSS Table Solution
  • Chapter 4: Considering Older Browsers
  • Chapter 5: The Road Ahead

Guide Review - Everything You Know About CSS is Wrong by Rachel Andrew and Kevin Yank

In some ways I was very intrigued by this book and in others I was very annoyed. The title, while technically correct, seems deliberately inflamatory once you realize that the book is about CSS properties that are not supported in the browsers with the largest market share: IE 7 and IE 6. In fact, this book felt more like a few Sitepoint articles about CSS tables with a lot of justifications about why we should adopt them. And at only 116 pages, it didn't seem worth the $30 price tag.

Don't get me wrong. The book is useful. Once IE8 does become popular, Web designers will have a much easier time creating pages that look how we want them to look. And learning about CSS tables ahead of time is important to stay current in the field.

But it is naive to think that a Web designer will be able to convince a business owner that switching to a technique that IE 6 and 7 can't view correctly is a good solution. At best, you'll be stuck doing your design twice: once as CSS floats or absoute positioning for IE 6 and 7, and once as CSS tables for the rest.

I would say that everything you know about CSS is not wrong, just no longer complete. This book should have been called CSS Table Properties - How They'll Change the Web. But that's not nearly as enticing a title, and wouldn't sell as many books.

<!--#echo encoding="none" var="lcp" -->
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 3 out of 5
Everything You Know About CSS Is Wrong, Member Platonist

CSS Tables are a very interesting idea. Those interested can play with them in FireFox in the meantime. What I think is interesting is that with CSS tables we do not have to use them as a replacement for old-school Tabled Designs. Rather, what we are given is a hybrid design system incorporating the CSS system of positioning, using tabled elements in the design without breaking the principle of semantic propriety. What I mean by that is, CSS Tables allow tabled design ELEMENTS in a design LAID OUT by CSS Positioning. Some obvious tricks are: making UL a table-row and LI a table-column, thereby achieving a horizontal list, ideal for header-navigation positioned using CSS Positioning. It is also possible to achieve a perfectly even vertical spacing between list items, by making UL a table and LI a table-row. It is true that simple HTML Tables can be used to achieve these effects -- but the semantics demand that in these cases if CSS Tables could have been used, they should have been. So, CSS Tables, while perhaps not the Dawn of a New Age, are at least an interesting new tool for the belt. It may be best to learn it CSS Tables (they work in every browser BUT IE) in preparation for the day when IE8, plus the other standards-compliant browsers, will create a majority of users who are able to appreciate them.

4 out of 6 people found this helpful.

  1. About.com
  2. Computing
  3. Web Design / HTML
  4. About.com Web Design A to Z
  5. Books
  6. Everything You Know About CSS is Wrong by Rachel Andrew and Kevin Yank - Book Review

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.