A man sitting at a desk in front of a laptop computer

I just completed Dan Cederholm’s Bulletproof Web Design : Improving Flexibility and Anticipating the Worst with XHTML and CSS, published by New Riders. I haven’t bought computer books for a while, except in the case of methodological books that allow me to apply technical knowledge in concrete projects.

Dan Cederholm’s goal is to show how to achieve stylish web designs that can stand up to text size enlargements, outright removal of CSS or images in the browser without moving.

Each chapter is divided into four parts:

  • What we usually find: the most commonly used methods in web design to achieve the point studied in the chapter.
  • Why it’s not bulletproof: such a beautiful result can quickly become catastrophic.
  • What would have to be done to achieve a good result, with generally a substantial saving of HTML tags.
  • Why this method is bulletproof.

The summary covers a good part of the cases encountered in the development of a modern site:

  1. Flexible text.
  2. Adaptable navigation.
  3. More flexible table columns (reminder: for tabulated data, <table> is not BAD).
  4. Play well with floating elements.
  5. Indestructible boxes.
  6. How about turning off images and CSS?
  7. Adapt your paintings.
  8. Fluid layouts.
  9. A practical case.

I honestly enjoyed reading this book, which taught me a few things that I had already thought about but never really thought about, like expandable boxes. A plus for the accessibility of the sites. The book is very well presented, clear, concise, colorful and illustrated, in short, pleasant to read. The opposite of O’Reilly, so technically rich, but much more austere to approach. I only regret one thing: that it is so short.

Tags accessibility , css , web , webdesign , xhtml

  1. Philippe PETER said on May 24, 2006 at 7:07 pm


    All this is very tempting for me (especially at the moment in my professional context). But where did you find it? In online purchase? In a library ? For the moment, for me, I have made cabbage-white.

    Thank you!

  2. Frederic de Villamil said on May 24, 2006 at 11:14 pm

    To my knowledge, this book is only available in English, under the title “Bulletproof Webdesign”, and it can be found on Amazon, or at Le Monde en Tique, a bookstore that it is good to go to.

  3. Philippe PETER said on May 25, 2006 at 12:09 pm

    Thank you.

    So Amazon.fr is dead: only the German translation is available there …

    As for the bookstore, we’ll see that soon.

    Thanks again !