22 December 2011
A few months ago I had the pleasure of contributing a chapter to the latest edition of Peachpit’s HTML5 & CSS3 Visual QuickStart Guide, to be released December 27, 2011. It is a true honor and I had a lot of fun working on it. My chapter is all about one of my favorite topics of late: Web Fonts. An extra special bit of fun about this project was I was able to recruit fellow Butter Labeler Scott Boms to write a chapter about CSS3 enhancements.
Design within constraints is good. It gives us limits to our work and challenges us to stretch in good ways. One chief constraint in our writing is that we were contributing to the seventh edition of this book. We had make sure that what we wrote fit in with six editions written over the course of fifteen years. Throughout those years, the book was used often as a textbook for teaching HTML and CSS, thanks to its approachable nature and step-by-step instructions. Any new content had to mesh nicely with this way of learning. This got tricky explaining @font-face properties, line-by-line, but I had fun doing it. If you know me, it doesn’t take much for me to get exciting talking about web typography. This was as much an exercise in reigning myself in as it was in articulating how stuff like web font stacks work.
The other constraint we had was time. Both Scott and I had mere weeks to write our chapters. Additionally, I was right in the middle of preparing for two speaking engagements. This Fall, if you saw me tweeting in the middle of the night about writing and scolding Microsoft Word for crashing, now you know what I was up to.
Nonetheless, this was an awesome experience, and I dare say Scott and I might find the opportunity to collaborate on a book project again soon.
HTML5 & CSS3 Visual QuickStart Guide will be released December 27th, 2011. If you are interested, I highly recommend picking up a copy, perhaps from Amazon or from one of those fancy stores you walk into and buy things in person.
A huge measure of thanks goes out to Cliff, Robyn, and the rest of the editors at Peachpit. Also, I want to thank Elizabeth Castro for writing the first several editions, and Bruce Hyslop for taking the reigns on this one.