Book Review: Introducing HTML5

by jmorris 4. March 2011 22:54

As usual I have been reading a ton of books lately on various subjects from HTML5 to NHibernate to unit testing and other subjects as well. The plan is to write a series of reviews of each book over the next couple of weeks.

html5

The first book I will write about is Introducing HTML5 by Bruce Lawson and Remy Sharp. If your not familiar with HTML5, it along with CSS3 are the latest and greatest in web standards and technology from the W3C. Too be honest, you have to use the term HTML lightly, with respect to HTML5…while it does add to the markup common associated with HTML and other SGML derivatives, it also offers a whole slew of technologies that are decidedly outside the scope of markup: graphics, client side messaging, geo-location and others.

I’ll keep this book review short and sweet, like the book at barely 200 pages…as the title states, it is an introduction to HTML5 and gives a summary of the various technologies that it comprises. It’s not a reference manual nor a deep explanation of the subject; it’s a brief description of each technology with simple, real world examples of their usage. In my opinion it’s worth is in that a few hundred pages you get enough understanding of each technology, not enough to walk the walk, but definitely enough to hold a conversation on one of the topics. If you are already past this stage, it probably would not appeal to you; it simply doesn’t offer he enough detail.

Additionally, one thing that it does do is give small nuggets of information regarding work-rounds for various browsers that only partially support HTML5 or have bugs in their implementation. In fact, the authors are not shy about discussing some of the limitations of the support for HTML5 across the common, modern browsers. Of course, this is somewhat awry from some of the HTMl5/CSS3 “fanboys” out their that try to pawn HTML5 as the next coming…the truth is that only portions of HTML5 are completely supported by all browsers and knowing the work-rounds (html5shivselectivizr, modernizr, etc) the key to using it now.

Who is the book for? Pretty much anybody with a cursory understanding of HTML, browsers, how the web works and maybe some experience with JavaScript or another programming language. Much of it is suitable for managers as well.

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Jeff Morris

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