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Book Review – HTML5: Up and Running

, 14 Jan 2011 CPOL
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Book Review – HTML5: Up and Running

In the last two weeks, I read the book “HTML5: Up and Running” that was written by Mark Pilgrim.

Book Review – HTML5: Up and Running

Since I’m and always was a web guy, I always like to read about the things to come and HTML5 is a specification that is heading our way very fast.

What You are Going to Gain from The Book?

The book is about HTML5 which is a specification that is being written in these days and will be the de facto standard in the next years. Since reading all the specifications would probably make you crazy (go to the specification to see how long it is…) then reading a book that summarizes the primary features is something that I recommend you to do. I picked this book since I found the book’s site while I was searching for HTML5 information. The book is very easy to read but it doesn’t go deep into details so you get a summary of things with a few examples and that is all. I think that if the book was more thorough, it would have given more added value than in its current version.

What is Included in The Book?

The book is very short – only 224 pages long. It starts with some history that explains how we got to HTML5 and how to detect HTML5 features (with or without the Modernizr framework). After the first two chapters, the book covers eight main topics in HTML5:

  • Chapter 3: What Does It All Mean?
    Covers the new semantic elements that HTML5 introduces such as header and footer.
  • Chapter 4: Let’s Call It a Draw(ing Surface)
    Explain in details the new canvas element that is a two-dimensional drawing surface that can be programmed using JavaScript.
  • Chapter 5: Video on the Web
    Explains what are the video and audio elements and also main formats and standards in this area.
  • Chapter 6: You Are Here (And So Is Everybody Else)
    Explains what is Geolocation which enables to share physical locations with web applications.
  • Chapter 7: The Past, Present, and Future of Local Storage for Web Applications
    Explains what is the Web Storage specification and how to use it.
  • Chapter 8: Let’s Take This Offline
    Cover what is offline web applications which work when the user is offline and how to create this behavior.
  • Chapter 9: A Form of Madness
    Covers a lot of the new HTML form elements such as search, email, number, etc.
  • Chapter 10: “Distributed,” “Extensibility,” and Other Fancy Words
    Shows how to “extend” HTML5 markup using the Microdata data model.

The books flow is very good and every chapter can be read as standalone so you can skip things that you know or go to chapters that you find more interesting. The author’s language is very clear and he has spread witty jokes that makes the reading flow very intensive. I really liked the “Ask Professor Markup” sections that highlight things in the book.

Summary

As a jump start to HTML5, the book “HTML5: Up and Running” is doing its job. It is not recommended for beginners since it depends on previous knowledge in web development. I give this book 4 stars out of 5 only because I expect technical books to be more thorough and with much more examples.


License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

Gil Fink
Technical Lead sparXys
Israel Israel
Gil Fink is a web development expert and ASP.Net/IIS Microsoft MVP. He is the founder and owner of sparXys. He is currently consulting for various enterprises and companies, where he helps to develop Web and RIA-based solutions. He conducts lectures and workshops for individuals and enterprises who want to specialize in infrastructure and web development. He is also co-author of several Microsoft Official Courses (MOCs) and training kits, co-author of "Pro Single Page Application Development" book (Apress) and the founder of Front-End.IL Meetup. You can read his publications at his website: http://www.gilfink.net
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