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Posted 19 Oct 2010
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Reviews of Two New Books from O'Reilly about HTML and JavaScript

, 19 Oct 2010
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I got two new books from O’Reilly about HTML 5 and JavaScript (ECMAScript 5): "Mark Pilgrim - HTML 5: Up and Running" and "Shelley Powers – JavaScript Cookbook".

Editorial Note

This article is in the Book Review chapter. Reviews are intended to provide you with information on books - both paid and free - that others consider useful and of value to developers. Read a good programming book? Write a review!

I got two new books from O’Reilly about HTML 5 and JavaScript (ECMAScript 5):

  • Mark Pilgrim - HTML 5: Up and Running
  • Shelley Powers – JavaScript Cookbook

Both of these books are published by O’Reilly. First book with mark Google Press.

Mark Pilgrim - HTML 5: Up and Running

html5The first book was HTML 5: Up and Running. Mark Piligrim is the author of this book. He is a popular blogger and book writer. Unfortunately, I had never read his books. He is a good writer. I just want to note that this book was written well: easy to read, not like a technical book, looks like you sat down to read a fascinating detective story. This is because the book has a lot of historical information about the history of HTML 5, about history of codecs for HTML 5, etc. Honestly I like it more than simple boring technical literature. You can say that this is a format for dummies, but as I said, I like it.

Te book has 10 chapters and has more than 200 pages. I read it in one breath. Each chapter (except for the first two chapters) is a guide “how to develop and deploy some new feature of HTML 5”. I want to note that this book is not for learning HTML from the beginning, you should know the basics of HTML. This book is for developers/designers who have experience of web-development and who want to learn which of new HTML 5 features you can use today in your web sites. Each chapter has a lot of book/article references if you want to learn more about describable feature. Each describable feature has a table about browser’s support. All is true, even Internet Explorer 9 present in these tables. So I can say that you should read this book today while all the information is actual.

A small minus of the book is that each chapter has a lot of information, which is really not necessary and which is not for web-developers. For example: one chapter has a guide on how to use video and audio tags at your site. You will read about the history of codecs, which are used in browsers for these tags, history of these tags. Also you will read about how to place these tags in your pages that all browsers can parse them. Next, you will find pages about how to convert your videos in the right formats, with which programs, and what arguments you should use. On one side, you can say that the author did a lot of work and he gave us a full guide of how to use these tags, but on the other side, I just look through these pages.

I want to suggest this book for all designers, web-developers and more than for high school teachers. I think that if you are a web-developer team – you should have this book.

At the official book site, you will find an example of one chapter of this book. The book is a modified version of DIVE INTO HTML5 by MARK PILGRIM, so if you can’t get this book, you can find a lot of information at this site.

Shelley Powers – JavaScript Cookbook

jscookbookThe first sentence of this book starts from “I wrote my first book on JavaScript 15 years ago…”. I think this is a weighty argument why you should look at this book. The author of this book is also a popular blogger and book writer. The book was written with a view ECMAScript 5 and HTML 5. This is why you will find in this book information about SVG, WebGL 3D, information about how to work with local storage, with audio and video elements and many others. The book has 21 chapters. The first half of chapters is a basics of JavaScript like working with strings, with regex, how to create your special types. The second half of chapters – integration with browsers.

Each chapters has a list of frequent problems with answers and lengthy discussion, why this solution is better, what will be if you change this task a little, etc. The book has practically all the standard questions: how to debug JS scripts, how to write tests for JS scripts, and of course: how to create tabs, and how accordion with JavaScript. This book has a chapter about JavaScript’s frameworks, and of course, you will find information about jQuery. Also you will find how to create your own library, where to start and then where to keep it.

This book is not a manual of JavaScript, but it can be. If you are a teacher in a university, and you are lecturing web-developing or JavaScript, you can teach at first day basics of JavaScript. And then you can get each chapter for each day, set goals, describe the solution. It seems to me that such training will be much more useful.

It was my first book of Cookbook series. Looks like they are useful reference books. But you should read all books if you want to use it like a reference book, because you should know which goals this book solves and which chapter has this solution.


I read these books and more, then I moved my site ( to HTML 5. ;)

Both books recommend to have at your home library. They are excellent reference books.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL)


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