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Book Review: The Definitive Guide to HTML5

Great HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS Coverage

Although I started with Cold Fusion for application development, I did plenty brochureware sites with HTML. I believe the version was HTML 2.0 for IE 2.0. I lived in the browser world for years doing Cold Fusion, ASP, and HTML sites. When winforms and Smart Client with Web Services emerged I changed my religion. I have been avoiding the browser whenever possible since.

For the past couple of years my extent of using simple HTML has been limited to writing blogs and book reviews. Simple HTML means no ASP.NET or ASP.NET MVC. With all the HTML5 hype I figured I would take some time and read a few books on it. This one is my third and I have one more on the way.

So far I have found HTML5 is no different than any other version with respect to the way its capabilities are implemented and where it belongs when architecting a solution. It is far reaching, but if you want a rich HTML5 UI you will be writing a lot of JavaScript and CSS. It really can't be helped, that has always been the real skin and muscle on the HTML skeleton.

HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS are broad subjects. This book can help the beginner learn HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS and it can serve as a nice reference for the experienced developer. This tome definitely delivers a lot of information.

There are getting started chapters for beginner on HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS. They are followed by a chapter that puts all the elements the book covers into context. Meaning there are tables showing which elements are used for metadata, text, grouping, sectioning, tables, forms, and embedding.

The book continues with chapters covering Creating HTML Documents, Marking Up Text, Grouping Content, Creating Sections, Working with Tables, Working with Forms, Customizing the Input Element, Other Forms Elements & Input Validation, and Embedding Content.

The chapters list above are followed by an in-depth treatment of CSS and JavaScript. There are 16 chapters covering the topics in great detail.

The author then moves into more advanced features. It covers using ajax, multimedia, the canvas, drag and drop, geolocation, web storage, and creating offline applications.

The one thing the book does not do is stray from core browser capabilities. However, the author points out when using advanced libraries like jQuery would be advantageous. I am glad the author handled it this way. Instead of glossing over topics that need a complete book to cover completely, he kept the scope limit allow for more in-depth coverage of core browser capabilities.

The authors writing style is great, but the book also makes a great reference. Tons of tables and a nice index helps you to find things quickly.

The code is organized in folders by chapter. It is all usable and works like it is supposed to. I know this sounds like something that is just expected, but there have been some book's code I have downloaded that was disorganized to the point of being unusable. In a book like this, accompanying code is an important aspect.

If you are doing, or considering doing HTML5 development, you own it to yourself to have this book by your side. I highly recommend it to anyone involved with web development.


The Definitive Guide to HTML5

More Stories By Tad Anderson

Tad Anderson has been doing Software Architecture for 18 years and Enterprise Architecture for the past few.