Matt Gifford aka coldfumonkeh | Consultant Developer
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Introducing HTML5 Book Review

Oct 8, 2010

Co-authored by Bruce Lawson (@brucel) and Remy Sharp (@rem), this little gem of a book has been eagerly anticipated by developers and designers alike.

216 pages in length, its small enough to fit neatly into your bookshelf without looking like a 'doorstep of geekery', but it's seriously packed with fantastic resources, in-depth code examples and more photos of Bruce and Remy than you could possibly know what to do with.

The following is an excerpt taken from the back cover:

Suddenly, everyone's talking about HTML5, and ready or not, you need to get acquainted with this powerful new development in web and application design.

Bruce Lawson and Remy SharpI first discovered the world of HTML5 after seeing Bruce present on it during the very early stages of the spec at FOWD 2009 and although in specification form (take that to read 'subject to change at a moments notice'), the early details coming out about HTML5 were interesting.

Some useful quick-win elements were available to instantly vamp up a site (audio and video player) and much more detailed options such as web message and sockets to create intricate messaging applications.

I still have yet to become a full-on HTML5 fan; I'm sure I will once I'm able to focus on it a little more, and certainly when it is supported by all browsers without complaint or error. I will say, however, that this book has been a fantastic resource to open my eyes to some of the details I wasn't aware of, and the amount of example code and detail you get is superb!

The subjects covered in each chapter are:

Chapter 1

The opening chapter deals with the main structure of an HTML5 document, introducing the new doctype and some important structural elements, including the <nav>, <header>, <footer> and <article> tags.

Chapter 2

The second chapter looks in a little more detail at the structure of an HTML5 document, and uses the incredibly useful example of building a blog using these elements. There is also a detailed look into the WAI-ARIA (W3C Web Accessibility Initiative's Accesible Rich Internet Applications suite) to assist in your understanding of accessibility for screen readers and other devices.

Chapter 3

This chapter covers Forms and the new elements available in HTML5, which offers a lot of new attributes and functions, including specific input text types (email, time, month) and built-in available validation methods.

Chapter 4

This chapter covers what I thought was one of the most impressive features of the HTML5 spec when I first saw it over a year ago during Bruce's presentation; Video and Audio. From embedding various supported codecs, to creating custom controls for playback, this chapter is packed full of the good stuff to get you embedding videos and audio into your sites.

Chapter 5

The canvas element is another of the amazing features in HTML5; drawing capabilities alone, it's incredibly powerful. This chapter is packed full of examples to help you on your way with the canvas element, and includes more in-depth examples introducing animation and pixel manipulation. For some awesome HTML5 canvas action, make sure you check out Mr Doob's Harmony sketch page, also featured in the book. It's truly amazing.

Chapter 6

Data storage is the focus of chapter 6, and looks storing data in the client side (excluding the use of cookies) using Web Storage and Web SQL Databases, again packed full with example code and detailed information.

Chapter 7

This chapter covers the offline features available with HTML5; essentially, using the cache manifest to ensure un-interrupted 'service' when you lose or have no network connectivity. This is something I've written, presented on and blogged about when developing AIR applications, so it's something I was interested to see in HTML5.

Chapter 8

User interaction has long been an important aspect of site design; making the user's visit to your site more memorable a getting them involved. Drag and Drop has long been a part of 'core' interaction frameworks, and as it turns out, it's also supported directly in HTML5, as shown in this chapter.

Chapter 9

Geolocation is the topic of choice in chapter 9. Although nothing to do with HTML5, they deemed it so awesomely awesome that it was included in the book; and they're right, it does rock. Examples of the API usage are included to get you up and running.

Chapter 10

Messages, workers and sockets are covered in the final chapter of the book. The examples and useful notes and highlights guide the reader through the different messaging APIs and their implementations. A very detailed chapter and the perfect way to end the publication.

Although most of the HTML5 books up until now seem to have been aimed more at designers, this book certainly caters for the developers as well, with detailed javascript code snippets and in-depth examples.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone, and thank you to Bruce and Remy for writing this gem.

For 216 feature-rich pages, it's a superb book to have in your development arsenal.

Book details

Title: Introducing HTML5

Authors: Bruce Lawson and Remy Sharp

Published by New Riders

Useful links

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