Author: Peter Lubbers, Brian Albers & Frank Salim
Publisher: Apress, 2010
Aimed at: Early adopters of HTML5
Pros: Competent overview of new facilities
Cons: Not really an expert's book
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot
This is another in the ever-growing tide of books on the currently hot topic. HTML5 is important but it really isn't a revolution. If anything it's a retreat into more of the same rather than anything truly revolutionary. It isn't even difficult as it offers very little you haven't seen before. As a result it is fairly easy to write a reasonable HTML5 book. This particular HTML5 book is reasonable, It is difficult to find anything much to criticise or praise. It does a competent job of taking you through the basics of HTML5.
It starts with an overview of HTML5 - not much to say except for some history and the introduction of the new semantic tags. Chapter 2 then deals with the Canvas API and again if you have used SVG or any graphics system like it you should find everything fairly straightforward - with or without the book. Then we move on to Audio and Video again not difficult apart from the problems with the licencing of codecs and which codecs to use. Chapter 4 deals with geolocation and covers the wider issues of how latitude and longitude work and the various way of establishing location.
From here the book deals with more technical aspects. Chapter 5 describes the communication APIs, Chapter 6 is on Websockets, Chapter 7 covers forms, Chapter 8 web workers, Chapter 9 web storage and Chapter 10 offline working. The final chapter is a look at the future of HTML and covers topics such as 3D and touch interfaces.
Each chapter describes its technology simply and clearly and presents some short examples. It covers which browsers support which feature at the start of each chapter and tell you how to test for support. It doesn't go into details of what to do if the feature isn't supported. It also, reasonably, ignores any server-side issues except in the chapter on Web Sockets, where it does consider what modifications are required to implement the protocol.
If you want an overview of the new facilities in HTML5 then this is a suitable place to start - but it is hardly essential reading.