Pro HTML5 Programming (2e)
Author: Peter Lubbers, Brian Albers & Frank Salim
Publisher: Apress, 2011
Pages: 332
ISBN: 978-1430238645
Aimed at: Stage beyond beginner
Rating: 4
Pros: Good overview of facilities, including SVG
Cons: Doesn't live up to "pro" expectation
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot

When we looked at the first edition of this book the conclusion was that it was too early for an in-depth look at HTML5. Has the second edition made use of the extra time?

This is supposed to be a Pro book so you would expect something that goes a bit deeper than a beginner's guide. Even so, Chapter 1 is allowed to be a basic introduction, but it really doesn't do a good job. Why have a very long listing of what an HTML5 page might look like? It's just a waste of space. At the end of the chapter you really aren't any the wiser and you might even be worried by the claim that HTML5 won't be finalized till 2022 - true but irrelevant.


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Chapter 2 is an introduction to the Canvas element. It isn't a particularly advanced explanation and only gets even slightly technical when it discuses working with pixel data.  The chapter finishes with a simple example. Overall this isn't hardly a "pro" look at Canvas in that it doesn't explain how you can make use of it in any clever or creative way - no modifying videos, no use of Canvas for custom controls etc.

The next chapter is new in this edition and covers SVG graphics at about the same level. After explaining how to use tags to create SVG images, the book suddenly switches to manipulating the DOM without much discussion. The final example is over-long and uses up too much space.

Chapter 4 is on audio and video and doesn't go anywhere that an introductory book wouldn't. The same is true of the Geolocation API covered in Chapter 5.

From here the book moves onto more technical topics - the communication APIs, the forms API, web workers, storage APIs, offline web applications and the future of HTML5. The other completely new chapter in this edition is Chapter 9 on drag-and-drop.

If you have the first edition of this book then it certainly isn't worth buying a new copy for the two additional chapters - look it up on the web. However, it is an improvement on the first edition as long as you are clear that this isn't really a "pro" or a programmer's guide to the new HTML5 technologies. It is, however, more than a beginners guide. The explanations are mostly clear and simple and the initial examples are short and helpful. The longer examples are less successful because they tend to cover nothing new and simply repeat the same material. The book gets better as it goes on but it never explores the material beyond an introductory level.

If you are looking for something that is slightly more than beginners level then this might suit your requirements, but I don't think it deserves the "Pro" in its title.


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Ruby on Rails 3 Tutorial

Author: Michael Hartl
Publisher: Addison-Wesley, 2010
Pages: 576
ISBN: 978-0321743121
Aimed at: Intermediate Ruby developers
Rating: 4.5
Pros: Grounded in the real world
Cons: Expects you to go to a lot of effort
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot

 

This book takes a very realistic approach. This is pretty demandi [ ... ]



Beginning DB2 From Novice to Professional

Author: Grant Allen
Publisher: Apress
Pages: 515
ISBN: 978-1430243236
Aimed at: developers who want to learn DB2
Rating: 4
Reviewed by: Kay Ewbank
Looking for a free database? How about DB2? Will this book help?


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