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Keywords: HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, web development

Title: HTML5 Guidelines for Web Developers

Author: Klaus Forster and Bernd Oggl

Publisher: Addison Wesley

ISBN: 978-0321772749

Media: Book

Level: Some existing HTML/CSS/JavaScript knowledge required

Verdict: A good, brief introduction to the topic


Aimed at existing web developers wanting to get to grips with HTML5, this books assumes a working knowledge of HTML, CSS and JavaScript. It's certainly not a book that's designed for someone new to web development - so if that's your requirement then you'll need to go elsewhere. And, given the target audience, you'll be pleased to know that the book adopts a fairly browser-independent outlook, which is essential given the patchy adoption of HTML5 so far.

The opening chapter gives a potted history of HTML5, which is interesting for an insight into how these things work, particularly the way different commercial interests conflict with each other and with the W3C. However, for most readers it can be skipped without impacting in any way the rest of the book. In some ways it would have been more useful as an appendix at the end of the book rather than as an opener.

With that out of the way the book then moves into gear and looks at the key features of HTML5. This includes all of the semantic web elements, the support for forms, a great deal of detail on the support for graphics (canvas), storage, geo-location and some other odds and sods. While canvas, for example, gets a lot of detail - which it obviously deserves, some areas hardly get a look-in - for example SVG and MathML support.

On the plus side there's lots of code, good examples, and webbable content to support the book. Knowledge of JavaScript is pretty much essential for much of the more interesting areas. But the code is clear, easy to read and easy to follow. The writing is also clear and to the point, with little in the way of fluff to fill the pages (always an issue with some of the more bulky books in the tech market). The authors always make the point of covering current browser support for whatever feature they're covering, which is useful, but it's also an area that's always subject to change as support increases in later releases. And of course, the totality of HTML5 and CSS3 is also a work in progress...

Overall this book does what it sets out to do. It does provide a good introduction to HTML5 for those who are new to it. It's not a complete reference, but it does enable the reader to get coding very quickly.

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Contents © TechBookReport 2011. Published November 14 2011