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HTML5 & CSS3 Visual QuickStart Guide (7th Edition) Paperback – Dec 21 2011
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If your budget only allows for one HTML5 and CSS3 book, this book is a terrific way to invest your money. I’ve reviewed HTML5 for Web Designers and Introducing HTML5 on this blog. I think this book is better than either of those books. That’s not saying the two books mentioned are not excellent books, because they are. I’ve read both of those books carefully and I still learned new and helpful things from HTML5 and CSS3. Plus, the VQS style is inherently easy to use with each topic detailed in small step-by-step bits. It’s so easy to find the one thing you need to know at any given moment with a VQS book.
Another advantage this book over the others I mentioned is that it can get a beginner going but it also offers a lot of good information for the experienced HTML and CSS wonk. If you’re teaching either of these topics, this book is classroom gold.
Definitely recommended. - Virginia DeBolt, webteacher.ws
About the Author
Bruce Hyslop began developing for the Web in 1997 and focuses on interface technical architecture, development, usability, accessibility, and advocating best practices. He is the author of The HTML Pocket Guide (Peachpit Press, 2010), a thorough discussion and reference of all HTML elements (HTML5 and prior). Bruce also teaches a CSS course at UCLA Extension and occasionally speaks on matters regarding front-end development. Over the years, he has overseen front-end teams or been a developer for more than 150 projects, including those for ABC, BBC, Disney, Logitech, Microsoft, NBC Universal, Nokia, Target, Toyota, and Yahoo!, among others.
Bruce was an early adopter of Web standards. At a previous agency in the early 2000s, he lead companies such as Baskin-Robbins and Pacific Gas & Electric into the fray of modern client-side practices while managing development between offices in Los Angeles, China, and New York.
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If you want the basics of coding and website building, this is an excellent resource.
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This "quick guide" is actually a heavy 550 page brick, which covers stuff not even related directly to HTML5, e.g. how to size images in Fireworks and Photoshop, how to do FTP file transfer with FileZilla program and how to "Secure a domain name and publish your site".
Also it contains a lot of trivial stuff such as creating a link to another web page, making text bold, starting a new paragraph with P tag, or creating external style sheets file. Old school HTML4 and CSS2 topics cover about half of this brick. Yet, authors were unable to find any space in this book for many new HTML5-specific topics such as most HTML5 APIs, which are parts of HTML5 specification, e.g. Canvas, Web Sockets, Microdata, Web Messaging, Web Workers, HTML5+RDFa, etc.
Also there is no coverage for the new HTML5 syntax rules, no HTML5/CSS3 browser compatibility info, and no list of new tags.
The book does include new HTML5 markup coverage but this is not enough to claim that HTML5 is the main focus and you will "Learn HTML5 the quick and easy way" (back cover). It seems that instead of re-writing this book from scratch, authors just merged the old CSS QuickStart Guide 5th edition with HTML QuickStart Guide 6th edition providing some facelift updates. The very old Windows XP screenshots look odd in this brand new 2012 "HTML5 book".
It's a decent book for learning a little bit about HTML5 and CSS3. I say decent meaning it's not great but it's not terrible. If you're absolutely brand new to web development, there's plenty enough in there to give you a "quickstart", but not near enough information for you to perfect the languages. However, if you're experienced in development, this book will practically bore you to tears with the absolute basics of HTML and CSS markup. By the time you actually get to HTML5 and CSS3, you realize there's not a whole lot of depth about either iteration of the language in there, and you're ready to take a nap!
WHAT THIS BOOK IS:
It's a learning manual. My understanding is that this series of books is used by some colleges and tech schools as course textbooks, and it shoes. There is a lot of markup (programming code) in the book, with screenshots showing what it looks like in the web browser. It doesn't go into a lot of detail about either HTML5 or CSS3 - it scratches the surface of both and leaves you wanting to learn more. One plus about the book is that it briefly covers development for mobile devices, though there are better books out there for that, such as HTML5 Mobile Websites: Turbocharging HTML5 with jQuery Mobile, Sencha Touch, and Other Frameworks. If you're new to web development and want to learn more, this is a good book for you.
WHAT THIS BOOK IS NOT:
It's not a reference manual. A reference manual would cover everything there is to know about HTML5 and CSS3. This book doesn't do that. To be honest, there are features of both that I was already using before reading this book, and those features aren't even mentioned in the book. It's not a book that someone with a decent amount of web development experience is going to find highly usable - most of what you already know is in the book, and not a whole lot of what you want to know is in the book.
Going back through the book again, I've reconsidered my 3-star review. It's more like a 2 star. Honestly, it's nothing more than maybe an introduction to basic HTML and CSS with a little bit of HTML5 and CSS3, but definitely not a book that anyone with more than basic experience wants to consider. There are much better resources out there for both HTML5 and CSS3, and if you're just learning to code for the web, I'd be fearful that this book is going to "quickstart" you in the wrong direction. Visual Quickstart has had many good books - this is not one of them.
What happened? Did Bruce Hyslop take Castro's text and try to update it for HTML5? If so, he failed. Bring back Elizabeth! The publisher did not do well to allow such a downgrade in what was once a great book that I used to recommend to my students. No more.
Perhaps the publisher will update and fix this volume. I hope so.
First, the book is beautifully formatted---a friendly read--with lots of colorful and relevant images and high gloss paper. The content of the book was equally appealing, especially through the provision of many relevant links to components such as the HTML5 Shiv, HTML5 and CSS3 validators, Flash player--and numerous articles about specifications, Web browser compatibility, and so forth.
Of considerable value, I often found the book presenting a concept that needed further explanation, only to turn the page, to find the explanation clearly outlined in subsequent pages. I particularly loved the lead-ins and overall clarity of the book.
Of biggest appeal, perhaps, was not only the inclusion of CSS3 and HTML5 for building some visually impressive forms, but also the provision of very easy guidelines to follow for including native videos and audios (complete with Flash fallback and hyperlinks for older browsers) on the Website. The process couldn't be spelled out more clearly. Additionally, the section on mobile media provided a relevant introduction into designing for iPhone and the like. The CSS enhancements, such as rounded corners, drop shadows, gradient, and multiple backgrounds, also were informative, often including links to online tools that make the process simple by automatically generating the code for various vendors. Lest I forget, the Web fonts section provided the tools--complete with links to free services--for utilizing Web fonts, such as script in both headings and any other element of the site. For the price of the book, the value is extensive.
With that said, after getting firm footing in HTML5 and CSS3 as a relative beginner, a more advanced book I have researched to follow-up with is The Book of CSS: A Developer's Guide to the Future of Web Design.
All in all, HTML5 and CSS3 by Elizabeth Castro and Bruce Hyslop provided a robust stepping stone for delving into more advanced CSS3 and HTML5 features, including further explorations into the canvas element, multimedia, and mobile design.
As has been pointed out this book is all "talk" about HTML5 but, for me, no useful information. I was quite disappointed in it. It's on my bookshelf right now with a page marker at about the half way point where I gave up. It really is a waste of time, in my opinion, for anyone seeking hands-on real time HTML5 info.