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Smashing HTML5 Paperback – Dec 6 2010
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' This tidy tome by web developer Bill Sanders looks at how to get started with HTML5 .' (Web Designer, March 2011). 'Packed with new features, this title shows creatives how to manage their own web solutions- a valuable skill to have.' (Advanced Photoshop, March 2011). ' A joy to use as a reference book...no nonsense, easy to follow practical advice. ' (Computer Arts Projects, August 2011).
From the Back Cover
Welcome to HTML5 – The Future of the Web
HTML5 is packed with great new features, including hew content-specific elements, audio and video playback, canvas for drawing, and many others. But where to begin? With Smashing HTML5, you have everything you need to get up and running quickly.
Bill Sanders is a professional Web developer, information and interface designer, and instructor. His expertise and knowledge shared throughout Smashing HTML5 will help fast-track you toward building next-generation Web sites.
Smashing HTML5 provides comprehensive coverage – from how to get started with HTML5 to optimizing media on the Web. You will learn how to use text, graphics, audio, video, and navigation in HTML5 Web pages running in compatible browsers.
You will also learn how to:
- Work with HTML5 Tags
- Design page structure
- Make site navigation easy for your audience
- Integrate media including video into HTML5 pages
- Harness the power of the HTML5 Canvas
- Use HTML5 Forms
- Create interactivity, store information, and much more
Smashing HTML5 is an essential read fro Web designers and developers looking to transition to HTML5. With this book, you’ll be able to create Web pages that not only look great, but also take advantage of the new features HTML5 has to offer.
Visit www.wiley.com/go/smashinghtml5 to download example code files.
Smashing Magazine (smashingmagazine.com) is one of the world’s most popular Web design sites. True to the Smashing mission, the Smashing Magazine book series delivers useful and innovating information to Web designers and developers.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I came to this book as a veteran developer of sites that use HTML4, XHTML, XML, XSLT, PHP, CSS, etc. I'm generally too busy using the web development tools in which I have developed skills over the years to want to spend too much time ogling the capabilities of products in development but I figured a 350-page glossy summary of the highlights of HTML5 should be pretty good at bringing me up to speed with its current state of play, and telling me, quickly and succinctly, what this new mark-up would offer me over and above the tools already at my disposal and why I would wish to adopt it.
Sadly, it does no such thing.
Nowhere, for instance, does it highlight any of the thinking that led to the development of HTML5, or how it attempts to draw the world towards a more orderly structuring of the information supplied to it through the web. Summaries of the main differences are thin on the ground and rarely prominent. Nor does it go into any real detail as to the intended role of some of the more potentially confusing new tags (such as <article>, say). So while the book carries a plethora of warnings about how Bad Things will happen to people who infringe the new HTML5 mark-up "rules", nowhere are the changed rules themselves actually explained, or the nature of the Bad Things made explicit. (Generally, there seems to be an implication that it will be toss-up between a knock on the door from the W3G Police, or a visit in the depths of the night from the Spaghetti Monster. It would be good know which, wouldn't it?) There is no mention of important technical considerations for those coming from HTML or XHTML backgrounds about to what extent HTML5 attempts to bridge these two different worlds, and what (if any) concessions HTML5 might make to the strictures of an XHTML context (for instance. Nothing fancy needed; a paragraph would have been enough.) Anyone looking for a quick summary of how HTML5 differs from other mark-up languages will be very frustrated by this book, which presents HTML5 solely as what it is in toto, with little or no reference to what it has inherited unaltered, what it changes, that established developers need to be aware of and what it has abandoned altogether from earlier versions. Established mark-up experts will learn more (and more quickly) for free from say, the W3Schools web pages.
Unfortunately, as a primer for the beginner, the book fails miserably, too. Rather than follow any real structure, it rambles moderately incoherently through a number of basic introductions to the sorts of things that HTML can be expected to deliver, although with endless asides, mostly made necessary by a lack of care in structuring the book. It is ironic in a book that stresses how important planning is in the construction of a successful web site, that the author constantly needs to dive off down side avenues in each chapter, in order to explain what, for many, will be irrelevant technical information, such as just what video codecs might be, or how to create movie files on a computer. Such explanations would probably be useful if they actually explained anything in detail, but sadly they all pull up short of being useful and more often than not leave the reader in the lurch with an inevitable "well, it's actually more complicated than that, but don't worry you don't really need to know about it" cop-out.
And heaven help any poor soul who is completely new to HTML (of any flavour) trying to learn to produce web pages with this book. If you've dabbled on the web already, it is possible more or less to keep up and follow along, and this book will give you a good overview of the new media tags that HTLM5 provides. But if you're new to all of this, be aware that some of the information in this book is over-simplified almost to the point of being wrong. It doesn't help, for instance, that the author cannot decide whether HTML pages should be termed scripts or programs. The fact that they are documents, and need to be considered as such (and only as such), seems to have passed him by completely. With that sort of thinking, there is no real wonder that the semantic web is further away from becoming a reality with each passing day. And as for his explanation of what the DOM is, well... bring on the Spaghetti Monster!
However, the book is far from perfect. After 350 pages it can be a rather grueling read. This book is best used as a reference resource. The code listed is rather long and the text could be a little larger. Fortunately, you can download the code off the book's website. The book also sometimes goes off in tangents. It concentrates briefly on various methods of video production and what software to use. The book also goes into Webcams, Camcorders, and Video capture devices. All this is fine, but they are not really part of HTML5. The problem may not be the books entirely. In HTML 5 video works differently in several browsers and mobile devices. It seems HTML 5 is not the de facto standard for the internet that it has been claimed. There are also various comments in the book that remind the reader that certain HTML5 code won't work in certain browsers. If it does work it is formatted differently among the different browsers. This contradicts the open standard capability of HTML5.
Smashing HTML5 also covers Canvas, which is used to make graphics. The problems with Canvas are it takes a herculean effort just to create the most rudimentary graphics, and despite this it has none of the graphic elegance of Flash. If you want to spend reading several pages of text and code just to create a square, then maybe Canvas is a good choice. Even the book admits that Flash excels in creating animations and interfaces that look the same in any browser. Sorry to say that claim cannot be made about HTML5.
In closing, Smashing HTML5 is very much like HTML5 itself, in that it is still a work in progress.
Of course there are explanations for the new things that can be used in HTML5 like canvas, video tag, ....
Maybe the reason that this book is not covering that much of the new HTML5 API's and specification is the fact that
is written in 2010 when I think a lot of the stuff that we have in HTML5 was not specified then.
The three stars are because there is more explanation for old HTML stuff than for HTML5 but that which is covered
is well explained, and the color pages add value.