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HTML5: Up and Running [Paperback]

Mark Pilgrim
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 24, 2010 0596806027 978-0596806026 1

If you don't know about the new features available in HTML5, now's the time to find out. The latest version of this markup language is going to significantly change the way you develop web applications, and this book provides your first real look at HTML5's new elements and attributes.

Even though work on HTML5 is ongoing, browsers such as Safari, Mozilla, Opera, and Chrome already support many of its features -- and browsers for smart phones are even farther ahead, especially iPhone's MobileSafari browser. With HTML5: Up & Running, you'll learn how this new version enables browsers to interact with JavaScript much more easily than before. You'll also learn how HTML5 can help you develop applications that:

  • Display video directly in the browser, without having to rely on plugins
  • Work even when a user is offline, by taking advantage of HTML5's persistent storage
  • Offer a drawing canvas for dynamically generated 2-D graphics

This concise guide is the most complete and authoritative book you'll find on the subject. Author Mark Pilgrim writes the weekly digest for the HTML5 Working Group, and represents Google at conferences on HTML5's capabilities. Stay ahead of the curve. Order a copy of this book today.

Five Things You Should Know About HTML5
by Mark Pilgrim

1. It’s not one big thing. You may well ask: “How can I start using HTML5 if older browsers don’t support it?” But the question itself is misleading. HTML5 is not one big thing; it is a collection of individual features. So you can’t detect “HTML5 support,” because that doesn’t make any sense. But you can detect support for individual features, like canvas, video, or geolocation.

You may think of HTML as tags and angle brackets. That’s an important part of it, but it’s not the whole story. The HTML5 specification also defines how those angle brackets interact with JavaScript, through the Document Object Model (DOM). HTML5 doesn’t just define video tag; there is also a corresponding DOM API for video objects in the DOM. You can use this API to detect support for different video formats, play a video, pause, mute audio, track how much of the video has been downloaded, and everything else you need to build a rich user experience around the video tag itself.

Chapter 2 and Appendix A will teach you how to properly detect support for each new HTML5 feature.

2. You don’t need to throw anything away. Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that HTML 4 is the most successful markup format ever. HTML5 builds on that success. You don’t need to throw away your existing markup. You don’t need to relearn things you already know. If your web application worked yesterday in HTML 4, it will still work today in HTML5. Period.

Now, if you want to improve your web applications, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a concrete example: HTML5 supports all the form controls from HTML 4, but it also includes new input controls. Some of these are long-overdue additions like sliders and date pickers; others are more subtle. For example, the email input type looks just like a text box, but mobile browsers will customize their onscreen keyboard to make it easier to type email addresses. Older browsers that don’t support the email input type will treat it as a regular text field, and the form still works with no markup changes or scripting hacks. This means you can start improving your web forms today, even if some of your visitors are stuck on IE 6.

Read all the gory details about HTML5 forms in Chapter 9.

3. It’s easy to get started. “Upgrading” to HTML5 can be as simple as changing your doctype. The doctype should already be on the first line of every HTML page. Previous versions of HTML defined a lot of doctypes, and choosing the right one could be tricky. In HTML5, there is only one doctype: !DOCTYPE html

Upgrading to the HTML5 doctype won’t break your existing markup, because all the tags defined in HTML 4 are still supported in HTML5. But it will allow you to use -- and validate -- new semantic elements like article, section, header, and footer. You’ll learn all about these new elements in Chapter 3.

4. It already works Whether you want to draw on a canvas, play video, design better forms, or build web applications that work offline, you’ll find that HTML5 is already well-supported. Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera, and mobile browsers already support canvas (Chapter 4), video (Chapter 5), geolocation (Chapter 6), local storage (Chapter 7), and more. Google already supports microdata annotations (Chapter 10). Even Microsoft -- rarely known for blazing the trail of standards support -- will be supporting most HTML5 features in the upcoming Internet Explorer 9.

Each chapter of this book includes the all-too-familiar browser compatibility charts. But more importantly, each chapter includes a frank discussion of your options if you need to support older browsers. HTML5 features like geolocation (Chapter 6) and video (Chapter 5) were first provided by browser plugins like Gears or Flash. Other features, like canvas (Chapter 4), can be emulated entirely in JavaScript. This book will teach you how to target the native features of modern browsers, without leaving older browsers behind.

5. It’s here to stay. Tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web in the early 1990s. He later founded the W3C to act as a steward of web standards, which the organization has done for more than 15 years. Here is what the W3C had to say about the future of web standards, in July 2009:
    Today the Director announces that when the XHTML 2 Working Group charter expires as scheduled at the end of 2009, the charter will not be renewed. By doing so, and by increasing resources in the HTML Working Group, W3C hopes to accelerate the progress of HTML5 and clarify W3C’s position regarding the future of HTML.
HTML5 is here to stay. Let’s dive in.

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HTML5: Up and Running + CSS: The Definitive Guide + JavaScript: The Definitive Guide: Activate Your Web Pages (Definitive Guides)
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Dive into the Future of Web Development

About the Author

Mark Pilgrim works as a developer advocate for Google, specializing in open source and open standards. You may remember him from such classics as Greasemonkey Hacks (O'Reilly), Dive Into Python (Apress), and Dive Into Python 3 (APress). He lives in North Carolina with his wife, two boys, and a big slobbery dog.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (August 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596806027
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596806026
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
234 of 240 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much chatter, too little detail September 24, 2010
I must say: I enjoyed going through this book. It is written in an opinionated and slightly irreverent style, so I found it a mildly amusing read.

That being said: why do people buy a book on HTML5? Some would like to have a good in-depth reference on the ins and outs of the new language. Well now - that's not this book. Others might be new to web development and think learning HTML5 would be a good starting point. While they are right that HTML (5 or 4) is the place to start, this book surely isn't.

There's some depth when it comes to background, but much less when it comes to HTML5 itself or how to use it. True, the <canvas> tag and geolocation are covered pretty much in detail, but the author made some hard to defend choices in spending his paper estate.

HTML5 gives us no more than a handful of new tags, still some of those (<mark> and <section>, for example) are simply mentioned once and that's that. No examples, no advise on where to use them, nothing on browser support. Yet the book takes five pages at the start to tell the story of how the img-tag came into being some 15 years ago. Again, mildly amusing, but probably not the reason you are thinking of buying this book.

Another example: there are 10 pages with a primer on audio and video codecs, plus another 19 (!) detailed pages (with lots of screen shots) on how to use a number of specific and probably soon outdated software tools to encode video for the web. All fine for those who are completely new to video encoding and believe a book on HTML5 should be the starting point for that.
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95 of 103 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Something I'd Make Part Of My Permanent Library August 31, 2010
In the 1970s, ABC's "Schoolhouse Rock" took the tedious process of making a law and distilled it down into a 3-minute song that many of us can at least sing the first few bars from ("I'm just a bill, yes I'm only a bill, and I'm sitting here on Capitol Hill..."). Marc Pilgrim takes a different approach with the first chapter of this book, distilling the early history of HTML into fourteen eye-glazing pages. But if you can muddle through the initial proposal and discussion of the IMG tag, you get to Pilgrim's primary take-away of the chapter: HTML is not so much a thing, but a collection of things.

This is good, because the history of HTML has not been a smooth, step-by-step process. Different releases of different browsers have adopted different features of different specs at different times. I can personally recall rejoicing, back in the 90s, when both IE and Netscape finally implemented support for HTML tables. So it's no wonder that the second chapter dives into methods for detecting whether or not a user's browser supports certain HTML5 features.

If the first chapter was boring, the second is discouraging. First he shows how to check if Canvas is even supported. But once that's determined, you have to check if all the features of Canvas are supported. Moving on to the Video tag, even when that is supported, video format support varies across browsers. Basically, in these early days of HTML 5 support, it's like touring the United States early in the 20th century. Flush toilets and electric lights took longer to come to some areas than others.

After the third chapter started breaking down some of the new tags and how they affect the DOM, my eyes were good and glazed. This book is more discussion than documentation.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointed August 28, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book feels like it was rushed to try to be the first HTML5 book published, the others I have ordered have all been pushed back several times as the specs/APIs evolve, this book was released as-is and it sure feels it. The 'Complete Examples' throughout the book are a mess and require considerable more work to be used as complete examples, they are at best snippets which illustrate very little. Several of the topics I was most interested in reading about were dealt with sparsely (some just in a single paragraph). In short, for an O'Reilley book I am quite disappointed.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Diving Into Perilous Times August 20, 2010
The subject of the book is of special interest to those of us making a living from our ability to understand and implement aspects of Web technology. HTML 5 is not our present but there are plenty of very smart people working diligently to make it our future.

This "up and running" series book has lots of code samples but, really, don't pick the book up for that reason. This is a book that does the right thing -- it communicates the *context* of changing Web markup. The author concentrates on the multitude of "WHY's" behind HTML 5. It is an effective advocacy work. Intelligent advocacy is precisely what is needed at this juncture.

This book takes us through a re-examination of Web markup as we know it. We get a chance to inspect things from a different angle not quite visible in our normal work day. That is why Pilgrim's book has value way beyond the code snippets. Daily practice is yet to come. Understanding can begin right now.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good - Clear Examples
I was hoping for just some more examples, which is why this is 4 rather than 5 stars. The book is helpful, easy to read and contains lots of explanations about what is what. Read more
Published 2 months ago by R. Callicotte
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
This isn't a reference book. Read it front to back. Not quite a page turner, but it provides the foundation to be able to use the web as a reference.
Published 4 months ago by Philip Lambert
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential.
Contains essential information for who wants to start the study of HTML5, very didactic.Recommend for all self-taught like me, good luck.
Published 10 months ago by Cicero Ediglei e Silva
3.0 out of 5 stars Covers the subject rather randomly
Read the book cover-to-cover and never once did I feel that there was any organization or theme to the book
Published 12 months ago by Bruce Baker
1.0 out of 5 stars Not the html5 book i was looking for
I know html and xhtml, yet I was looking for construction of development with the new tags. I wanted to see how they use the new structure tags and nothing is explained except for... Read more
Published 15 months ago by J. Storchan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great intro to HTML5
I've been a longtime fan of O'Reilly books, and they continue to please. As a semiprofessional web developer trained in the days of "DHTML," I needed a resource to help... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Charlie White
2.0 out of 5 stars this is just a 10,000ft overview
what I am really looking for is an html5 book which lists at least the possible values for ALL the elements (not just what's in use now) and of course, the elements,what they do. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Jim E. Michaels
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit complicated, but good
It's a bit complicated for me, but I have been reeading it and testing all the exsercises and I'm getting better at HTML5.
Published 19 months ago by LEOPOLDO M. RAMIREZ MENA SMITH
3.0 out of 5 stars "Up and Running" is a bit ambiguous
The author's writing style is engaging in my opinion since the author adds sarcasm and humor in his writing however his writing style is also aggressive. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Michael Kim
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't get me up and running
A how-to manual that explores the new offerings of HTML5.

My Take
Interesting, but I didn't feel that it was getting me up and running! Read more
Published on April 17, 2012 by Kathy Davie
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