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Head First HTML5 Programming: Building Web Apps with JavaScript Paperback – October 21, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1449390549 ISBN-10: 1449390544 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Head First
  • Paperback: 610 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (October 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449390544
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449390549
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Eric Freeman is described by Head First series co-creator Kathy Sierra as “one of those rare individuals fluent in the language, practice, and culture of multiple domains from hipster hacker, to corporate VP, engineer, think tank." Professionally, Eric recently ended nearly a decade as a media company executive, having held the position ofCTO of Disney Online & at The Walt Disney Company. Eric is now devoting his time to and lives with his wife and young daughter on Bainbridge Island. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Yale University.

Elisabeth Robson is co-founder of Wickedly Smart, an education company devoted to helping customers gain mastery in web technologies. She’s co-author of two bestselling books, Head First Design Patterns and Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML.

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Customer Reviews

After two chapters, I put the book back on the shelf...wish I could get my money back.
G. Jernigan
The authors did a great job of explaining all of these great features and more in this book.
David Witherspoon
This is a Head First book, I've never been bored with any Head First book I've ever read.
K. Brown

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 71 people found the following review helpful By David Hayden on November 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
The first 6 chapters blew me away with its coverage of JavaScript. I really wasn't expecting an introduction to JavaScript from an HTML5 Book, but I am glad it did, however, as the first half of the book is an excellent introduction to using JavaScript for DOM Manipulation as well as passing data to and from web servers and 3rd party services using the XMLHttpRequest Object. If you are unfamiliar with JavaScript, I would recommend this as your first book for learning JavaScript. The focus on fundamentals was really refreshing. The examples were believable, interesting, and challenging. And, the whole problem-solution approach used in the Head First Series Books is very useful for both learning the theory and applying it in real-world scenarios.

The last half of the book takes all the JavaScript you learned in the first half and applies it to some of the new features in HTML5 like Geolocation, Canvas, Video, Web Storage, and Web Workers. I am still amazed by the Geolocation and Google Maps API example as I just did something similar for a client. Just like the coverage of JavaScript, you get a really solid introduction to using the HTML5 features as well as background on the problems they solve. As you can see from the list of features I mentioned above, the book doesn't cover all the new features in HTML5. As with all the Head First Books you get a list of the top 10 things they didn't cover and there is an appendix that lists many of the new HTML5 Tags that aren't covered, too.

If you haven't read a Head First Series Book, be prepared for a lot of diagrams, puzzles, pictures, speech bubbles, games, and other visual and gaming strategies to help you learn.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Megan Squire on September 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
First let me say that I am a huge fan of the Head First series. However, this is not one of the better books in the series. It's ok, but not great.

I am a college professor and assign these books regularly to my students, who usually find them very helpful and accessible. The main problem with this HTML5 book is in the first 4 chapters: while it attempts to provide an intro to Javascript as needed for HTML5, the chapters don't result in any working code by the end. There are no themes to the chapters, and there is no overall project that the book helps you make as an example. The chapters in this book don't build up to a solution, either individually or as a book.

The reason this is bad is twofold:

(1) I can't say "get the code in chapter 3 working before next class" because the chapters are just a jumble of disconnected examples. The exception to this is chapter 2, but chapters 1, 3, 4 should have also followed this model since those chapters are all attempting to teach the rudiments of Javascript.

(2) Newbie students have enormous difficulty generalizing and reapplying generic, disconnected solutions. They need a consistent set of working examples that they can refer to again and again. The consistent set of examples in a book like this provides common ground for everyone in the class. The way this book is designed, there are too many different tiny examples. In Chapter Four, should I talk about the Dog example, the Movie example, the Game example, or what? There is too much inordinate context switching within each chapter.

The Head First Javascript book is much, much better as a teaching book for Javascript basics. It uses one example per chapter, and covers the basics very well.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By SpinDoctor on November 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is not an HTML 5 reference book and does not pretend to be. Go through the easy-to-follow book page by page, exercise by exercise. Come out at the end understanding how to program in JavaScript and knowing enough about HTML5 to build superior websites. Head First HTML5 Programming: Building Web Apps with JavaScript

You can always pick up a reference book to pick up the odds and ends, if you need to do so.

Don't be intimidated by the alleged 600 pages in a tutorial format. First, lots of white space, graphics and big type mean you won't be looking at sheets of man pages. Moreover, all those design elements serve real purposes. Each topic gets a breezy, easy-to-assimilate intro. Then it presents the key concept with clear illustrations. Next, you have to think about what you just learned and construct real-world examples.

After the overview, each of the nine main chapters follows the same pattern. You learn as you go. The authors present the key basic information and techniques for each category. Sure, you have to follow the book in order to build on each topic, but you really only have to work on one at a time. You won't find yourself hitting the TOC and index to try to tie in the related content. Freeman and Robson have handled that in background.

For just one peek, the web storage (chapter 9) starts off with a cutesy closet analogy in words and a 50s photo. It jumps directly into a history of the development of browser storage, particularly cookies. It illustrates the functions of cookies and presents a quiz on what problems using cookies might present.
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