- Paperback: 222 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (August 27, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0596806027
- ISBN-13: 978-0596806026
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 159 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #570,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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HTML5: Up and Running: Dive into the Future of Web Development 1st Edition
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About the Author
Mark Pilgrim works as a developer advocate for Google, specializing inopen 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.
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However, it does not serve as a beginners guide to HTML. The book assumes that you're already familiar with coding in HTML and makes no attempt to teach you the basics. I don't count this as a fault against the book, but I do think it needs to be said.
The authors also spend quite a bit of time talking about accessibility features (working with screenreaders and so forth). It's a good topic and worthy of a book by itself, but the amount of time they devote to it in this book seems disproportional. I'd offer the authors my advice of toning down that topic in this book and devoting another book to it instead.
My main interest in HTML5 arises because the iPhone and iPad don't support either flash or java. Flash is often used for video, but that can be done via QuickTime and WindowsMedia and I've never needed flash for video. Flash can also produce elaborate simulations or games that interact with users and are not video based. So can Java. But both are excluded on the iOS operating system. The only alternative for web developers is the canvas element in HTML5. Pilgrim gives this important element only basic coverage: He shows how to draw a static graph (including axes and labeled points). He shows how to add images, and creates a simple mouse-driven game. But he does not show the full code for the game -- you have to go online to access that. This is the simplest form of interaction and Pilgrim does not cover anything more advanced. I have no idea if the canvas is double-buffered or if we have to do that somehow in our code, for example. Also left out is any mention of animating a canvas over time. Most of what Pilgrim does with the canvas element could be done with static gifs: The game he implements would be EASIER using html4 with tables.
Pilgrim does present a useful discussion of different video codecs in HTML5 and the challenge of working in this developing world. I have been using H.264 recently because I thought it was an open standard and is available on the iPhone and iPad. However, Pilgrim makes it clear that if I ever "go commercial" with my work, I'll have to pay some serious royalties to the patent owners for the next 20 years or so. The WebM and Theora+Ogg systems don't require any royalty payments, but neither do they work on the iPhone or iPad. (Making advanced material available on the iOS within the web is a tremendous challenge for developers these days!)
In his discussion of the new semantic tags, Pilgrim didn't bother with even a single screenshot of the resulting web page, nor did he contrast different HTML4/HTML5 alternatives. More detail is apparently available in the online version, but that presents its own set of challenges: The online edition is only free for 45 days. After that, you have to buy a subscription.
The publisher for this book is O'Reilly, one of my favorite publishers of computer books. But the cover also states "Google (tm) Press." I felt the ghostly fingers of Google (tm) running through the book. I certainly like the company, but I found the emphasis and the tone to be quite favorable to my favorite search engine -- not as unbiased and objective as I felt it should be.
In summary: The coverage of new features is thin, especially with the canvas element. Helpful illustrations are missing (though available for a short time in the online edition). Code is missing (though available free for a short time in the online edition). The alpine chamois on the cover should have been drawn in a more gaunt form and perhaps with a cast on a leg or two: HTML5 is not up and running, it is thin and limping.
I found the book practical in that you can begin HTML 5 development after reading the book and by using the provided resources make sure it works in ALL browsers (yes even IE).
I knocked off two stars because there are two missing elements to the book: source code for download and a PDF version (I would even pay a small extra fee for that option).
If you want a concise but complete primer to HTML 5 this is a good book to purchase. It does assume you know something about prior versions HTML.
I gave it 4 stars because I wish there was a bit more content. By the end of the book, I feel there could have been some advanced techniques introduced. Overall though, this is a fantastic starter.
Most recent customer reviews
Good basic reference to HTML5.
Well worth the time to read and good value if your just new to HTML5 or what more...Read more