Customer Reviews: Introducing HTML5 (Voices That Matter)
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Showing 1-10 of 45 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on January 4, 2011
This book is well written, clearly explaining everything. It's absolutely written for people with no prior or little programming experience. I liked the use of a table to explain the code line by line. It's the first book I've read using this approach.
A lot of concepts are repeated in several chapters. I think this is a good thing for people with some or no programming experience. Besides this makes it easy to skip around. The book clearly showcases the new features of HTML5.
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on July 21, 2010
It's hard to find informative books these days because it seems everyone claims to be a Web standards expert, and bookstores are filled with reference books that aren't worth the paper they're printed on. This book is different. It's written by two people who actually know what they're talking about and live and breathe what they're writing; it shows.

Many have recently purchased "HTML5 for Web Designers" by Jeremy Keith. It covers many of the things described in this book and does a very good job, but it's not long enough to go into any necessary and helpful detail as it's only 85 pages. This book only costs a few more dollars and is more than double its size and detail. I'd strongly suggest buying this book instead of that one.

"Introducing HTML5" is far from a stuffy reference manual as it contains lots of little jokes within to maintain the reader's full attention, and there's not so much there to make the book seem silly. The book is, while not overly wordy, extremely informative. Mostly what is the most important part of understanding HTML5 are the semantics that are involved in using the new elements, and the book goes into great detail with plenty of examples on exactly how to markup documents using the new elements HTML5 provides. That's only just a portion of the book. WAI-ARIA, Audio and Video, Canvas, Data Storage, Geolocation, etc. are all also presented in ample detail.

The only complaint I have about the book has to do with the printing quality itself. The cover of the book I received has a semigloss treatment on it which was badly applied to the paper as it can easily be rubbed off, leaving unsightly fingerprint marks and abrasions where its been touched. On the contents of the book the printer didn't seem to be bothered by mundane things such as press registration; some of the code examples are difficult to read because of the bad printing quality.

I'm unsure if I just received a bad copy, but it's the reason why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5. However, content is king, and the content itself is more than worth the price.
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on August 23, 2011
I purchased this when it first came out any only today actual read the book. I skipped the chapter on Canvas for now. First, the book is a great introduction. I intend to read one or two others in the next few days. It gave me a condensed overview of the philosophy, API's, and sticky spots in HTML5 as of the date of writing (and I realize some has changed since then and a new version can be pre-ordered). I for one enjoyed the very brief humor when it reared its head -- it was not offensive or mean spirited (and I found it quite clever) so I'm not sure why the the violent reaction by some who have rated this book. To the contrary, it held my attention through would inevitably be a dry topic. I value the author's opinions -- this is not a text book. I value when they are excited or are beaten down by a particular aspect of the spec or it's current implementation. I do take a small amount of issue with how bogged down the book can become at times with some rather meaty examples (usually around long passages of JavaScript to handle some "edge case"). If you need a primer to get you up to speed of the major parts of HTML5 without a lot of hands on exercises, but filled with observations from people who seem to know what they're talking about then this book is for you. That described me -- at least, the me who needed a first pass at the topic matter. Now, on to a second and subsequent reference for more details.
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on September 28, 2011
I'm attempting to teach myself HTML5, JS, and CSS using this and a few other books. This one is easily the best suited for my situation thanks primarily to the line-by-line breakdown of the code. Too many other books include a singular line of code that isn't explained and can sometimes derail my learning curve. If you are considering teaching yourself HTML5 from scratch, this book is terrific. I recommend reading through each chapter before actually typing out any code.

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.
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on April 25, 2014
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. Considering HTML5 was pretty new at the time this was published, it is pretty well done. It's compact, which makes it handy to just have on my desk.
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on August 30, 2010
Not a bad book, just too little depth on HTML5 goodies like canvas, storage (client side), and geolocation. Excellent history (emails from back in the day) in the 1st couple chapters, but this is not the reason one would buy this book. HTML5 is the next step in the evolution of the web, and this book will definitely open the door to the possibilities, but not take you that much further.... I also found it repetitive at times.
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on August 17, 2010
Great intro to HTML5. If you are new to web design, this isn't the book for you. But, if you want more than just a cursory introduction to HTML5, with good examples and plenty of links to further info on the web, this book is for you. Previous reviews cover the details quite well. Content is a solid 4 stars, bordering on 5.

My complaint is with the printing. As noted, it's horrible. I've looked at three copies of this book now, from three different sources. All have matte surfaces that haven't been applied well--they peel off and/or smear off if they get just a little wet. Interior color is brown and orange, but the difference between the two colors is so subtle that it's hard to tell them apart unless you view in plenty of light. This is bad because there are times the color of the text is used to indicate changes from one code example to another. Registration for the "color" printing is horribly off. More than half the color text is blurry. And again, this affects the code examples throughout the book.

In short, production values ruin what is otherwise a terrific HTML5 primer.
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on August 29, 2010
HTML5 is the latest "big deal" in web development, and for good reason. It allows us to build interactive websites without the need for add-ons like Adobe Flash. But it's also the foundation of a whole new class of deliverables like iOS apps, iTunes LP, iTunes Extras, and iAds. And while those are all Apple-related right now, there's no reason they can't be used everywhere once IE9 ships. The downside is that HTML5 is not complete, and it won't be for a long time. But what most people think of as HTML5 is actually a combination of HTML, CSS and Javascript. Right now. While you can find an endless supply of books for each, none has yet covered the new context of manipulating DOM elements (or even explaining DOM elements), the canvas, local storage and all the other new goodies.

That's where the gold rush brings us in 2010. A number of "HTML5" books were promised as early as last November, only to be delayed again and again. "HTML5: Up and Running" from O'Reilly immediately went to the top of my watch list, since I have a shelf of O'Reilly books already and it would be in good company. It too was pushed back from the original release date, but not by much, and now I have it in my grubby fingers, and it was worth the wait. Mostly.

The first chapter is quick reading, and actually pretty interesting considering it's just a history of HTML. Old emails from names like Marc Andreessen and Tim Berners-Lee arguing over the img tag, and how we ultimately ended up with the current format, are entertaining. Ok, next. Chapter 2 covers compatibility, since not all web browsers support every piece of the HTML5 moving target, and how to detect if your visitor can see what you're trying to show them. Then we get a detailed but quick run-through on canvas, 2-D drawing, video codecs, geo-location, local data storage, offline web apps and new form elements. Chapter 10 wraps things up by future-proofing HTML5 and sneaking microdata annotations into your code, and tries to lay down some standards for different types of data in a way compatible with Google's Rich Snippets. This is followed by a very handy alphabetical guide to detecting the new stuff, and a standard index.

What's not to like? Well, by the time I finish typing this sentence some of the topics in the book may have changed. Those changes are likely documented somewhere online for free. Three days ago, for example, the MPEG LA group declared that H.264 video will be royalty-free forever. That could set it up as the favored web video standard going forward. Not that this makes the nine pages on encoding Ogg Theora video a waste, but maybe more time could have been spent on interactive UI elements, animation, CSS or 3-D drawing inside the browser instead of external video generation. And when I said "quick run-through" of some elements, I meant it. The chapter on forms, for example, shows how to fall back when using the new autofocus tag, by using Javascript for older browsers. But it doesn't have any fallback example for the placeholder tag at all.

This book is a foothold, however, and a necessary step to fill the holes in one's background. Like I said, these are the first books to cover actually using HTML, CSS and Javascript together as the new trinity of web development. The diagrams and code examples for canvas, as an example, are more clear in "HTML5: Up and Running" than anything I had found previously online. I'm looking forward to the next in the series.
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on December 7, 2014
Well written, with a clear explanatory style for a particular audience: those folk who are familiar with previous versions of HTML. This book (and its associated website) gave a good breakdown of the history and new/changed features of HTML5. one small niggle; (not being a Twitter/Facebook person) the referred links in the book would have been better in full - not the abbreviated style all too common now...
I liked it.
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on September 3, 2011
This book by Mark Pilgrim entitled HTML5 Up and Running will teach you "what's new" in HTML5 and is a good first book for the novice. The author begins with a short history of HTML, W3C and web standards and then introduces the new HTML5 features.

To answer the problem of how differently browsers support new HTML standards, the author suggest the web developer test support for each HTML5 feature used on the website. He discusses four techniques for testing. Next, he walks through each tag on a generic HTML5 webpage, including the new HTML5 elements such as section, article, header, footer and more. As you progress through the book, Pilgrim points out potential problems you may encounter with Internet Explorer.

Moving forward, Pilgrim introduces the HTML5 Canvas drawing API. He uses a simple Halma 9-piece game to demonstrate how the Canvas feature works. He moves on to the new video and audio tags that eliminate the need for plugins. He covers several methods for encoding video including Firefogg, HandBrake and ffmpeg. He demonstrates a WebM sample and then discusses the Geolocation API to display the user's geolocation on a map.

Pilgrim returns to the Halma game to demonstrate local storage and offline applications, new HTML5 features. Pilgrim discusses how the web developer can use local storage to save key/value data pairs on the client's browser and how adding a manifest file to a website can be used for saving and updating the state for offline applications.

Next, Pilgrim discusses the new HTML5 form input tags such as placeholder text and spinboxes. He covers the code for each and their uses. The final chapter covers how to use the new HTML5 microdata feature for browsers and search engines.

Mark Pilgrim works for Google and specializes in open source and open standards. You can learn more about the author and this book at

*O'Reilly provided a review copy to me free of charge.
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