Book Review: Head First HTML5 Programming

Book cover - Head First HTML5Unless you’ve been under a rock the past 2 years or so, you’ll know that HTML5 is the next generation of the markup language that has been powering the Web since its inception. Tech publisher O’Reilly has been busy ensuring that they do their part to educate the Web developers and programmers of the world and they accordingly have a slew of books on HTML5, one of which is in their Head First series.

Head First HTML5 Programming is really that – a book about programming, specifically in JavaScript. It is expected that you already know HTML and CSS, and while some JavaScript would be good, it’s not a requirement. The book starts off with a quick intro to HTML5, but by page 20, you’ll already have seen some JavaScript code.

Next up, it gets into the DOM (Document Object Model) that modern browsers are based on, and then you’ll naturally learn how to manipulate the DOM to get those fancy effects that you see Web2.0 sites sporting. After that, it goes full steam through the highlights of HTML5/DHTML features, programming, and techniques that power today’s Web2.0. For example, Head First HTML5 does a good job of devoting entire chapters to discussing some of the compelling multimedia aspects of HTML5 including video, and the Canvas tag. And it also covers advanced topics such as Geolocation, JSON and even Web storage.

As with the other Head First book we’ve seen (Head First WordPress), this one has you interacting with images, photos, call-out boxes, cartoons, and much more to keep you engaged and active. I can’t say enough good things about it, and I’d like to see other publishers ‘steal’ the technique!

If you’re looking to learn HTML5, I can highly recommend this book, but keep in mind that this is not meant to be a reference or a cookbook but a learning book; there are lots of others out there that that fill that function.

Book of CSS3While you’re at it, you should also consider getting an up-to-date CSS3 book like Gasston’s The Book of CSS3. While it’s more of a reference than this text, it covers the bulk of CSS3’s new features including new text styling, positioning, gradients and 2D & 3D transformations, and it includes enough examples to help you better understand the material.

(Disclaimer: Gizmos for Geeks received a complimentary review copy of this product.)

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