I could have been one of the first people UK to receive HTML5 for Web Designers. I am a big fan of A List Apart and was keen to pre-order the first book of A Book Apart. I must admit, the first glimpse of the size of the book took me by surprise. But the first part of Dan Cederholm’s (author of Handcrafted CSS and Bulletproof Web Design) quote on the back of the book made sense and the second part put me at ease and curiosity at the same time.
Crack open this book after you fasten your seatbelt in Boston. Before you land in Chicago, you’ll stop worrying and finally, fully understand HTML5. As usual, Mr. Keith takes a complex topic and eloquently describes it for the rest of us.
It is a ‘light’ informative read (with comparisons throughout the book that has a funny twist to it), thus after a few weeks I thought to read it again. Even though reviews of this book have been popping up all over the interwebs, I want to have a mention of my own.
The beginning of the book, chapter 1, starts with ‘right from the beginning’. Some things you might know and some things I did not know and how HTML5 is moving things forward for a semantic web and web applications.
Chapter 2 explains about the basic structure of HTML5. Not necessarily the ‘birth of HTML5’, but the support for existing elements, elements that is obsolete, redefining some elements and the development there forth. This chapter also includes design principles such as “Do not reinvent the wheel” and “Pave the cowpaths”. And once again with excellent comparisons, HTML to everyday things (from a movie, Greek mythology to train spotters) that made me smile.
Chapter 3 introduces the new exciting media elements. A thorough uncomplicated explanation of the <canvas> element with the available attributes. The limitations it has for now (lack of accessibility), but how it currently can be used in web design. The <audio> element also rolls out with a list of attributes and their values — if they have — in simple terms and the nifty things you can do with it.
Chapter 5 is all about semantics! It consists of a thorough list of new elements and their use in the HTML5 mark-up – paving more cow paths in the structure. It also consists of a handy update to the content models and their new names. It includes examples of how to use the new structure elements and how it influences the outline of a document.
Chapter 6 end the book off with how we can use HTML5 today.
In all seriousness of HTML5, the light hearted, quirky writing style made it a joy to read. The stylish, modern design and layout of the book by Jason Santa Maria complements the editorial.