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Co-author of the book IBM Lotus Sametime 8 Essentials: A User's Guide

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Co-author of the book IBM Sametime 8.5.2 Administration Guide

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Book Review - HTML5: Up and Running by Mark Pilgrim

Category Book Review Mark Pilgrim HTML5: Up and Running
A picture named M2

As part of my education on HTML5, I ended up with a review copy of Mark Pilgrim's book HTML5: Up and Running.  Like many O'Reilly books I own, this will be one of the books I end up going back to repeatedly while I get "up and running."  Pilgrim includes a balanced blend of context and code, which means I learn not only *what* to do, but *why* I'm doing it and how it ended up that way.

How Did We Get Here?; Detecting HTML5 Features; What Does It All Mean?; Let's Call It a Draw(ing Surface); Video on the Web; You Are Here (And So Is Everyone Else); The Past, Present, and Future of Local Storage for Web Applications; Let's Take This Offline; A Form of Madness; "Distributed", "Extensibility," and Other Fancy Words; Appendix - The All-in-One Almost-Alphabetical Guide to Detecting Everything; Index

As mentioned above, I appreciated the look behind the curtain when it came to finding out why certain standards and features had gotten there.  The "How Did We Get Here?" chapter does an excellent job in dispelling any notions that HTML standards were methodically and rationally established and adhered to by all participants.  Once you know that, it's easier to understand why some features appear to be compromises and/or might be supported better by one browser over another.  As he goes through each main feature set, he provides plenty of code to show how it's used, as well as a handy chart that references each main browser and what version it started to support the feature (assuming it *is* supported).  Based on that, it's pretty easy to figure out if the feature you want to use will be supported by your intended target audience(s).  He also includes interesting sidebars under the catch phrase "Ask Professor Markup" that seem to pose the questions you'd ask if you had the author right there in front of you.  Wrap all this up in a writing style that doesn't take himself too seriously, and you end up with an entertaining read that conveys a lot of information in a short 200 pages.

One really cool tool he points out is the Modernizr JavaScript library for detecting whether an HTML5 feature is supported in a user's browser.  Rather than try and write your own detection functions, you can just call the appropriate routine and see if it returns true.  So if you want to know if the browser supports the Canvas in HTML5, you can just say "if (Modernizr.canvas) " and that's it.  Clean and to the point.  Learning about that was almost worth the price of admission. :)

At some point I'll likely end up with some 400 page book that covers every little parameter of HTML5 in detail.  Until then, HTML5: Up and Running is going to get dog-eared and post-it-noted while I get myself going.  Great job, Mr. Pilgrim!

Obtained From: Publisher
Payment: Free


Gravatar Image1 - It looks like the publish date is August 25th, so it's only been available for about six days. I know I just got mine a couple days ago.

Gravatar Image2 - I guess Europe will be a bit behind...

Gravatar Image3 - ordered the book way long time ago at amazon, it still has not arrived Emoticon

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Thomas "Duffbert" Duff

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