HTML5 for Web Designers Book Review

It’s back-to-school time, so here’s a pop quiz on today’s new buzz word: HTML5.

  1. What is it?
  2. Should I care?
  3. Should I worry?

Answers: 1) see below, 2) yes, 3) not yet but soon enough

So, now that you’ve taken the quiz, may I suggest a textbook? Specifically, HTML5 for Web Designers by Jeremy Keith.

Now, I’ve known about HTML5 for a while (and some of the preliminary work around it). But when I heard about this book, I was curious how much more information could I gleam from its pages about HTML5. Judging by the title, I thought that it would be just an introductory text for web designers (not necessarily for experienced web developers).

But, I took a chance. I ordered a copy and waited. And the package arrived.

And when I first opened the box and held the book, the first thing that popped into my head was “Wow, this is a pamphlet!”

OK, not a pamphlet but a brief, concise book (under 100 pages).

However, from the very first page, it was evident that conciseness is the intent of the author. What Jeremy Keith does, with good effect, is to give the reader a brief synposis about HTML5, bypassing W3C language. (Alert: W3C documents are so precise, they could turn a cake recipe into a DVD instruction manual.)

Of course, he starts off by answering what HTML5 is and is not–not a new version, but a much-needed upgrade for building future web applications. This means it not only adds/removes features, but also adds more semantic meanings attached to the current set of tags (important for Internet devices like mobile phone or screen readers.)

For the remainder of the book, Keith highlights some important features and gives bits of advice for the newly introduced. The best thing is that he engages the reader enough to encourage further study in HTML5, which is not easy. This book could have easily become just another five pound dictionary. Of course, he remarks that there are others more experienced with this and points to some online resources. (As I am writing this, a number of new HTML5 books have popped up in the stores.)

In the end, the author does what he planned out to do – give a nice gentle push in the right direction towards HTML5.

Now, if you don’t mind. I have a list of HTML5 books to read.

Ivan Wilson

Front-End Developer

Front-end developer at Innate, University of Oregon physics/math grad, competitive fencer, a lover of antiques and good music. In other words…just a human being.

  • Thank you for the thoughtful review. The main advantage of html5 music playerseems to be for embedding rich media such as audio and video in modern browsers. Although, the structure elements seem to be useful. CSS3 seems to be headed in the right direction, leaving many possibilities for implementation and creativity,

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