REVIEW: Pro HTML5 Programming

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There are quite a few HTML5 books on the market right now. Some are better than others.

I’m not sure if a book is needed for seasoned developers wanting to learn the HTML5 basics like page tags. If you’re new to HTML5, I suggest avoiding books altogether and just doing a Google search on how HTML5 tags should be structured. After that, head over to Mark Pilgrim’s site to dig deeper into HTML5 functionality.

Pilgrim’s site does a good job of explaining the more complicated aspects of HTML5 like Canvas and Geolocation and provides coding examples, but some may require a little more hand-holding during the learning process than he provides. The new Pro HTML5 Programming published by Apress seems to fill this need.

The book assumes that the reader already understands HTML5 tags and focuses on the more difficult HTML5 APIs like Canvas, Geolocation, Audio/Video, Web Storage and Web Workers. Almost all of these APIs require JavaScript implementation, which is tough to pick up if you’re a programming beginner. Pro HTML5 Programming provides structured JS examples for all of these aspects and more. It also includes a pretty lengthy chapter on writing offline applications with HTML5, which may be more useful than people realize.

This is definitely not the first learning resource that I would recommend to someone wanting to learn HTML5. As mentioned above, Pro HTML5 Programming assumes that you already know how to build an HTML5 page using tags so there’s very little discussion about the “must-learn” things like and . And while it’s a great idea to learn how to develop Canvas, Geolocation and the like, browser support for these things is severely limited as of this post so I can’t say how much of what you learn in this book can be easily used right away.

But HTML5 use is growing by leaps and bounds and the more you learn, the better off you will be as a web developer. As I see it right now, Pro HTML5 Programming does the best job of teaching HTML5 beyond tags and doctypes so I recommend that, at some point, you pick up this book.

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