Author: Matthew David
Publisher: Focal Press, 2010
Aimed at: Web developers and designers
Pros: Covers design aspects well
Cons: Well off topic for developers
Reviewed by: David Conrad
The title of this book might lead developers to think they would learn latest techniques for RIAs. Does it live up to this expectation?
This is another general-purpose web design book cashing in on the interest in the new technology. However, most of the new features in HTML5 are fairly simple and easy to understand - you don't really need a book.
Section1 starts with a look at HTML5 tag structure and tells you first where to find HTML - i.e. in a web page. It then goes on to explain how to use HTML as a semantic markup language with the new semantic tags such as <sections>, <figure> and so on. Not deep but there are some nice color illustrations. More advanced tags are simply acknowledged as existing but not explained. The new form features are quite well explained. Next we have some projects using HTML5. All very simple.
Secton 2 is about CSS3 well it starts off about the general idea of CSS and using it to control the look of the page. The new CSS3 features are introduced as the section progresses - pseudo elements, embedded fonts. It then explains how to create drop shadows, work with columns, using transitions to create animations and so on. This part of the book is worth while. The section ends with some projects using CSS.
Section 4 deals in more depth with Video and Audio tags. This has some projects on using SVG - I think the projects for Section 4 and 5 have been swapped by accident.
I didn't like this book because it is essentially a book aimed at non-programming designers yet the subtitle of the book is "Designing Rich Internet Applications". In my world "applications" are created by programming and the idea that you can tackle such a thing without being able to program is simply silly. The book would have been better if it was targeted at designers with a title something like "HTML5 for designers" with the difficult programming parts simply ignored or summarised. As it is the effort to cover the more advanced aspects of HTML5 result in a book that is poorly organised and not deep enough to do the topics justice.
Apart from a few sections that deal with simple HTML and the changes that HTML5 has introduced this is not a book suitable to learn what HTML5 is all about - and it certainly isn't about creating Rich Internet Applications.