Author: David Flanagan
Publisher: O'Reilly, 2010
Pages: 112 pages
Pros: Concise introduction and handy reference
Cons: Occasionally short on explanation
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot
Canvas - it's new but if you have used almost any 2D graphics framework the way that it works will already be familiar to you. As a result you probably don't need a full book on the topic - perhaps a pocket reference would do.
The book only has two chapters - a Canvas tutorial and a reference section. The tutorial starts off explaining how to get a canvas object on a web page. Most of the explanations are straightforward - how to draw a line, a shape, controlling the fill, the line style and so on. Every now and again there is a more expansive idea introduced, such as how to save the drawing state in another object and restore it.
Occasionally you might wish that the explanation given was a little longer - for example the discussion of security and bitmaps from other sites doesn't explain the ideas sufficiently and doesn't deal with the tricky problem of working with local files.
The second chapter is a reference section that take each canvas method and object and describes it in detail. This goes beyond the simple statement of what they are to include a discussion to make sure you understand - this chapter is useful when you have forgotten what a method or property does.
Recommended if you find you can't remember exactly how methods and properties work.
Related I-Programmer articles:
A Programmer's Guide to Canvas