HTML5: Designing Rich Internet Applications

Author: Matthew David
Publisher: Focal Press, 2010
Pages: 299
ISBN: 978-0240813288
Aimed at: Web developers and designers
Rating: 3
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 3 is about HTML5 graphics including SVG and Canvas. SVG is introduced by an example and a tutorial. Here we meet some JavaScript for the first time. Then we move on to the Canvas element. which is treated in much the same way. Some projects on using video bring the section to a close. 

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.

Section 5 is about JavaScript and this is where the naive approach starts to crack up. HTML5 hasn't actually made any changes to JavaScript but it has added some technologies that make it more capable. This section starts off with a very basic introduction to the language and some random further topics - like using the Math object. As a short introduction to JavaScript it is far too short. From here it dives into deep water with web workers, local storage and geolocation. All treated in a far too superficial way. The book closes with a look as JQuery and a collection of other important but off topic items.

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.


Domain Storytelling (Pearson)

Author: Stefan Hofer
Publisher: Pearson
Pages: 288
Audience: software architects
Rating: 4.5
Reviewer: Kay Ewbank

This book sets out to be a practical guide to database domains, bringing together domain experts, software developers, designers and bus [ ... ]

Reliable Source: Lessons from a Life in Software Engineering

Author: James Bonang
Date: January 2022
Pages: 608
Kindle: B09QCBVJ9V
Audience: General interest
Rating: 5
Reviewer: Kay Ewbank

This book combines a fun read with interesting insights into how to write reliable programs.

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 17 February 2011 )