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A book by Mark Pilgrim

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A lot of practical information packed into 200 pages...

  • Aug 31, 2010
As part of my education on HTML5, I ended up with a review copy of Mark Pilgrim's book HTML5: Up and Running. Like many O'Reilly books I own, this will be one of the books I end up going back to repeatedly while I get "up and running." Pilgrim includes a balanced blend of context and code, which means I learn not only *what* to do, but *why* I'm doing it and how it ended up that way.

How Did We Get Here?; Detecting HTML5 Features; What Does It All Mean?; Let's Call It a Draw(ing Surface); Video on the Web; You Are Here (And So Is Everyone Else); The Past, Present, and Future of Local Storage for Web Applications; Let's Take This Offline; A Form of Madness; "Distributed", "Extensibility," and Other Fancy Words; Appendix - The All-in-One Almost-Alphabetical Guide to Detecting Everything; Index

As mentioned above, I appreciated the look behind the curtain when it came to finding out why certain standards and features had gotten there. The "How Did We Get Here?" chapter does an excellent job in dispelling any notions that HTML standards were methodically and rationally established and adhered to by all participants. Once you know that, it's easier to understand why some features appear to be compromises and/or might be supported better by one browser over another. As he goes through each main feature set, he provides plenty of code to show how it's used, as well as a handy chart that references each main browser and what version it started to support the feature (assuming it *is* supported). Based on that, it's pretty easy to figure out if the feature you want to use will be supported by your intended target audience(s). He also includes interesting sidebars under the catch phrase "Ask Professor Markup" that seem to pose the questions you'd ask if you had the author right there in front of you. Wrap all this up in a writing style that doesn't take himself too seriously, and you end up with an entertaining read that conveys a lot of information in a short 200 pages.

One really cool tool he points out is the Modernizr JavaScript library for detecting whether an HTML5 feature is supported in a user's browser. Rather than try and write your own detection functions, you can just call the appropriate routine and see if it returns true. So if you want to know if the browser supports the Canvas in HTML5, you can just say "if (Modernizr.canvas) " and that's it. Clean and to the point. Learning about that was almost worth the price of admission. :)

At some point I'll likely end up with some 400 page book that covers every little parameter of HTML5 in detail. Until then, HTML5: Up and Running is going to get dog-eared and post-it-noted while I get myself going. Great job, Mr. Pilgrim!

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review by . May 15, 2011
Normally, I would jump straight to the code section and pass off the rest as fluff. I'm a meat and potatoes man! Just gimme the code and I'm good to go. But as I started to peruse the intro I found myself engaged and curious for more. I knew a brief history of HTML and that was good enough, at least, I thought. I continue to read on and found the history of Internet markup (HTML) really interesting and helpful in understanding "why" we needed an overhaul. Sure you can skip all …
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Thomas Duff ()
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Thomas Duff, aka "Duffbert", is a long-time member of the Lotus community. He's primarily focused on the development side of the Notes/Domino environment, currently working for a large insurance … more
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About this book


If you don't know about the new features available in HTML5, now's the time to find out. The latest version of this markup language is going to significantly change the way you develop web applications, and this book provides your first real look at HTML5's new elements and attributes.

Even though work on HTML5 is ongoing, browsers such as Safari, Mozilla, Opera, and Chrome already support many of its features -- and browsers for smart phones are even farther ahead, especially iPhone's MobileSafari browser. With HTML5: Up & Running, you'll learn how this new version enables browsers to interact with JavaScript much more easily than before. You'll also learn how HTML5 can help you develop applications that:

  • Display video directly in the browser, without having to rely on plugins
  • Work even when a user is offline, by taking advantage of HTML5's persistent storage
  • Offer a drawing canvas for dynamically generated 2-D graphics

This concise guide is the most complete and authoritative book you'll find on the subject. Author Mark Pilgrim writes the weekly digest for the HTML5 Working Group, and represents Google at conferences on HTML5's capabilities. Stay ahead of the curve. Order a copy of this book today.


How did we get here? --
Detecting HTML5 features --
What does it all mean? --
Let's call it a draw(ing surface) --
Video on the Web --
You are here (and so is everybody else) --
The past, present, and future of ...
view wiki


ISBN-10: d
ISBN-13: 978-0596806026
Author: Mark Pilgrim
Genre: Computers & Internet
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
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