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Foundation HTML5 Canvas: For Games and Entertainment Paperback – 11 Apr 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: friendsofED; 2011 edition (11 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430232919
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430232919
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 1.8 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 736,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Rob thrives on solving problems through code. He's addicted to visual programming can't get enough of HTML5 canvas, and most of his waking life is spent working on crazy projects involving all sorts of new and exciting technologies, both on-line and off.

Aside from his studies in Interactive Media Production at Bournemouth University, Rob has written a book called "Foundation HTML5 Canvas" which is all about making games with the new Web technology. It's on the shelves right now!

Check out Rob's website ( if you want to find out more about what he gets up to.

Product Description

About the Author

Rob Hawkes thrives on solving problems through code. He's addicted to visual programming, and can't get enough of HTML5, alongside other exciting new features of the Web. Most of his waking life is spent working on crazy projects involving all sorts of new and exciting technologies, both online and off. Rob is originally from London, but now lives in Bournemouth on the South coast of the UK. He studied Interactive Media Production at Bournemouth University, which is how he fell in love with the seaside town, and is the reason why he still lives there today.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Peter Taylor on 28 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
Simple, elegant and to the point. The book delivers easy to follow solutions ideal for those new to Canvas and those new to HTML 5. From the basics of JavaScript and HTML 5 to animation the book guides the reader extremely well without being overbearing.

For the beginner the book is ideal, for those of us who have played the game for a while the book is a useful reference tool, there is not sufficient detail for my tastes but the book certainly opens the doors to questions and further investigation.

The gaming chapters took me back especially Asteroids, although the concepts of collisions might cause some to scratch their heads.

In summary this beginner level book delivers enough information to get you started with interesting examples to maintain interest, the book is written well and can be enjoyed at your own pace. The book will leave you with questions and hopefully the desire to dig deeper and find out more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paul on 3 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
I received a copy of this book to review a few weeks ago, and I have to say that overall I am very impressed. The tone of the book is very friendly and warm, and the author takes pains not to overburden the reader; exactly what you want for a foundational book. There were a couple times I did feel that the book tried to cover too much at a superficial level and, in doing so, I felt someone less familiar with the topics discussed might end up confused. This was especially noticeable in the early chapters where brief overviews of HTML and JavaScript are given. Beyond those chapters, however, I felt the book was well paced and covered the core concepts of using the canvas extremely well.

The latter chapters of the book are given over to more challenging uses of the canvas and take the reader through the process of creating a couple of simple games. I felt these were particularly great as they allow the reader to both apply what they've learned as well as have some fun. It also introduces trickier concepts like collisions and animation loops. These are not covered in great depth because they are introduced to support in the creation of the games, so if you like programming books to explain every detail to the very last you may come away frustrated.

Ultimately the book is a great starter for anyone interested in learning to use the canvas - it delivers exactly what its title promises. It by no means tries to cover every eventuality, nor should it, but it will leave you inspired and wanting to play around with JavaScript and HTML5's canvas tag.
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Format: Paperback
I'm not one for sitting down and reading through a book quickly but I found myself reading Foundation HTML5 Canvas in a weekend. The book is passionately written and does a great job of leading the reader through what could be difficult concepts and code.

I did skip a few of the earlier pages because the book covers the basics of JavaScript -- the technology the Canvas API relies upon. It makes sense to cover JavaScript although I'd expect anyone interested in Canvas to already have a reasonable understanding of it. As such, I felt the first 50 pages or so were irrelevant to me and would have liked those pages to have covered a few more game demos and/or techniques toward the end of the book. In particular, an explanation of how to pause/resume a game would have been a great inclusion as it's universal to every good game.

Beyond those early chapters though (that may or may not be relevant to you) the book is an excellent introduction to Canvas. The authors passion and wit makes it an easy read but there's enough covered to make it a good reference for the future too.

Now you can go and create the game you dreamt of making when you were 8.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book perfectly builds up from the very basics of the Canvas Element all the way up to building your own game.
As a beginner myself, I found this book very good because it is set in a logical order and very easy to follow.
As it says on the title though, it is just about the canvas element and none of the other features of HTML5, but as I said, this is obvious from the title.
All in all, a very good buy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic introduction to Canvas! 23 April 2011
By Eric A. Mann - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been building websites since FrontPage was the standard and everything was done in quirks mode by default. Thanks to that experience, I'm very accomplished working with regular HTML markup, have picked up more dynamic techniques (CMS platforms save a LOT of time!), and have learned JavaScript as well. When it comes to working with JS, regular HTML, or scripting a CMS to generate a page, I'm somewhat of an expert.

But when it comes to working with the newer elements of HTML5, namely Canvas, to say I'm a novice would be ... polite.

When I usually pick up "introduction to" books to learn a new concept I find them difficult to read because they're not really intro-level books. The "learn Adobe AIR" book I started with assumed you had already written several AIR applications. The "beginners JavaScript" book I started with years ago assumed you already worked with jQuery and YUI on a daily basis and dreamed in prototypes.

Foundation Canvas is different. It's actually approachable for those of us with zero experience working with HTML5 markup. And that's fantastic! Since much of HTML5 manipulation is done through JavaScript, the book starts with a spectacular introduction to how JS works, how to use libraries to optimize your workflow, and how to use JS with HTML5. If you already know what jQuery is or how to build an object prototype you can probably skip this chapter, but it's still a great building block for the rest of the book.

Every example throughout the book is very detailed, walks you through an explanation of what each piece of code does, and builds on the lessons learned in the previous chapter. By the end of the book you're already building your own HTML5-powered games, and the author gives you a preview of what else HTML5 can be used for by explaining further libraries you can use, additional APIs that add 3D support, and even his own HTML5 game, Rawkets.

This book is perfect for both beginning developers and experienced ones who want to grow their skillset into HTML5.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Love It 23 April 2011
By Kel(@Vamsmack) - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has been instrumental in pushing my understanding of how to draw and animate using the Canvas API but also introducing me to physics and the mathematics involved with creating games. While those concepts can be complex the author does a good job of breaking them down and explaining them clearly.

If you want to develop a good understanding of how to use HTML5 Canvas and how to write games within Canvas this is the book for you. Yes it is a foundation, it gives you a foundation in this new technology and gives you enough exposure to the core concepts to competently go out and start making things yourself. There is always more that they could have demonstrated and as pointed out several times in the book if you want to delve right into the guts of game physics and the like there are entire books written on that one aspect. The author has written a great book which has been invaluable to me and I would highly recommend it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Very good examples of real games 16 Aug. 2011
By D. Johnson - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book along with a 2nd HTML games programming book from the same publisher, "Using games to learn HTML5".

This book by far had more realistic and modern example games.

The example games of bowling and meteor shooting are quite fun and relevant.

The "Using Games" book had text based games like dice and quiz and hangman with primitive graphics, circa 1995.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great book/clear explanations - Highly recommended 24 Jun. 2011
By G. M. Davis - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a great book! Usually I'm into the O'Reilly books as the definitive reference book or way to get started with a new language or feature but in this case Rob's book was simply easier to understand and gave clearer examples with less jargon than the O'Reilly HTML5 Canvas book. Well written, great example code to get you started and will be the start I need on my own developments in HTML5 and Canvas! Thanks Rob - great book!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Covers the Basics, Good for Beginners 18 Jun. 2011
By Dean Iverson - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book provides a good overview of the new canvas element in HTML5. What I didn't realize before reading it is that it's targeted squarely at beginners. Beginners at web development, JavaScript, HTML5, and heck, even programming in general. This can be good or bad depending on your perspective.

Experienced programmers will find the author's pace a bit tedious in places and his incessant overly enthusiastic cheerleading is grating and can sometimes border on patronizing. The use of large indents can result in some code listings being almost unreadable, but that is rare. The bottom line is that the book serves as a fairly complete introduction to the basics of the canvas. If you prefer to have your introductory material in a hard copy format, then this book will serve that purpose admirably.

I would give the book three stars, but I recognize that I am not its primary target audience. More experienced developers will probably be better served by something like David Geary's upcoming "Core HTML5, Volume 1: Canvas" book. If you cannot wait that long, then this book will serve as a decent introduction in the mean time.

I also gave the book to my 15 year old son who, although experienced in programming concepts in general, is just starting to learn web development. He would give the book 4.5 to 5 stars. He sites the fact that it was easy and quick to read, easy to understand, and showed some nice tricks.

Therefore I am giving this book a 4 as a compromise between my 3 and his 5 (plus a little benefit of the doubt). In short, this is a good book for beginners looking to understand this very cool new aspect of HTML5 development.
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