Most helpful critical review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Good content, frustrating delivery
on 21 October 2014
I want to like this book. It has good content, covering the breadth of new features under the "HTML5" umbrella. It presents good advice on how to use the features, particularly the idea (that many professional web developers should heed!) that a website needs to be structured for, and accessible to, those who visit it, and thus how to use different technologies to achieve that. But this book stops short of going into the gritty detail that's need to really understand and use these technologies fully.
More importantly though, this book can't decide whether it's for beginners or experienced web developers. It definitely assumes previous HTML (etc) experience, and (in the early chapters at least) tries to pitch itself as a more advanced tome. But the style is chatty, informal and wordy - as though trying to help a bewildered beginner. But then it uses this style to present definitely non-beginner topics. So it's neither one thing nor the other, and loses out as a result. For an advanced book, it could (and should) have covered twice as much material (or, for the material it contains, been half the size and price!). For a beginner's book, it pre-supposes too much prior knowledge. Also, the later chapters aren't so good; as the topics become more 'advanced' it's clear we're at the limit of the author's own knowledge, and the number of obvious mistakes (that should easily have been corrected in a first edition, let alone this second edition) increases dramatically. By the end, it feels like it's run out of steam, which is a shame as there is much to commend this book.