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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome book
I am writing this so you can ignore the kindle reviews, they have no effect on how good this book is.
I started hacking HTML/Javascript to create a page before I read this, progress was slow, I have just got this and cant put it down. In fact I wish I had the reading abilities of Jonnie5 just so I could know it all this instant! Things are clearer and I am now making...
Published on 19 July 2012 by andy

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Spends too much time on Javascript and not enough on HTML5, and uses poor code
Let me say right off that I'm a fan of the Head First style of books. I do think the benefits of the style drops off significantly the more of them you read, but I still think it's a good way of learning.

However, this book was not one of the best in the series. Sure, the usual characters were there, the usual jokes and so on, but the technical content really...
Published on 20 Aug 2012 by Yossu


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome book, 19 July 2012
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This review is from: Head First HTML5 Programming: Building Web Apps with JavaScript (Paperback)
I am writing this so you can ignore the kindle reviews, they have no effect on how good this book is.
I started hacking HTML/Javascript to create a page before I read this, progress was slow, I have just got this and cant put it down. In fact I wish I had the reading abilities of Jonnie5 just so I could know it all this instant! Things are clearer and I am now making progress, I have halted development until I complete this book. Cant recommend it enough!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Spends too much time on Javascript and not enough on HTML5, and uses poor code, 20 Aug 2012
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Let me say right off that I'm a fan of the Head First style of books. I do think the benefits of the style drops off significantly the more of them you read, but I still think it's a good way of learning.

However, this book was not one of the best in the series. Sure, the usual characters were there, the usual jokes and so on, but the technical content really let it down. This came down to two main issues where I feel the book could have been sooooooo much better...

1) The book should either have been called "Head First HTML5 & Basic Javascript" or it should have assumed a basic knowledge of Javascript, and jumped right in with the HTML5 stuff. Sadly, it started off assuming you were completely new to Javascript, and spent a lot of fairly dull (to me) pages teaching the basics of the language. Maybe if you don't know any before, then this might have been good, but the book's title implies that it's about HTML5, not Javascript, and for me, this meant that a large portion of the book was boring. Sure, you need Javascript to get the most of HTML5, but that doesn't mean that this book has to teach both subjects.

2) The Javascript code in the book ignores the many Javascript libraries that are available, and writes everything in vanilla Javascript. Whilst there is a certain benefit to this approach for those wanting to understand Javascript deeply, it missed the target audience for the book, and resulted in code that was a lot more complex than it should have been. They could have used jQuery (as an example, being the biggest one out there), and made the code much neater and more robust. jQuery only gets a very brief mention right at the end of the book in an appendix of extra things you might want to check out. Anyone writing serious web pages is going to use a Javascript library, and will most likely use jQuery, so the authors would have been far better off using it in their sample code.

On the positive side, the bits of the book that were actually about HTML5 were well presented, and gave enough of a start to enable you to get coding and produce some impressive web pages. As with any Head First book, this is only a beginning, and if you want to get into this stuff properly, you would need to move on to a more advanced book fairly quickly, but the basics were covered well.

Overall, I wouldn't recommend this book, unless you are really new to any kind of web page programming, and need a primer in Javascript as well as basic HTML. If you have any experience in either Javascript or previous versions of HTML, I would look for a book that skips the stuff you already know, and goes into more detail on HTML5 itself. The amount of actual HTML5 stuff in this book is fairly limited, and not worth the cost of the book, nor the time needed to read through the rest of the book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Head First HTML5 Programming!, 19 Oct 2011
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This review is from: Head First HTML5 Programming: Building Web Apps with JavaScript (Paperback)
If you want a good read, with different sections to meet your needs, then Head First HTML5 Programming is for you. It stems away from basic HTML and CSS coding, and gives you a larger overlook with more complex features such as building full-scale Web applications, working with APIs and 2-dimensional drawing. The book gives you all you need to know - it's your ultimate guide for building web apps with HTML5. Get all you need to build and code amazing things: how to make your sites interactive, how to access the range of APIs, and how you can build an exciting web experience for all. After reading this book you don't need another. Head First HTML5 Programming gives you all you need to know, laid out in an expert fashion - with pictures, diagrams and interesting text. The brand new 608-page book has chapters on every subject - so you can find what you need whenever you need it. The creativity of the authors also make this book interesting - describing things in ways no-one else would have ever thought of. The Head First series, especially this book give you all you want for a great read - a flawless reading experience. But this book is not for the basic HTML coders - it contains advanced content for the coders who "dig deeper" into HTML. As well as a great reading experience, it has an excellent graphic layout - with a descriptive cover and interesting choices of fonts. This book has just been released, it contains the most recent content - no old HTML tags or deprecated names - a huge benefit as this book was released just this month. It's always better to buy a new book with the latest content - as you can be sure you are working to the best of your ability, using the latest technology. HTML5 is the most advanced version of HTML programming yet. If you want to go in to HTML5 with lots to do, then this book is for you. On a final note, Head First HTML5 Programming is an amazing book and Eric Freeman and Elisabeth Robson do a great job. Bottom line - if you need an amazing book for HTML5 programming and want to go in "head first" then this book is definitely for you.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A very good book in a great series, 19 May 2012
By 
Egil Myklestad (Norway) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Head First HTML5 Programming: Building Web Apps with JavaScript (Paperback)
There is a couple of topics I miss from this book (they are summarized in the 'leftovers' section). Other than that the book is very good, with in-depth but easy to understand explanations to a lot of javascript, web-workers,web-storage and more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fun Learning Experience from Cover to Cover, 19 Feb 2012
This review is from: Head First HTML5 Programming: Building Web Apps with JavaScript (Paperback)
Wow!!! What a book! I have just finished it and all I can tell you it is worth getting and working your way through it. If you are looking for an HTML introduction this is not the place to start.

I love the way the authors get you into programming - they make it look so effortless and fun, you don't even notice. The exercises are actual (something you would do if you were to build a web application today) and leave the door open to make you want to explore some more.

Geolocation, Canvas - so much fun and if you are confused about video formats this is THE BEST explanation you could get.

I got a bit lost at the Fractal app (it is amazing by the way), but that is because I didn't know about the Mandelbrot Set. It does show the power of JavaScript.

I wish HTML5 with CSS3 would be published in a new book (similar to "HTML with CSS & XHTML").
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT compatible with the Kindle or mobile apps. Fix this now., 15 Jun 2012
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It does mention it (in very small text), but this product is not compatible with kindle.

Given that it states "[Kindle Edition]" prominently in the title, it seems worthwhile to point this out.

This needs to be fixed before the product is suitable for the use it is sold for.

The book itself might well be excellent, I haven't read it yet.

UPDATE: This is not compatible with Kindle for Android either. This is therefore a "Book" which must be read on a laptop or desktop computer, and can't be used in a mobile setting. It's like the old days of books being chained to library desks.

This is totally ridiculous, and there is *no possible technical justification for it*. My tablet (and phone for that matter) is easily capable of viewing this sort of content using other delivery platforms, even if a Kindle device is unable to make the images look good.

Personally I need to be able to take books with me rather than read them at a desk. Unless you only read at your desk, don't consider buying until the situation is fixed.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The very basics of HTML5, 12 Jan 2012
This review is from: Head First HTML5 Programming: Building Web Apps with JavaScript (Paperback)
This is another book related to HTML 5. As I really want to learn HTML5 well I am going over through different HTML5 related titles recently. This time, book comes from the Head First's stable. If you know Head First already, you know what to expect. If you are not familiar with the series, everything is just ahead of you.

Book covers, in my opinion, the very basics of the HTML5. This way, you will be able to learn step by step how to build HTML5 based web pages. When it comes to the content, one third of the book is devoted to Java Script. At some point this is important, because HTML5 is heavily based on Java Script. On the other hand, if you are experienced developer, going through all these ifs, whiles and fors will be definitely boring. However, if you haven't done web based development since you are desktop only developer, Head First's way explanation of basics concepts might be useful.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kindle store book........doesn't work on a Kindle??, 26 Feb 2012
Why is this 'Kindle version' even in the *Kindle* Store, given that you can't actually download and read it on a Kindle device? I know that Head First have a thing about writing `books' that appear to have ADHD-afflicted five year olds as a target audience (lots of huge pictures, 'funny' asides, and patronising imagined dialog with the readers......but very little actual meaningful explanation of the underlying concepts). However, creating a book that has so many of these unnecessary, condescending comic book features that it *doesn't even run on a Kindle*, then having the gall to sell it through the Kindle Store, just feels like adding stupidity to an already patronising format.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't read this book on Kindle Touch, 9 July 2012
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I started reading this book using the Kindle App on my PC and found it to be a very informative and useful title.
When I got a Kindle Touch I found that it would not download to the device because its incompatible with it.
Incompatibility of titles between Kindle devices is not something I was aware of until now and I am not completely happy with this situation.

Brian
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars If you want a vaguely deep understanding of JavaScript or if you've programmed before then this book is unlikely to satisfy you, 1 Mar 2012
By 
D. Kelly (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Head First HTML5 Programming: Building Web Apps with JavaScript (Paperback)
This book did succeed in explaining the basics of HTML5 and JavaScript to me but it was a mixed experience. Before you buy this book, take a good long look at sample content available via Amazon's "look inside" feature. Then imagine hundreds of pages of the same style and ask yourself: "is this really for me?".

These "brain friendly" books have a commendable ambition: to create a learning experience based on modern cognitive neuroscience. I applaud anyone who genuinely tries to take an evidence-based approach to teaching. However, this book appears to be based on a rather shallow view of cognitive neuroscience. There are several specific problems I have with the style:

Firstly, for me the book goes way too slowly. I'm simply not in the book's target audience and I should not have bought this book. Let me briefly explain my background: I'm comfortable with C++, Java, object orientation etc but I hadn't done much webby stuff so I needed a book to quickly get me up to speed on HTML5 and JavaScript for a specific project. I didn't do much research on the book before I bought it. I saw that it had positive reviews and I figured that a book called "head first..." would be fairly concise and fast-moving. But no. If you know basic programming then this book may not be for you. For example, the book introduces the distinction between local and global variables on page 123, whilst most programming books deal with this topic pretty early on (although, to be fair, the book covers not just JavaScript but also introduces HTML5 and the DOM in the preceding pages).

I gave up on this book around page 125. I found that I was spending considerable effort trying to sift through the noise to find the tiny little tit-bits of information sparsely scattered through the pages. It felt like the learning equivalent of trying to drive a car with the hand-break on. (After giving up on this "Head first" book I bought JavaScript: The Good Parts by Douglas Crockford which was a huge breath of fresh air after fighting my way through this "Head first..." book. Crockford's book is enjoyable because the content is intelligent and lucid hence he doesn't need any "brain friendly" gimmicks.)

Secondly, I like writing styles where I feel the author is being honest and candid with me and I develop a warmth and respect for the writer. But when reading this "Head First..." book, it felt to me that I was consuming a soulless product designed through tick-boxes, conference calls and a quick skim read through a dodgy "self help" book on learning. In my view, anyone who seriously wants to write a good "teaching" book needs to allow the learner to get to know the author a little. All too often, reading this book feels like watching a badly acted children's TV program. All the "personality" in the book is over-acted and shallow.

Thirdly, I suspect this "brain friendly" brand is 90% marketing and 10% genuine research. I very much doubt that the authors or editors have studied the cognitive neuroscience literature very rigorously. For example, they talk several times about "activating both sides of the brain". The idea that one side of the brain is for mathsy stuff and the other is for artsy stuff is a daft myth (google "left brain / right brain myth"). As another example: they state that human brains are tuned for looking at faces (which is true), which they interpret as meaning that it's a good idea to put cringe-worthy stock photos of people on almost every page. Yes, it's nice to see a human face every now and then, but not *so* often. It's just distracting!

On the plus side, I love the extensive use of diagrams and the conversational style makes for a very readable book. The use of diagrams, "hand-written" annotations and conversational style does - in some sections - succeed in quickly and efficiently transferring concepts from the page into your brain.

In summary: yes, this book will teach you the basics of HTML5 and JavaScript; and in places does so in a remarkably effective fashion. But if you know basic programming (for example: if you know what a function is) then you're likely to feel rather patronised book, and the style will certainly not be to every one's taste. I do feel a little uncomfortable giving this book such a low mark because I'm clearly not in the target audience for this book, and I gave up on the book before finishing it. But I felt compelled to write this review because, when I was deciding whether or not to buy this book, it was not at all clear that this book is not suitable for some folks. Specifically: if you have a background in computer science and/or if you get a geeky thrill from learning a new programming language then this book is unlikely to satisfy you.
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Head First HTML5 Programming: Building Web Apps with JavaScript
Head First HTML5 Programming: Building Web Apps with JavaScript by Elisabeth Robson (Paperback - 21 Oct 2011)
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