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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 28 May 2011
According to the prerequisites, "HTML5 and CSS3: Developing with Tomorrow's Standards Today" is aimed at developers with a good understanding of HTML and CSS, as well as those having a basic understanding of Javascript in general, and jQuery in particular. I would echo these sentiments; it's not a book for the complete beginner. The book leans quite heavily on jQuery, and while there's a primer in the appendices, a reader who does not have appreciation of Javascript -- and its potentially odd-looking syntax -- is as likely to be left bewildered as he or she is enlightened.

The book begins with an overview of new additions to HTML5 and CSS3, and deprecated tags that are commonly encountered, along with a caveat that these are specifications that are in development, so could change at any time.

"HTML5 and CSS3" is presented in three parts. Broadly speaking, the first part covers new semantic and structural elements & attributes; e.g. header, nav and section elements. Part two covers more presentational aspects such as the canvas, audio & video elements, and new capabilities of CSS3 such as rounded corners, gradients and drop shadows. Part 3 covers aspects of "HTML5" which are neither markup nor presentation, and have either been spun off from the HTML5 specification, or which were never part of the specification in the first place; these include local storage, web sockets and geolocation.

Each item is introduced in the context of a realistic example, covering not only the "what" of new features, but also the "why". I found the style quite abrupt, and occasionally lacking enough introduction to blocks of code, be it the HTML, CSS or Javascript that peppers the pages. Similarly, I sometimes read comments within the text that didn't seem to follow or seem obviously connected to the preceding block of code. As noted before, this book is intended for intermediate developers at least, and I think a degree of inference and internal linking of dots is expected.

Most features are accompanied with a fallback proposition for browsers that don't yet support the item under discussion; these fallbacks are largely Javascript dependent, and are accompanied with examples of how to detect whether the feature is supported. This was one of the most useful aspects of the book, I felt, as I've found it easier to find out what "HTML5" can do, than I have found material that enables me to use the features with confidence that my pages won't be unusable for a significant number of my audience.

The author also tries to keep the accessibility aspects of new features in the reader's mind, both offering examples of how the new elements and attributes can help disabled users, as well as highlighting any downsides of the fallback propositions.

This book contains a good amount of useful information for the developer who wants to get stuck in to using HTML5 and CSS3 right now. However, each feature's coverage is short, before moving swiftly along to the next item, so this is something of a whistle-stop tour. Some work is required on the reader's part in order to make the most of what's presented, but it's certainly a sound launchpad for exploring the new frontier.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 20 March 2012
This book would better be called "Emulating HTML5 with jQuery". A considerable part of the book is focused solely on how to emulate HTML5/CSS3 in Internet Explorer (often using jQuery and obscure IE-specific features), with lengthy discussions on how to laboriously implement this in Internet Explorer (instead of accepting that there will never be a fully satisfactorily solution for this, which would be more appropriate in my opinion). It also relies heavily jQuery which actually would not be needed to explain either HTML5 or CSS3.

Not only is a great deal of the focus on jQuery and IE but it is also skipping may interesting CSS3 features which are widely implemented (multiple and stretching backgrounds, for example) or just covering them briefly (such as border-radius). There are a lot of interesting things that can be done with CSS3 which has been left out of this book, presumably because there was no fall-back solution for pre-IE9. Sometimes there is also a confusion about what is CSS2 and CSS3 ( :after and :first-child are listed as CSS3 features, which they are not, for example).

If you are genuinely interested in HTML 5 and best practices (and not how to emulate HTML5/CSS3 features in Internet Explorer) then you are probably better off with another book. On the other hand, if you are a jQuery fan and want to emulate HTML5 features in IE6 and up then this may be interesting for you, even though the coverage of HTML5 is scanty. Personally, I was disappointed to get so little HTML 5 and CSS 3 out of a book which claims to be primarily about this topic.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 28 June 2011
The author has a gift for presenting the material very clearly.
One thing that marks this book out is the task- oriented separation of the subject matter.
Each different subject is treated to it's own chapter; and each chapter is short. This is only possible because of the author's light touch with a subject he obviously knows well enough to spare us unnecessary ramblings. At the same time he is able to explain clearly the reasoning behind choices that were made in creating the spec. and you need to make when using HTML5 and CSS3.
Each chapter presents a practical "fall back" strategy to address browser differences and the current state of the spec.
Contains two short chapters addressing accessibility and WIA-ARIA roles.
Due to the sudden realisation that a good web development strategy is "mobile-first" and "device-adaptive" then suddenly, deploying HTML5 becomes a viable proposition. Then this is a timely volume.

[Apology: I know that such a positive review is not very "British" OK, but I know how hard it is to write clearly on a complex subject and I am happy to recognise this.]
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on 14 November 2011
If you have a history in HTML and CSS and are just looking for whats new and how to implement the new draft specifications this book is very good.
I am currently writing a dissertation and part of my research is new web technologies. So far I have referenced this book about 14 times.

Definitly recomend to anyone interested in keeping up with the times and doesn't want to spend hours reading websites on a glary PC screen.
Any questions for me just leave a comment, I'm happy to help give more detailed information if required.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 17 September 2011
A book that does what it says on the tin.

This is a very good book which takes the reader through the new HTML 5 and CSS 3 spec in a way that makes it simple to go from HTML 4.01 and CSS 2 to the new standards.

HTML5 is a new ball game and this book shows you not only how to play the game, but become seriously good in a short period of time. The only downside to the book is not the book - it's the level of support on the available browsers! The latest IE and FireFox work with the majority of the examples, but falls over on others. I've not tested it on Safari, but given things work on Konqueror, it should be good to go.

A cracking book all round.
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on 25 October 2012
Not really that much about "HTML5 and CSS3: Developing with Tomorrow's Standards Today".
Hard to see where this chaps skills come from. Its not so much that he is talking a load of rot, but quite close.
The title of the books sets expectations that are sadly not met. Spend time reading this book in a bookshop before buying it. Look forward to version2.
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I am really keen to get up to speed with these technologies having been in the business now for 12 years but the examples in the book did not work on any of my browsers. Really dissapointed but onwards and upwards. I will have to keep trying each time I get a browser update which seems to be every other day :)
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on 18 April 2014
The book runs through the new HTML5 proposals (remember, it's not yet a ratified W3C standard)
Too often too generic and with little or no code, it's an acceptable overview. Food for thoughts, no cookbook.
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on 15 March 2014
I found this book very through in its approach with clear and concise info on a lot of the new html5 functionality necessary for me to keep on top of for my job.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
For anybody wishing to learn a little more about HTML5 and CSS3 then this is the book to buy. Step by step process of building html5 structure. Overall very pleased with the purchase.
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