Top critical review
10 people found this helpful
on 26 March 2012
HTML 5 is shifting ground. Anyone who seeks a book on this subject at this time should keep this in mind. It's settling down but any book is going to have trouble staying completely current. The authors acknowledge this continually throughout the book, pointing out what's new, what they think is likely to be shelved. So one thing that is frustrating about this book is that it gives the impression what you're reading is written on the wind a lot of the time. I haven't marked the score lower because of that because it's hard to avoid and because the book is not intended as a reference, but as (per the title), an introduction to HTML.
As an introduction to HTML, it serves well enough. You could just go to the W3C site and read through their HTML 5 section and get a lot of what is in HTML 5 yourself, but it's significantly more helpful to have a guided tour from a book like this. The book includes a fair amount of realish-world examples. It also devotes a good amount of space to supporting assistive technologies which is good.
As an introduction, the book serves its purpose. I can't imagine going back to this to re-read. I also have to mark it down because what is mildly tiresome juvenille humour at the start becomes downright wearying by the end. By the time the authors are telling me they're going to come round to my house and scribble on my FrontPage CD (yes, very funny LOLLOLOL, I do most of my webwork in Vi as it happens), I'm just wishing I'd found a book that had a bit more of a thorough, business-like approach. The authors seem to be "geeks" whereas what I want is just information, concise and to the point.
Still, the book is useful. It's good to have a decent view of what is now emerging so that you can work it in to your projects from the start right now.