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HTML5: Up and Running Paperback – 27 Aug 2010
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Dive into the Future of Web Development
About the Author
Mark Pilgrim works as a developer advocate for Google, specializing inopen source and open standards. You may remember him from such classics as Greasemonkey Hacks (O'Reilly), Dive Into Python (Apress), and Dive Into Python 3 (APress). He lives in North Carolina with his wife, two boys, and a big slobbery dog.
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Something reading this book reveals, is that the there's more to learn about the context in which the new HTML 5 tags work than there is about the new tags themselves. An obvious example is the simplicity of the <video> tag and the complexity of audio and video codecs, MIME types, bit rates and cross-browser compatibility. The author has dug around on the web for utilities and work-arounds and that's what swathes of this book are about.
It's worth noting that XHTML has been abandoned for several years, which may come as a big surprise and disappointment to some people. O'Reilly's current Definitive Guide to HTML and XHTML won't be updated until July 2014, at which point XHTML will be dropped from the title.
The book is wel written and gives you great insights.
I'm not a web site designer, but I've always tried to produce web sites that use valid HTML. And then when the current standard switched from HTML to XHTML I converted most of my web sites to the new standard. A couple of years ago, some friends started talking about HTML5 being a replacement for XHTML. I was tired of converting my web sites, so I pretty much ignored them.
And then last year more and more people started talking about HTML5. It was obviously time to investigate further. And Mark Pilgrim's book seemed as good a place as any to start.
It turns out that HTML5 is rather more than just a mark-up language. It's a term that encompasses a number of new technology standards that will be driving web application development for many years to come.
The most interesting new features to me are the native support for audio and video (although there is still some disagreement between browser makers as to which formats are supported) and the canvas element which will finally allow some powerful graphical effects to be produced in a manner which will work well across most (if not all) browsers.
I haven't yet had a chance to really start using HTML5 on my web sites. But when I do, this is a book that I will return to frequently.