Thursday, July 18, 2013

Beginning HTML5 and CSS3, by Richard Clark, Oli Studholme, Divya Manian, and Christopher Murphy

Book cover Beginning HTML5 and CSS3 is a strange enough book. It is not a book for beginners, as the title would have you believe, but only something that gives you a taste of new HTML and CSS features. Some of the things discussed are not very thorough, but may be very detailed (like when they talk about a hard to spot bug for a specific browser version). They talk very little of some often used features, but very in detail about something that will probably not be used by many people, like data annotation.

What is immediately obvious, though, is that the authors are professionals with a lot of experience. They see things and think about them in a way that a person with no design experience like myself has never thought about. Their explanations are backed by a lot of links and downloadable code, so it can be used like a reference. I would say that about a third of the book relates to HTML and the last two are about CSS. Awesome and weird things are being discussed, from custom fonts to 3D transforms, from data annotation of any HTML so that is machine parseable (like Google crawlers and such) to pagination control for layouts that need to look like books or be used in e-readers. It is also a modern book, the type that lets you know about various features, but instead of rehashing a subject, they give you a link to more information from someone else.

You can get example code from the book's site, as well as see the table of contents and details about the authors. What immediately jumps into mind is that the page is HTML5 and uses CSS3, but is not nearly as carefully crafted, data annotated or awesome as they advise in the book, which validates a little my view of the book: an interesting book to read about features you will probably rarely use. It certainly made me experiment some with my blog and think of ways of implementing many of the features, but in the end nobody wants something very over the top, so only small changes were made.