Sunday, October 24, 2010

Book Review: HTML5:Designing Rich Internet Applications

This was the second of a couple books I've read on HTML5. The other review is coming next.

HTML5: Designing Rich Internet Applications was pretty disappointing. The book contains numerous typos and grammatical errors than an editor should have caught, and these seem to be the main complaints of other negative reviews on Amazon. I could have easily looked past these if they were the only flaws with the book. Instead, I think these were just the most superficial signs of a book hastily written to get in front of a trend.

More serious errors include poorly documented code samples, poorly written code samples, and an awkward correlation between the code and the text.

Even more frustrating still, there are sections where the focus and page-count are misspent (e.g. a section on HTML5's video playing capabilities contains numerous pages on how to author a video from a PPT presentation (and btw, why would anyone do this?) an convert it from one format to another).

Other sections woefully underserve some of the more interesting topics. e.g. the section on HTML5 canvas is minimal at best, and when it gets to doing animations on the canvas, the author just points to a the CAKE javascript library and says 'use this'. (In a later example in the book, the author actually does some animation in his own javascript, but doesn't explain his use of it, indicating that maybe he learned this along the way and it again points to the inconsistent editing?). Another example is the section on local storage, which is used in a code sample, but with no documentation on limits of size on storage, how it can/can't be used, how it might vary from one device implementation to the next, etc.

Finally, there are several places where rather than focusing on HTML5 exclusively, the author is cobbling together bits of Ajax, CSS, etc, and it's not clear to the reader what's coming from where.

I don't recommend the book. The next one I'm writing up is a better read. that review coming soon...


Anonymous said...

Great read! I wish you could follow up to this topic


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