Book review of HTML5 for Web Designers by Jeremy Keith
I’ve read three books by Jeremy Keith at this point, and I can’t say I’ve found another author who can teach you something and make you laugh quite as well as Keith can. HTML 5 for Web Designers is no different, I mean, he manages to work in a Hitler reference in the first sentence of this book.
HTML5 for Web Designers is the first in a new line of books from A Book Apart, the publishing company founded by Jeffrey Zeldman, Jason Santa Maria, and Mandy Brown. If you’re a web standards fanboy, like me, you’re already drooling. Once you take a gander at the lineup of authors A Book Apart has already, and plans to feature, you might just be pushed over the edge. In addition to Jeremy Keith, Dan Cederholm, Ethan Marcotte, Aarron Walter, Luke Wroblewski and more have all signed on to pen a book for the new publisher. Its like the super-hero lineup of The Avengers, but more geeky, if that’s possible.
So HTML5 for Web Designers is a short book, around 100 pages, (394 pages on my iPod Touch, for anyone counting), which means you can read it in an afternoon if you can concentrate on one thing for such an immense quantity of time, and for web designers like me, that’s exactly how much time I’d like to spend wrapping my head around HTML5 in order to decide what pieces of it I can use in my work today.
Keith wastes no time, giving us a very brief history of markup, and then jumping right in to the differences in HTML5’s DOCTYPE declaration, and how we reference external CSS and JS files. He gives working examples of using the new canvas, audio and video elements, some of which I’ve already been able to incorporate into my own work. He then spends a chapter on HTML5’s improvements to web forms, before diving into new elements offered by HTML5 like mark, time, meter, and progress, as well as the new structural elements like section, header, footer, aside, nav and article. The final chapter is spent analyzing how you can put HTML5 into practice today, and offers a few alternate approaches.
There it is, a very brief review for a very brief, but informative, book. Reading a short book like this on a mobile device is an absolute pleasure. I’ve read a few books of this size on my iPod Touch: Rework by the 37 Signals founders, Mobile Web Design by Cameron Moll, and now HTML5 for Web Designers by Jeremy Keith. I can say that this form factor works, and works very well for reading on mobile devices, and for books that don’t contain large amounts of code, this seems to be the format of choice for the future.
HTML5 for Web Designers comes highly rated if you’re a working web designer who’d rather spend quality time learning about HTML5’s goodies rather than tedious time picking through the official HTML5 spec.
You can purchase HTML5 for Web Designers over at A Book Apart.