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HTML5 & CSS3 for the Real World
Author(s): Alexis Goldstein, Louis Lazaris, and Estelle Wey
Published/Copyright: 2011, ISBN: 978-0-9808469-0-4, pages: 344
Publisher (more . . .)(Sitepoint)




 Five out of Five Stars
  Reviewed: January, 2012
  Reviewer: Richard Ruge
       I found this book to be very well written and appreciate the short and concise style that the book follows. This is not a beginner’s HTML book but, with a good resource like, you can pass through most hurdles as a beginner. The topics generally follow an excellent and logical flow from the basics to the advanced. What I found that stands out in the book are well-explained context around the topics, good discussions around cross-browser compatibility, and older browser fallback ideology. The book is development platform agnostic; i.e. there is nothing specific to Visual Studio, Eclipse, or Dreamweaver.

     The authors do a good job of laying out the context by giving a brief history of HTML and by asking and answering the fundamental questions: What is and why do I care about HTML5 and CSS3? They then build on those basic questions by going over the HTML5 template, page structure, semantics, elements, etc. I think this gives a great foundation in order to master some of the more advanced topics that will keep your HTML renderings clean and uncluttered.

     I found that the form input types topic was informative. This is useful for developers of all platforms of HTML consumption and includes fields such as email address, number, and color fields. For mobile developers, this is especially important since the proper keyboard layout is automatically displayed to the user for input depending on the input type. No platform specific knowledge is required.

     Video and audio playback topics are also started with the brief history to help lay a solid context for these topics. Browser support is discussed for the HTML5 video element. Important attributes are covered for the video element including autoplay, loop, preload, poster, audio, etc. Also covered is how to support multiple video formats (codecs) and the order to support those formats. The authors note that HTML5 will elegantly “fallback” to a more primitive format as necessary here. This establishes an excellent technique for backward compatibility for the older (non-HTML5) browsers like Internet Explorer v6 and even IEv5.

     CSS3 coverage starts with getting older browsers HTML5 compatible with an HTML5 shiv. From there, it builds on selectors and more advanced topics like gradients, transforms, transition animations, rounded corners, and so on. These are all great ways to build a rich user experience.

     Overall, the authors have done an excellent job in putting what’s important into the book. The book is built for learning speed and with what’s new in the HTML5 specification. Anyone should be able to quickly leverage the benefits of HTML5 and CSS3. There’s a lot of substance in there for those that care about the HTML output with highly effective use of not only HTML5 and CSS3 but HTML and CSS in general.

Richard Ruge is Microsoft certified since 2002 with the following credentials: MCP, MCAD (.NET v1.1, Web Apps), and MCPD (.NET v2 Web Developer). He has worked with all versions of the .NET Framework, Entity Framework, and SQL Server. He currently enjoys designing and developing Web-based software for desktop and mobile browsers using Visual Studio 2010 at tw telecom.
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