About a year ago, it was jQuery. Now it seems to be HTML5 that’s getting everybody excited. Unfortunately, HTML5 has become something of an umbrella term for all sorts of technologies that are no part of it. No matter – there are books to help us discern the fluff from the substance.
Not long ago, I reviewed A Book Apart’s HTML5 for Web Designers; another HTML book that’s getting people excited is Introducing HTML5, co-authored by Bruce Lawson and Remy Sharp. In my review of HTML5 for Web Designers, I was probably a little too polite. Whilst I enjoyed reading it, it was too thin and didn’t cover anything in any great detail. Lawson and Sharp’s effort suggests an introduction, but is much more what you’d expect from a book on the subject.
The diplomatic view on the two books is that they reach out to different audiences, and that the abridged format of HTML5 for Web Designers is appropriate for designers wishing to get the facts without the technical detail. I’m going to stick my neck on the line here and say that Introducing HTML5 is the better book, but since I thrive on technical detail, that will come as no surprise.
The book’s dedicated website has a Chapter listing for the book, which is listed here to give you an idea of what’s covered:
Introduction: why HTML5 exists
Structuring a page
Marking up a blog & the outlining algorithm
Multimedia (video, audio) markup and APIs
Drag & Drop
Messages, Web Workers & Web Sockets
The website also contains a list of companion links for the book, which is a great source of information and inspiration.
Apple continues to ignore Flash support for the iPhone, and perhaps because of this, it’s pushing ahead with new features based on HTML and CSS. The iPhone has supported proprietary CSS on its Webkit-based browser, but things are now starting to take off on the desktop, as demonstrated by this YouTube video showing CSS on a Snow Leopard OS nightly build version of Safari:
Apparently, the effects on show have been proposed for standard adoption, and if approved, we’ll be seeing this sort of thing on other browsers. Certainly impressive, and it reminds me of Firefox plugin Cooliris. If you haven’t already seen Cooliris doing its stuff, you should check it out. It’s amazing to think that this sort of effect may soon be widely supported by our browsers.