Category Archives: JavaScript

Introducing HTML5 Book Review

Introducing HTML5 Book Cover

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:

  1. Introduction: why HTML5 exists
  2. Structuring a page
  3. Marking up a blog & the outlining algorithm
  4. Forms
  5. Multimedia (video, audio) markup and APIs
  6. Canvas
  7. Storage
  8. Working Offline
  9. Drag & Drop
  10. Geolocation
  11. 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.

The book’s aimed primarily at developers with a working knowledge of HTML and JavaScript, but I don’t see why designers shouldn’t give it a shot. The book’s well written by two authors who are both conversant with their subject matter, but also deliver it in a fun and flowing way that makes it a worthwhile purchase for anybody interested in working on a new generation of web apps.


Web scraping with YQL, jQuery and JSONP

Using screenr, I’ve just recorded a new sub-five minute screencast detailing a web scraping example using YQL, jQuery and JSONP.

In the video, I quickly introduce YQL‘s web scraping capability by returning a the contents of an HTML element on the JustGiving website. The data is obtained using jQuery’s getJSON method via JSONP for a cross-domain request. It’s short, but simple, and aims to give a brief example of what’s possible using YQL and jQuery.