So, Amazing Breaker is better than Angry Birds, and here’s why: it feels more precise; sure there’s a physics engine in Angry Birds, but how many times have you thought ‘wtf?’ whilst playing it? it feels more strategic than Angry … Continue reading
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
- Working Offline
- 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.
If you’re a web designer or developer, chances are high that you’ve heard of Jeremy Keith‘s HTML5 for Web Designers. If you’re a web designer or developer, chances are fairly high that you’ve ordered it.
According to Jeffrey Zeldman, the book sold 5000 copies during the first 24 hours of pre-sales. All the personnel involved with its production are well-respected members of the design community, and so I didn’t falter in placing an order.
A Book Apart handle the delivery, so it’ll take a while longer than a next day Amazon shipment, but the delay only served to fuel my anticipation for the little book.
I’m only thought the first third of the book, but I’m already finding it incredibly well-written and it feels quite special. The $27 I paid for it is expensive, but the book’s such a great overall little package, that it might just be worth it.
Chapter 7 – ‘Performance Tuning Our Web Application’ – looks at the Net panel, and once again, the discussion is thorough and well-written. Not only does it give information about Firebug, but by its very nature, delves into HTTP headers and XMLHttpRequest monitoring.
Chapter 8 – ‘AJAX Development’ explains the
console.debug call that I’ve made on several occasions, as well the (new to me)
console.assert for for assertions and the useful
console.dir(object) for giving a DOM tab style object dump for the supplied
Chapter 9 – ‘Tips and Tricks for Firebug’ also had something new for me,
console.groupEnd(), which are functions that group ouput in the output console. When there are lots of debug statements being fired out to the console window, it can be useful to group them, and I’ve already used this to my benefit since reading the book.
Chapter 10 – ‘Necessary Firebug Extensions’ takes a look at ways of making Firebug even better by using 8 extensions that empower their users to more accurately diagnose and fix performance issues, manage cookies and improve SEO.
Chapter 11 – ‘Extending Firebug’ builds on Chapter 10′s introduced extensions by describing how to build your own. To keep things in proportion, it’s a fairly small chapter, building a small ‘Hello World’ extension, but it does give food for thought.
The book closes with an Appendix detailing Firebug’s API, and a look ahead at Firebug 1.7
Overall, this is a well-written and descriptive book, and although it is probably more suitable for a new to intermediate Firebug user, I found quite a few ‘ooh – I didn’t know that’ moments throughout that make it worthwhile for any reader who designs and develops websites. Continue reading
WordPress has gone from strength to strength since it was released in 2003, and much of its success is due to the open source community’s commitment to plugin development. Take a look at the WordPress Plugin Directory, and you’ll see thousands of plugins that extend the WordPress core to do almost anything you can imagine.
Packt Publishing‘s WordPress Plugin Development is written by Vladimir Prelovac, a WordPress expert and developer of WordPress plug-ins such as Smart YouTube and Plugin Central. Part of Packt’s Beginners Guide series, the book focuses more on experimentation and learning by doing, and develops 6 real-world plugins throughout its 270 or so pages. Continue reading