That’s where the gold rush brings us in 2010. A number of “HTML5” books were promised as early as last November, only to be delayed again and again. “HTML5: Up and Running” from O’Reilly immediately went to the top of my watch list, since I have a shelf of O’Reilly books already and it would be in good company. It too was pushed back from the original release date, but not by much, and now I have it in my grubby fingers, and it was worth the wait. Mostly.
The first chapter is quick reading, and actually pretty interesting considering it’s just a history of HTML. Old emails from names like Marc Andreessen and Tim Berners-Lee arguing over the img tag, and how we ultimately ended up with the current format, are entertaining. Ok, next. Chapter 2 covers compatibility, since not all web browsers support every piece of the HTML5 moving target, and how to detect if your visitor can see what you’re trying to show them. Then we get a detailed but quick run-through on canvas, 2-D drawing, video codecs, geo-location, local data storage, offline web apps and new form elements. Chapter 10 wraps things up by future-proofing HTML5 and sneaking microdata annotations into your code, and tries to lay down some standards for different types of data in a way compatible with Google’s Rich Snippets. This is followed by a very handy alphabetical guide to detecting the new stuff, and a standard index.
Disclosure: I received an early copy of this book for review courtesy of O’Reilly Media. This in no way affected my opinion of the material.