Computer Programming Book Reviews

Title: Beginning HTML5 and CSS3: The Web Evolved
Author: Christopher Murphy, Richard Clark, et al.
Publisher: Apress
Pub. Year: 2012
Pages: 600
Call Number: 006.74 HTM

Review:  HTML5 is now the de facto standard for developing web pages and the book “Beginning HTML5 and CSS3: The Web Evolved” provides a good introduction to the subject.  This title wastes no time by starting off with the assertion that the time for HTML5 is now, and that we should not put off implementing the new standard.  The beginning sections of the book provide a brief history of the development of HTML5 and a comparison of it to the previous HTML standards: HTML 4 and XHTML.  Sample documents using the previous standards are also provided so the reader can obtain a sense for what has changed between HTML 4/XHTML and HTML5.

If the reader might think this book focuses too much on the development and technicalities of HTML5, there are many sample templates provided in the text that can be put to immediate use.  All that is needed to make maximum use of this book are a bit of determination and a computer that has an ASCII text editor like Windows Notepad.  A web server isn’t necessary because most web browsers have the capacity to load and display web pages that have been saved to a computer’s hard drive or to a portable storage device like a flash drive (USB drive) or SD card.

Beginning HTML5 and CSS3: The Web Evolved” contains 13 chapters that cover a fairly wide range of HTML5 related topics.  It describes the structural elements provided by the new standard, how HTML5 can enhance the use of rich media (i.e. video, audio, and the new canvas tag), how HTML5 can be used to create web applications, how to utilize the new CSS3 (Cascading Style Sheets) standards with HTML5, and how improve web page typography.

A good portion of the text discusses cascading style sheets – CSS version 3 in this case. Cascading style sheets consist of code that provides instructions on how web page content should be displayed, and these commands are as important as the HTML markup itself.   To emphasize this point, Chapter 9, “A Layout for Every Occasion,” provides discussion and examples of how CSS3 can be utilized to design web pages that render well on both desktop computers and smaller mobile devices.  In many cases this is not an easy task to accomplish, however the new CSS3 cascading style sheet standards provide additional resources to make the job easier.

Beginning HTML5 and CSS

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