Head First HTML5 Programming, By Eric Freeman, Elisabeth Robson; O’Reilly Media

Head First HTML5 Programming cover photo

Head First HTML5 Programming Building Web Apps with JavaScript By Eric Freeman, Elisabeth Robson; O'Reilly Media

The Head First book series uses multiple methods to stimulate the reader’s mind while presenting the subject material. Head First HTML5 Programming, Building Web Apps with JavaScript reinforces the material with pictures and exercises aimed at stimulating the brain while making the learning process fun. To get the most from this book be prepared to get involved in the process. I recommend doing the exercises and typing out the code for the various projects. It’s fun and you will learn more by being involved.

HTML5 is a combination of HTML for structure, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) for presentation, and JavaScript to add function to the web page. Head First HTML5 Programming requires at least some knowledge of HTML markup and CSS functionality as prerequisites. If you lack those basic skills consider the HEAD FIRST book on HTML and CSS before starting this book. The authors provide enough basic JavaScript information to keep you moving along with the exercises. Advanced JavaScript topics in the book include the Geo-location API, Canvas, Video, Local (Web) Storage, and Web Workers. HTML5 is really a big move forward from HTML 4.01. This book give a good overview of what is possible with the new standard. There are also references cited for additional study of the various advanced topics.

All the code needed to complete the exercises is available for download at the accompanying web site. This includes sample videos for the video chapters. One criticism of the book would be that I found the code for the exercises in the last two chapters did not always work when I went to test my version based on the text. This was not a big issue because downloaded code from the web site worked fine. JavaScript is touchy when it comes to syntax and when copying large complex code blocks a typo is easy to introduce. In all fairness to the authors, I did not consult the errata since the downloaded code worked. Using the downloaded code as a reference I was able to cut debugging time on my code considerably.

I would recommend this book. I think it is best suited for those with some knowledge of HTML and CSS. For more information see the O’Reilly catalog at Head First HTML5 Programming, Building Web Apps with JavaScript, By Eric Freeman, Elisabeth Robson; O’Reilly Media

Disclosure: I recieved a free ebook copy for evaluation and review.