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Hello! HTML5 & CSS3: A user-friendly reference guide
Author/s    : Rob Crowther
Publisher   : Manning Publications
Category   : Web design, HTML and JavaScript
Review by : Greg Charles
Rating        : 7 horseshoes

"Hello! HTML5 & CSS3" gives a fast yet thorough survey of what's new in web development. It's targeted towards experienced web developers looking to understand what's newly possible in web apps and what's up in the near future. In each section, the new features are presented with short but complete examples of how to use them (also available via downloadable source code). There are also helpful pointers on how to handle browsers that don't yet support all these new features, or at least how to degrade gracefully when support is lacking. I found this information very useful since no single browser yet supports all the new features of HTML5, and the still popular IE8 supports frustratingly few of them. This practical advice lets us use many of the new features of HTML5 now, rather than waiting for some imagined future date when our users have all upgraded to modern browsers.

The author intersperses "User Friendly" comics into the text, and frequently uses the characters in sidebars to make additional points about the subject matter or to bring up and answer questions the readers might have. This is similar to the style used by the "Heads First" series, and I found it to be sometimes helpful, but other times distracting. It would definitely be a turnoff to anyone looking for a pure reference book.

Although several appendixes introduce the history of web development, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, I wouldn't recommend this book for a complete beginner to web development. The focus of the book is to show what's new, and I think a beginner would quickly get lost. Even I occasionally got lost in the terminology. The proofreading is also a bit spotty. At times, there seemed to be words or whole sentences missing, and a few of the tables are mislabeled. For the most part, though, this book was very accurate and informative.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.

More info at Amazon.com

Book Review Team wrote:The proofreading is also a bit spotty. At times, there seemed to be words or whole sentences missing, and a few of the tables are mislabeled.

Thanks for the review Charles. If you (or anyone else) come across any errors in the text please post them to this forum thread, the eBook version will be getting updates and corrections in the coming months.
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