Web Design Book Review: HTML5 for Web Designers

HTML5 for Web Designers

HTML5 for Web Designers by Jeremy Keith is the first book under the A Book Apart imprint, published by Jeffrey Zeldman (2010). It’s available from A Book Apart.

It’s a small book, less than 100 pages, with only 6 chapters. The chapters are A Brief History of Markup, The Design of HTML5, Rich Media, Web Forms 2.0, Semantics, and Using HTML5 Today. If you watched the video of Keith in Jeremy Keith on the Design of HTML5, you have a basic idea what the first two chapters are about. The book, of course, contains more detail than the video.

The Rich Media chapter goes into some detail at the code level about the new <canvas>, <audio> and <video> elements. Code examples help clarify the Web Forms chapter, as well. Form enhancements he talks about include placeholder attributes, autofocus, the required attribute, the autocomplete attribute, the datalist element, and new input types and what they mean right now.

The Semantics chapter talks about microformats, new elements such as <mark>, <time>, <meter>, and <progress>. Everyone is most interested in the new structural elements or sectioning elements, and he explains each of them, including <section>, <header>, <footer>, <aside>, <nav> and <article>. The book ends with a mention of what can be used today and how to help the nonsupporting browsers use HTML5 by adding ARIA roles or scripts like the HTM5 shiv and modernizr.

The book is clear and well-written so it’s easy to read. You could probably read the whole thing in less than an hour. But the simplicity of the book is a bit deceptive, because there is a lot of depth to the material. If you are hesitant about starting to use HTML5, the book can give you the basic knowledge you need to being exploring and trying it out.

Summary: An excellent book for web designers who want to learn how HTML5 can be used now.

A review by Virginia DeBolt of HTML5 for Web Designers (rating: 5 stars)

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