Review: The Cross Browser Handbook

The Cross Browser Handbook by Daniel Herken is an ebook that takes a narrow focus. I think it would be very helpful to have around. Many books talk about cross browser issues as they cover topics like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and cross-browser testing. However, that information is mixed in with all kinds of other information about things like new HTML5 or CSS 3 features. This book tackles those HTML5 and CSS3 features, but only in relation to browser support. That sharp focus makes the book a mere 118 pages long. Here’s a screen capture of the table of contents.

table of contents

Daniel Herken developed a cross browser testing tool, found at BrowseEmAll, prior to writing the book. Part of the purpose of writing the book is to get you in the habit of using his browser testing tool, of course. As a reader of the book, you can get a deal on the cost of using the tool. To his credit, he describes several cross browser testing applications in the book, in addition to his own.

Once you build a cross browser testing web app, you have all the information about each browser and what it supports at your fingertips. It is only logical to share it in a book. That makes the information useful to many more people. You can use the ebook without using the BrowseEmAll website. In addition, the book’s site has a knowledge base that will be updated as new browser information becomes available.

The book details each feature of HTML, CSS or JavaScript that might cause you grief. It explains which browsers will contain the problem. And it gives you the exact information you need to make the browser do what you want – namely render your page according to standards. If no one has yet come up with the appropriate script or whatever you need to make the browser work as if it knew the standards, the book tells you that, too.

Besides the Knowledge Base, which comes with the base book price ($29), there is also a password protected set of templates for the cross browser code examples at the book’s site. The price for the book plus access to the code templates is $59. The book has not been released yet, but there’s a sign up form on the site that will generate an email alert for you when it launches. Release date is November 28, 2012.

Summary: Focused information on a single issue. Very useful.

A review by Virginia DeBolt of The Cross Browser Handbook (rating: 5 stars)

Disclosure: The author provided a review copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

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