Book Review: Programming HTML5 Applications

Programming HTML5 Applications, by Zachary Kessin; O’Reilly Media

Programming HTML5 Applications serves as an introduction to some of the technologies available for building the next generation of web applications. That being said, I don’t quite understand which audience for whom the author wrote this book. I felt more like I was attending a conference where the presenter was trying to get through as much material as possible, in as little time as possible. Reading the book feels like being exposed to a whirlwind of ideas and buzzwords.

While the title of the book is Programming HTML5 Applications, there is very little exposure to HTML5 in the text. This book is about Javascript. While no doubt Javascript has become the dominant programming language for the web, the title of the book doesn’t set you up for what you can expect to find inside.

Some sections go into very little detail about a subject, often just a couple of paragraphs, while others drone on for pages of an advanced topic that I really couldn’t understand without the greater context of the tools. As an example, closures are explained in 1 and ½ pages, while 4 pages are spent discussing the manifest file required for using a web page offline.

While it is obvious the author has experience with building web applications and has taken time to find the best tools available, don’t expect to learn the tools here. If you are looking for a quick list of things you should probably be studying up on, the book may serve as that list. If you are expecting to walk away knowing how to use any of the tools mentioned, forget it. My suggestion is to read the table of contents and then go find resources for learning the tools mentioned.

All of this being said, the copy I reviewed was an early access edition through O’Reilly’s Blogger Review Program. Since the book has not yet been reviewed and edited, I sincerely hope the time is taken to flush out the ideas presented and offer the reader a more valuable experience in exchange for their time.