I just finished A Book Apart’s first book titled HTML5 for Web Designers. The book, written by well-known developer Jeremy Keith, and provides an overview of HTML5. I was pretty hyped up to receive this book and pre-ordered it based on my experience with Jeremy’s previous book.
If you’re totally new to HTML5, this book will give you a good overview of the new spec. It’s not a highly technical book and is meant to provide the reader with an understanding of the evolution of the spec as well as some of the most important features of HTML5 including Canvas, video and updated form capabilities. The book is very short (only 85 pages) and extremely easy to read, which allowed me to finish it off in about 2-3 days of non-contiguous reading. I also liked Jeremy’s use of humor throughout the book.
With that said, this book is definitely not a deep-dive into HTML5 and if you’re expecting to pick it up and actually learn how to use the new features, I think you’ll be disappointed. While there are some technical nuggets (especially around Canvas), the book is really just an overview with very little technical meat to it. And I believe that’s the way that A Book Apart is trying to promote their books; quick, easy-to-read materials that get you good information fast.
What I would recommend is that if you’re looking to get a 10,000 foot view of HTML5, pick up this book. It’s definitely worthwhile from that perspective. If you’re looking to better understand the implementation of specific features, then this is not the right choice. And I offer this recommendation whether you’re a developer or designer. Better resources for a deeper, technical understanding of HTML5 include:
All of these are listed in the Resources section of the book and having read them previously truly are excellent sites for deep-diving into HTML5.