By Eric Freeman and Elisabeth Robson
(O’Reilly, list price $49.99, paperback)
This is not your father’s turgid programming textbook.
Head First HTML5 Programming is a fun and entertaining mixture of graphics, text and coding examples. But, more than that, this “multi-sensory learning experience” has been put together “[u]sing the latest research in cognitive science and learning theory….”
How often have you heard someone say a computer programming book is “fun and entertaining”?
But the book promises “to start by going from zero to HTML5 in 3.8 pages (flat)” — and delivers. By the third page, you begin using a whimsical “HTML5-O-Matic” to update standard HTML to HTML5. And by the bottom of the fourth page, you are “officially certified to upgrade any HTML to HTML5.” (It takes just three steps and a bonus round to get there, by the way.)
Even the book’s table of contents is zany, amusing and informative, with funny graphics and snarky summaries of what you will find in each chapter and appendix.
And don’t be intimidated by this book’s physical size. It has 574 pages, but it presents information in small, manageable chunks, surrounded by eye-pleasing white space and lots of illustrations that will make you grin or chuckle even as you learn something new.
However, if you think you are serious about becoming an HTML5 programmer but don’t yet have any experience in HTML markup and CSS (cascading style sheets), the two writers recommend that you tackle one other book first: Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML (list price, $39.99 paperback. There is also a Kindle edition.)
They add: “Most reference books don’t have retention and recall as a goal, but this book is about learning, so you’ll see some of the same concepts come up more than once.”
— Si Dunn