Head First HTML5 Programming by Eric Freeman and Elisabeth Robson is a great book for developers that are looking to start developing web applications and for people that have been out of the web development for a number of years are looking to catch back up with the latest technology. Personally, I fall into the second category. I have been developing applications for the past 16 years and for a number of years I was developing N-Tiered web applications for some large companies. Back then, I was creating these web applications using HTML, Java Script, Java Server Pages, Servlets, and back-end server code, which included POJOs, EJBs, etc. Due to a change in job, I have been working the past 8 years mostly on thick client development and there haven’t been that many opportunities to work on web applications.
Therefore, I decided recently that I wanted to get back into the web development and I have always enjoyed the format of the Head First books and decided that this would be a great way to catch up. This book provided me exactly what I was looking for and I have a better understanding of how the development of web applications has evolved over the years. The authors did a great job in presenting how to work with the DOM using Java Script and I already have ideas on how I can apply this to future projects that I will be working on. I was also excited to learn about the canvas capability that has been added and that has completely opened the doors on ideas for web development. However, the two final pieces of new improvements that have been made that caught my eye even more than the canvas capability is the Web Storage of 5 MB and the ability to have Web Workers that are threads that can perform long running tasks. I feel that all of these features together will make web application development a fun and exciting place to be, even more fun than it was 8 years ago.
The authors did a great job of explaining all of these great features and more in this book. They provide great examples that you can walk through the design and development process with them as they relate the new features of HTML5 brings to the table. I know that the Head First books are generally for beginners and present some of the features of the technology that they are covering, but I would recommend this to any developer that is looking at getting into the latest technologies in web development. This would include someone that is brand new to web development or someone like myself that spent 9 years in web development and then stepped away for a bit. This book will get you excited about the possibilities of web development beyond static pages or having your web application transition between multiple pages in order to provide updates to what is being presented on the page. Nevertheless, watch out this might inspire you to look into what has also changed in terms of Java Script; I know it has for me, which isn’t a bad thing either. 😉