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The Modern Web: Multi-Device Web Development with HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript Book Review

Although I started with ColdFusion for application development, I did plenty brochureware sites with HTML. I believe the version was HTML 2.0 for IE 2.0. I lived in the browser world for years doing ColdFusion, ASP, and HTML sites. When winforms and Smart Client with web services emerged I changed my religion. Since then I have been avoiding the browser whenever possible since.

For the past couple of years I have used HTML/JavaScript/CSS a lot as a byproduct of building ASP.NET and ASP.NET MVC applications for public consumption. Internal enterprise applications I will still push for using WPF and web services over ASP.NET or ASP.NET MVC, but I lose that battle a lot, especially when the developers have never learned WPF (XAML) and have no interest in learning anything new.

When it comes to Mobile Apps my first choice will always be native applications using Objective-C, XAML with C# or C++, and Java using the ASP.NET Web API for the services. The problem is I am going to end up fighting the same battle with the web developers that don't like learning anything new. They are going to turn to HTML/JavaScript/CSS to build their mobile applications as a mobile web site or hybrid application.

So far I have found HTML5 is no different than any other version with respect to the way its capabilities are implemented and where it belongs when architecting a solution. It is far reaching, but if you want a rich HTML5 UI you will be writing a lot of JavaScript and CSS. It really can't be helped, that has always been the real skin and muscle on the HTML skeleton.

HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS are broad subjects. This book zeros in on what you need to know to build to build multi-device web applications. Below are the chapters in the book to give you an idea of what is covered.

Chapter 1: The Web Platform
Chapter 2: Structure and Semantics
Chapter 3: Device-Responsive CSS
Chapter 4: New Approaches to CSS Layouts
Chapter 5: Modern JavaScript
Chapter 6: Device Apis
Chapter 7: Images and Graphics
Chapter 8: New Forms
Chapter 9: Multimedia
Chapter 10: Web Apps
Chapter 11: The Future
Appendix A: Browser Support as of March 2013
Appendix B: Further Reading

In the beginning of the book the author described the different types of readers he tailored the book to. I fall into the category of wanting a snapshot of what the latest and greatest technologies are available.

The author's description of his book is "this book is a snapshot of current, new, and near-future features in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and related technologies, with a bias toward those that are best for building sites in the multi-device world." I would say he pulls it off.

The author has a really nice writing style which makes the book an enjoyable read. He covers a ton of topics and covers them deep enough to thoroughly explain how to use them. This book isn't really a reference book, so he does not cover every scenario and provide big tables or lists of APIs. It is a learning book that presents it lessons in the context of multi-device web development.

That is not saying I won't be keeping it handy to refer back to over time. I am just saying there is no reference type content filler. Which is great!!

The code samples are very well organized and usable. Each chapter has a folder and each example has a file.

I highly recommend this book to anyone that wants to get a snapshot of current, new, and near-future features in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and related technologies in the context of multi-device web development.

The author also has a really good book out on CSS, The Book of CSS . I highly recommend that one too!

The Modern Web: Multi-Device Web Development with HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript

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More Stories By Tad Anderson

Tad Anderson has been doing Software Architecture for 18 years and Enterprise Architecture for the past few.