Book review: HTML5 for Web Designers

When I first heard about HTML5, the immediate question that came to my mind was why it was named HTML5 instead of XHTML5. Why that ‘X’ was dropped? As web devlopers, when we say we use XHTML in our projects, it gives us a wierd satisfaction that we are doing things in the right and standard compliant way. After reading this book, now I have an idea about why that ‘X’ was dropped.

I hadn’t followed HTML5 development regularly though I randomly read articles in the web development blogs which I follow. Waited for a book to be published to update my knowledge in a structured way. Undoubtedly this is the kind of the book that I waited for to get my hands dirty with HTML5 quickly.

I am already a big fan of the author of this book JEREMY KEITH.

I am writing a quick review about each chapter here and what you can expect from that chapter.

1. A Brief History of Markup

This chapter is kind of introductory covering the history of HTML from it’s beginning to the latest iteration that we call as HTML5. Very clearly and concisely crafted history of our favorite markup language. All iterations of the language are covered right from HTML2.o to HTML5 including HTML4.0 and the XHTML1.0 and the XHTML2.0. Resist your temptation to skip this chapter!

2. The Design of HTML5

This chapter starts with the design principles behind HTML5 and explores doctype in detail. Then covers various simplified elements, especially inside the head element. Explains how script, meta, link tags are simplified in HTML5. The the author explains about deprecated elements in previous versions of the language and how and why they are now called as obsolete elements in HTML5.

3. Rich Media

This chapter covers three aspects of HTML5: Canvas, Audio, and Video

After a basic introduction and some code examples about Canvas, author delves into audio and video handling in HTML5. What I love about this chapter is, the fact that the fall-back methods are explained in detail so that we can start experimenting with rich media using HTML5 without really concerning ourselves about whether the browsers support HTML5 audio/video.

4. Web Forms 2.0

If you want me to pick one favorite chapter from this book, this would be it. Covers the enhancements made to forms in HTML5 including the new data input types, attributes, and discusses about the native support for basic data validation using the patterns. Ends with a discussion about whether we can style the new input types(Date and other new elements).

5. Semantics

Starting with introduction to semantics and how we have been using the class attribute to add semantics to the existing elements and a discussion on microformats, this chapter then covers the newly added semantic and structural elements in HTML5. The new outlining algorithm is also explained in the content models section.

6. Using HTML5 Today

Can I use HTML5 today? If I can, will it work in major browsers? How to get the things to work and degrade gracefully? These are few of the many questions answered for you in this chapter. A perfect ending for a perfect book. Practical tips on start using HTML5 today. Right now!


All in all, this book serves as a comprehensive introduction to HTML5 and surprisingly in a very short time. Many aspects of HTML5 are not covered in this book as this book is primarily aimed at designers.

If you want to get your hands dirty with HTML5 for the first time, this is the place to begin. Start with this book and there are already many good books released on HTML5 which you can read to build upon what you learn from this book.

This entry was posted in: BooksBookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. Posted September 13, 2010 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    cool.. worth buying then?

    • Posted September 13, 2010 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      It is worth buying. If you are completely new to HTML5, this is the best book to start with.

  2. Posted September 12, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Thats interesting. i just starting XML and out of interest started browsing the website:
    This looks like a good read :) Thanks

Share your thoughts

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *