Introducing HTML5: Second Edition – Book Review

The famed HTML5 Doctors, Remy Sharp and Bruce Lawson have released the second edition of their extremely popular book, Introducing HTML5. I wrote a review of the first edition back in and eagerly awaited the release of this revised edition.

It doesn’t disappoint.

The second edition is a thicker book, some 72 pages thicker, with extra sections and tips inserted into some existing chapters and the addition of two new chapters. Some errata have been fixed and in some cases, opinions and suggestions have been changed.

Much of what I said in the review of the first edition still stands, so I will just concentrate on some of the changes.

One difference in Chapter 1 is Bruce’s change of mind with regards use of the nav element. While some may baulk at the change of mind, I think it’s a good thing, and as Bruce says “there is rarely One True Way™ to mark up content.” So a change of mind is refreshing.

Chapter 2 has a new and welcome addition in the form of HTML5 microdata which Bruce discusses in relative detail.

Chapter 4 has an excellent new section on WebVTT and the sycnronisation of media tracks is also discussed. Some useful workarounds for a potential race condition with regards HTML5 multimedia are also mentioned.

On data storage, in Chapter 6, Remy has added a new 15 second tutorial on localStorage which almost sums of this entire section of the HTML5 specification nicely. IndexedDBs are also discussed, even though they’re not yet widely adopted.

Chapter 7, on offline applications, adds some useful tips on debugging such applications and also goes into a litle more depth on certain parts of this topic.

In the first edition, Chapter 10 was on messages, workers and sockets. The second edition removes web sockets from this chapter, moving it into its own chapter, Chapter 11 Real Time, along with server-side events.

Another new chapter, Chapter 12, is on polyfilling and patching old browsers to support HTML5 today. This chapter contains information on using JavaScript for feature detection and getting older versions of Internet Explorer to support and recognise the new HTML5 elements and other features.

I highly recommended the first version of this book, and still would, but the second edition is an improvement on an already excellent book.