In this video, you learn about HTML5 and cutting edge CSS techniques. As long as you know basic HTML and CSS, you should be good to watch this video lesson. And yes, all the modern web browsers support this.
… At the same time, check out our new training site: webmentor.org.
I try to start with the point of the article whenever I can … so what is the best way to learn web design and web programming?
In a nutshell:
You want to as quickly as possible, get past the basic concepts and basic code principles. Too many courses these days concentrate too much on too many details.
Once you have that minimal knowledge, you should be building actual projects!
I’ve been teaching web design and programming for over a decade now and have been teaching for about 20yrs – give or take. And I can tell you that without a doubt, the best way to learn web design and programming is to build.
… With each site that you design, your skills will jump. With each dynamic database driven website that you build, your skills will jump.
Finishing the Job is Key
It is important that you complete projects. For some reason, leaving something half done, just doesn’t seem to have the same learning impact. That’s why smaller mini projects are great for learning because big projects take a long time to finish.
With that in mind, our Complete Web Designer training package follows these principles … which only makes sense since we created all the courses!
PS: If you want a DVD/USB hard copy sent you, we do that too.
Anyone who has read anything I’ve written (or watched my video blogs,) knows that I can’t stand academics. I was particularly vocal against the Web Standards zealots of the early 2000’s, wherein reality was pushed aside in favor of code purity.
These nerds would ignore reality – for example:
They would ignore how the most popular web browsers would interpret HTML and CSS code – which often times, was in a method contrary to their nerd wet-dreams. As such, they would come up with harebrained hacks to jam in their ‘compliant’ code … hacks that eventually broke in many cases, defeating the supposed original purpose of the Web Standards movement!
They would also obfuscate what the actual browser use was in terms of real people surfing the Web. They would come out with numbers that did not reflect the reality they were desperately trying to ignore: that the vast majority of people surfing the Web were using web browsers (Internet Explorer) that did not play nice with their ideas of how a web browser should read code.
… It gets even more stupid: even the basic web design cycle seemed to be ignored, where their recommendations would actually get in the way of productive web design and development. I am convinced many of the big names in this movement barely created websites in, or for the real-world – they were academics.
I really like the style of the Head First series from O’reilly – they’ve managed to create a style of nerdbook that looks more like a graphic novel, than a tech book.
Let’s start with the verdict for this particular title:
Some details …
Basically it covers many of the big features in HTML5 and the surrounding technologies. The authors make heavy use of graphics and storylines to make the book more entertaining. If you are more of a beginner when it comes to programming or web application development, then I think this presentation style will be great for you.
If on the other hand, you are a hardcore grizzled nerd programmer, the wordy, graphic and puzzle rich book might annoy you a bit. That’s OK, because O’reilly has their more traditional style of book for you.
Some of the topics covered:
Canvas: drawing with HTML5
Web Workers – threading with HTML5!! Yea, this particular HTML5 capability freaked me out.
Being a shameless self promoter that I am, we also have our own HTML5 interactive video courses you can learn from. It’s all good, depending on how you like to learn.
But now, just a few months later, with the crazy success of the iPad and iPhone along with the growing buzz for the soon to be released Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet (among many others), it has become clear to me that web designers need to start looking in this … especially if you are thinking about the mobile Web.
* XHTML and HTML5 Compared
* Looking at HTML5 Tags
* CSS3 Gradients
* Page Layout With HTML5
* Floats, Sidebars, and Overrides
* Working With Fonts
* Advanced Backgrounds
* Introducing The Canvas Tag
* Visualizing Data With Canvas
Once in a while, it can be fun to look at the deeper meaning of the technologies behind web design. So let’s start with the most basic: what exactly is HTML?
HTML is short for:
Hyper Text Markup Language.
In a nutshell: HTML is a written language used to mark-up a page. Think of marking-up like placing markers on a field. These markers give instruction to people who understand what the markers mean. In the case of web design, replace ‘makers’ with tags, a web page for a field and people with web browsers – like Internet Explorer or Firefox. To summarize:
markers = html tags/text
field = web page
people who read markers = web browsers
I recently discovered that many a web designer and programmer may not really know that in HTML, hyper text is a reference to the links – links are the ‘hyper text’ in the markup language. The text in a web page that is turned into a link, is made ‘hyper’ because when you click on it, the web browser takes you to another page, or downloads a file etc … It’s kinda hyper active, like a 5 year old who’s had too much sugar.
There are other markup languages that predate HTML btw, languages like SGML. In fact, SGML is the father/mother of HTML.
Now you can impress your next date with this information. That’s all for now.
I am starting to hear that all too familiar nerd-buzz of premature excitement – this time it’s about HTML 5 and all it’s cool new capabilities.
Yes, HTML 5 does have a lot of cool things it can do, and so it’s tempting to jump in and start learning. But that would largely be a waste of time … at least for now.
What?! Isn’t HTML 5 the future?
It sure is. In fact, I’ve been telling people for years that XHTML was a pipe dream (because IE would not support it) and I advised people to stick to good old HTML … even when it was heresy to say so! Here’s the problem (now) with HTML 5 – most of the browsers being used today don’t support it AND it will take a few years before the majority of people out there will have HTML 5 equipped browsers.
… Man, reality does bite!
Hard-core nerds tend to ignore reality
A time long, long ago, in an Internet that is now far, far away … back in the mid to late 1990’s, CSS was invented and naive nerds such as myself started playing with it, investing precious time that could have been spent playing video games, only to find that most of the browsers being used did not support it … so using CSS was basically useless.
… It took several years before CSS enabled browsers had penetrated enough to use CSS in a serious way. Using CSS prior to wide adoption, only ended with wasted time and disappointment, since you could not actually use it live. The same will be true for much of HTML 5 – unless you start hacking and browser sniffing and all kinds of other nonsense.
Let me conclude by quoting Coder’s Code #36:
The wise web designer shall not waste precious time on learning cutting edge technology … if said nerd wishes to earn a living.