March 2, 2012
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
- HTML5 video
- 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.
September 20, 2010
A few months ago, I warned web designers against rushing into new technologies before their time. I was talking about HTML 5 and CSS 3 and how for the typical web browser, they would not be widely adopted for years.
Things change …
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.
So in response to this (and demand from people) we released a video course on the most important aspects of HTML 5 and CSS 3. Some of the topics we cover include:
* 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
Thanks for reading.
September 11, 2010
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
.. Confused? Then check out this screencast on basic web design.
What’s ‘Hyper’ in the Text?
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.
April 15, 2010
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.
August 24, 2006
I’ve seen this confusion come up from time to time – is HTML a scripting language?
Short answer: no.
Yes a nerd detail, but nonetheless, this is something that should be made clear.
HTML is actually a markup language and not a scripting language.
Markup languages create structure for a document … they only describe data. For example:
… but you knew that already.
August 2, 2006
This book should probably be on any web designers/developers desk.
Web design has changed drastically since this book’s first edition came out … and thankfully Web Design In A Nutshell has been updated accordingly.
As with all of Oreilly’s ‘Nutshell’ books, Web Design In A Nutshell covers each topic in a concise and yet complete manner making it both a great learning title (for people with some web design skills,) and a great reference.
Some of the topics covered:
- CSS – basics, page layout methods, hacks, tricks etc
- HTML, XML and XHTML
- Web graphics
… and so much more.
Besides the core coverage of the material itself, this book is also packed with great references to web sites and other good books on web design.
Get the book.