As a programmer always thirsty to learn new tech, I also love to get a refresher and learn something new in the process. That is why a couple of times a month I go to the local bookstore (Chapters here in Canada) and browse many of the new books in stock. Over the last few years especially, the computer book section has gotten a bit sparse. It makes sense, many of the languages are moving so quickly that by the time a book is written and sent to stores they are out of date. Not to mention we are in the age of the Internet, so why get a blocky pile of paper called a book?
Ok, I have done web development for quite a long time and I consider myself an old hat at HTML and CSS. But you know with the advancement of HTML 5 and CSS3 it is easy to miss a few of the finer points. While this book isn’t going to rock your world with undiscovered gems it is still a very beautifully book with an excellent layout. It covers most of the bases including many of the HTML 5 controls and mentions a little about page design/layout. The book presents each topic in 1-2 pages and features some color coding snippets and examples. It takes some of the harder to understand topics, like floating elements or the canvas element, and breaks it down to the bare bones basics.
Where this book falls down a bit is its discussion on what is supported by the major browsers. Sure you can go to caniuse.com and check out the latest feature support, but sometimes when you are reading about an element or style it is nice to know where support lies for such a feature. Even if the browsers have already moved on to newer versions. It is nice to know that a feature isn’t even supported in IE 10 or under for instance.
Either way, this book isn’t something I would buy separately (and I have seen it sold separately) unless you are REALLY new to HTML and want to get started. I did rediscover a few tidbits that I had forgotten about but it is a great beginner book and I will recommend it as that. The better part of this set is the second book.
This book set is perfectly positioned for the beginner to intermediate web developer who probably has under 5 years of experience. If you are looking to get started with web development, there are going to be very few books that explains the tech as easy as this one does. I would put this set on the same level as the “Missing Manual” books you might have seen around the stores as well. But you will be hard pressed to find books that match this set in terms of beauty and good paper quality.
For the price you would pay for this set, they are definitely worth the money. I would also recommend the hardcover set instead of the paperback. The hardcover just feels a bit nicer and more durable. I bought these books after going to the book store a few times and found myself reading a chapter at a time while I was there. Now that I have browsed them several dozen times, I leave them around my house in places that a guest could see it and pick it up to browse. Maybe a coffee table or anywhere you may place magazines. A dev book with the likes of Vogue, Time and National Geographic? Yes, it can handle its own. While I thought perhaps I am a bit of a fan boy over this book, and was the only one, I then saw the number of positive reviews on Amazon and I realized I wasn’t alone. Get the book and send it to someone who is learning to do web dev. They will be sure to like it!
If you are interested in other books that are recommended by the Coders Lexicon, check out our list in the recommended reading section. Thanks for reading! 🙂