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Head First HTML and CSS

Head First HTML and CSS, A Learner's Guide to Creating Standards-Based Web Pages is the very first book in the Head First book series that I’ve read, and I must say, I’m really impressed by it. The Head First books are O’Reilly’s equivalent to the For Dummies books, and unlike the DOS for Dummies book that I’ve read about 15 years ago, Head First HTML and CSS completely blows it out of the water. This book has tons of simple easy to follow examples and concepts, on top of that a very humoristic approach to learning. It does an excellent job showcasing the topics in a visual and comprehensive manner.

About half of the content in this book is divided between HTML and CSS. The only bad thing that I can think about this book is that it’s really meant to be read using the physical dead tree format. This book had some well thought out puzzles that are practically impossible to do if you’re using an ebook.

I haven’t read many HTML or CSS books, but I’m confident to suggest and recommend that this is the best beginner HTML and CSS book that anyone wanting to become a web developer should read first.

Rating: 5/5

Head First HTML and CSS

Chapter 1: Getting to Know HTML: The Language of the Web
Chapter 2: Going Further with Hypertext: Meeting the “HT” in HTML
Chapter 3: Building Blocks: Web Page Construction
Chapter 4: Getting Connected: A Trip to Webville
Chapter 5: Adding Images to your Pages: Meeting the Media
Chapter 6: Standards and All that Jazz: Getting Serious with HTML
Chapter 7: Getting Started with CSS: Adding a Little Style
Chapter 8: Styling with Fonts and Colors: Expanding Your Vocabulary
Chapter 9: The Box Model: Getting Intimate with Elements
Chapter 10: Divs and Spans: Advanced Web Construction
Chapter 11: Layout and Positioning: Arranging Elements
Chapter 12: HTML5 Markup: Modern HTML
Chapter 13: Tables and More Lists: Getting Tabular
Chapter 14: HTML Forms: Getting Interactive

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HTML5 Foundations

This book is a great introduction to HTML5. I’m not entirely new to HTML, but I am new to HTML5. HTML5 is a huge topic and technically this book was published before the actual specification was standardized, but it practically covers all what looks to be all the major new additions of HTML5. The major new HTML5 stuff I learned by reading the book was the content related to accessibility, microdata, multimedia, and the new client-side storage capabilities.

This book walks you through creating a fictional pizza restaurant website entirely written from scratch using HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript. You incrementally add new HTML5 related features to the test pizza restaurant site as you progress through the chapters. Even so, additionally I opted to also update my hideous looking personal portfolio site as I read along with content that was being covered in the book.

Although this book is aimed for beginners, there are some areas that I felt it wasn’t opted for the average beginner. This book does not cover CSS at all. Instead it covers JavaScript, and some of it’s new HTML5 related functionalities like Geolocation and Canvas. Unlike HTML5, JavaScript is not a subject were you can easily read a few articles start using it efficiently. Instead of focusing on JavaScript, I would’ve like if the book focused on explaining CSS. I feel the description of this book is somewhat misleading. Since you can’t really start creating full fledge website without covering CSS and JavaScript thoroughly. Both of them are massive topics that practically need to have dedicated books each.

Another thing I would’ve like to see was a question and answer section at the end of every chapter. Thus said, this is a well written and structured book that any high school/middle school student or anyone interested on how websites are created, can easily pickup and start learning HTML5.

Rating: 3/5

HTML5 Foundations
Chapter 1: Getting Started with HTML5
Chapter 2: Structuring a Web Page
Chapter 3: Creating the Page Templates
Chapter 4: Creating the Web Pages
Chapter 5: Working with Forms
Chapter 6: Enhancing Your Web Forms with HTML5
Chapter 7: Validating Form Data Using HTML5
Chapter 8: Using Microdata
Chapter 9: Ensuring Accessibility
Chapter 10: Introducing JavaScript
Chapter 11: Adding Video and Audio
Chapter 12: Storing Data
Chapter 13: Using Geolocation
Chapter 14: Using Canvas to Create Online Ads

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