REVIEW - The Essential Guide to HTML5 - Using Games to learn HTML5 and JavaScript


The Essential Guide to HTML5 - Using Games to learn HTML5 and JavaScript


Jeanine Meyer




Apress (2010)




Alan Lenton


April 2014



Reviewed: May 2013

I really can’t recommend buying this book. It seems to have been written mainly for people with a very short attention span, and therefore skips on explaining why you do things in a specific way. The chosen way of displaying programs listings, while it might have be useful for annotating each line, makes it impossible to look at the program flow, or consider the over all design. The one correct idea – that of incremental program development – becomes merely a vehicle for large spaced out repetitive chunks of code which probably extend the size of the book by as much as 20%.

The code itself, is, how shall I put it, somewhat less than optimal, and not conducive to creating good coding habits by those learning from the book. For instance, in the dice game example, the code for drawing a dot on the dice is repeated in a ‘cut and paste’ style every time a dot is drawn, instead of being gathered into a function and called each time it is needed.

I shudder to think about what sort of web site someone who learned from this book would put together. Fortunately, perhaps, they are not likely to learn enough from the book to make a web site work.

A triumph of enthusiasm over pedagogy. Definitely not recommended!

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.