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Ebook HTML5 Canvas


Pages: 652

Writer: Steve Fulton & Jeff Fulton

Publisher: O’Reilly

Genre: JavaScript

ISBN:
ISBN-10: 1-4493-9390-X
ISBN: 978-1-4493-9390-8

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Introduction

A lot of the hype around HTML5 and it’s so-called “Flash killer”-ability evolves around the canvas element – an element that makes it possible to draw on a designated area of the HTML-document and update or interact with it via JavaScript.

With the Flash Player abandoning the mobile browsers, this opens an immediate need for a technology, that satisfy the developers desire to create engaging content that goes beyond fading DOM-elements in or out of the page with jQuery – we are talking Physics, object collision and mouse interaction like we are used to on the Flash Platform. This is where the canvas element comes to the rescue, and this book tries to give you enough tools to work with the element.
Tone of voice

The book is precise and consistent in its tone of voice. It is not utterly humorously written, but is keeping a light and positive that makes most the more complex topics easier to swallow.
Content

It is topic based, and all the topics takes you through the main areas of the usage of the canvas element. It starts with simple topics and primitive examples on how to set up the canvas, and how to draw and render text on the elements.

When that is all set, it takes on Physics and animation. Inspired by elder and well written routines from books like “Flash MX 2004 Game Programming”, and “Flash Animation – making things move” (FriendsOfEd) they are converting the concepts, so the work in the JavaScript environment.

After a throughout discussion on the other two main areas, where HTML5 is said to lift the Flash burden – video and audio – it goes into creating a game, and discusses many topics surrounding game development: Timers, transformation of elements, Game State Machine etc.

Finally, there is a topic that shows how PhoneGap can be used to make programs, made with HTML and JavaScript, install and work as native Apps on the device. It also gives pointers for further exploration in WebGL (3D-environment) and working with ElectroServer.
Conclusion

For me, it is the first book on the HTML5 Canvas element I have ever read. As an experienced Flash Developer and well wandered in the world of JavaScript, I had no problem following the examples and extract the new knowledge presented in the book. However, this is not a book teaching you JavaScript. You may learn a lot of new JavaScript-stuff along the way, but there is little help when it comes to understanding of function, conditions and loops. Instead you are getting solid information  about the do’s and don’ts of Canvas-programming.

It is not a beginners book, it’s not a reference book, but for an intermediate programmer, you should have no problems at all. When it comes to the physics stuff and game logic, you may have to read it a few times to get your head around it.

If you are facing any problems, when it comes to topics covered in the book – things you don’t understand or wan’t a discussion about, feel free to ask questions in the JavaScript forum.

Kind Regards
Karsten Vestergaard (ockley)

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