HTML5 Graphing and Data Visualization Cookbook by Ben Fhala
$44.99 at Amazon
Although I’ve been using HTML5 for a few years now, I haven’t yet done much with the Canvas, the new drawing element. Having started, it reminds me of nothing so much as moving the turtle around in the old Logo programming language.
In each chapter, we start by typing in some new code and run it; after that, the book discusses what the code is doing. I liked the format because you see results right away – each code segment is relatively short – and then after seeing what happens, you see how it works. I also liked the little mathematical explanations and programming asides that pop up here and there. The chapter organization also makes it easy to jump to the section of the book you’re interested in, so I think this will make a good reference.
There were two things that irritated me about this book. The first was that the spacing in code is a little odd, with extra spaces where I wouldn’t expect to see them and no space where I do expect one. This doesn’t affect how the code works, but it’s a little distracting. The book is also written in a fairly informal manner, complete with smileys; at times I felt like I was reading blog posts rather than a professional programming book. That said, neither of those really takes away from the usability of the book, and are more a matter of personal preference than anything else. For the topic this book covers, I haven’t seen anything better.
Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book.