Posted on by & filed under ebooks, html5.

Since these technology areas are relatively new I thought I’d point to some of the resources that have been supremely valuable to me in developing an offline web app:

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Building iPhone Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

by Jonathan Stark

By a happy coincidence this in-progress book from O’Reilly is running on the Open Feedback Publishing System I developed for them earlier this year. (Here’s the announcement post I made on this blog with some technical details.)

This particular topic is perfect for the format — it’s a technology that’s available for use today, meaning developers desperately need resources, but is too new for a traditional print publishing cycle. Thanks to the author and publisher for providing just what I needed.

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Dive into HTML5

by Mark Pilgrim

Another O’Reilly in-progress, but one that doesn’t use OFPS.

Book publishers should absolutely skim through this — it’s a fantastically unconventional design for a cutting-edge technology book.

But the best part, to me, is that it’s a truly interactive ebook. In lieu of many static illustrations, the actual code is presented in the browser. From the chapter on the HTML5 graphical <canvas> element:

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The gradient displayed isn’t a static image, it’s the real <canvas>. Since I’m using a browser that understands it, I see the result.

As a developer, this is huge — I can experiment with HTML5 right in the browser. Interactivity doesn’t have to mean audio and video awkwardly shoveled into an ebook. It can flow naturally out of the subject matter and the needs of the readers.

And the advantage for authors is that they can refine their worked examples without needing to take tedious screenshots each time. Effectively, the book becomes agile.

Both books are going to receive traditional commercial print runs while their electronic editions remain licensed under Creative Commons.


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