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Dive Into HTML5

After years of only talk about the HTML5 specification the last 2 years or so browser vendors are finally starting to implement most parts of the specification, even though the HTML5 specification isn’t completed yet. Because of this I haven’t been paying much (or any) attention to it at all so I’ve got no clue about all the new features that HTML5 brings.

Luckily for me the free online book Dive Into HTML5 by Mark Pilgrim gives a nice introduction to HTML5. It gives a nice explanation on how to use <article>, <header>, <footer> and <nav> but also some of the other elements as <video> and <canvas>.¬†Geo-location, storage, offline availability, new types of form elements and microdata have chapters of their own as well. I think microdata is an interesting addition, although I’m not sure yet it would serve any other purpose than providing specific data to search engines.

Reading this book has brought me up-to-date quickly on the HTML5 topic and makes it a less scary beast for me. If you’re interested at all in web development then I suggest reading Mark Pilgrim’s excellent book.

Finished reading: The Definitive Guide to Catalyst

A couple of days ago I finished reading The Definitive Guide to Catalyst which for a technical book (or any at all) I read through quite fast. I’m not going to write a full fledged review about it but I can recommend it to anyone interested in working with Catalyst. For those who don’t know it Catalyst is a web application framework written in Perl.

Although the online documentation is very good the book is a nice addition to it. It’s more than just a collection of some code examples. The chapters follow a certain thought process to write maintainable and extensible code, complete with tests and all. Common in the book is that the example code will get a rewrite later on in the chapter to reach this goal. I consider this a nice feature of the book as it shows why that refactoring was needed and is the better solution to the problem.

There are only a few small complaints I’ve got about the book. The code indentation isn’t always consistent and there are occasionally some errors in the code. But looking more at it from a conceptual kind of view it’s clear what the author intents. I also don’t really understand the choice to include Reaction in the final chapter. Documentation is scarce and it seems abandoned. I’d much rather see some Catalyst::Runtime core modules described in there, such as Catalyst::ScriptRunner (did it even exist at the time of writing?), Catalyst::Request and Catalyst::Response. I know the latter 2 are well documented, but they weren’t even mentioned in the book.

Other than that it was a great read and am glad I bought it :-).

Item #1 of bucket list done!

My my, I managed to finish something that was on my bucket list. I finished reading The Game Producer’s Handbook. So far the most expensive book I had bought (in this genre). The biggest part of the book didn’t really interest me, but nearing the end of the book it got better. The thing is, I’m interested in Indie Gamedev. This book mostly focuses on AAA titles. Which means big budgets and huge teams. Nevertheless it was an interesting read as it gives a nice insight in the work of a game producer.

Game Coding Complete, 3rd edition

Game Coding Complete, 3rd editionLast Thursday I’ve made my first purchase over at Amazon and was happily surprised it arrived today. That’s the fastest delivery time I’ve experienced from a webshop not located in my country! So kudos to that.

Game Coding Complete, 3rd edition was what got delivered at my house. I’ve only skimmed through some pages and so far I like what I see. It’s quite a big book with 908 pages so I’m afraid it’s going to take me a while to finish it.

I ordered the book because although I’ve got quite a bit of programming experience, I don’t have much experience in programming games. Sure, I did a couple of small games and prototypes but never gotten much further than that. Since the author, Mike McShaffry, is quite the veteran I thought, why not learn from one of the best?

The book has lots of examples and am eager to start reading it.