The Truth About HTML5 – Book Review

HTML5 has interested me since , and ever since then I have learnt a lot about it. Naturally I don’t know everything but there are some areas I was quite confident of my knowledge in. This book changed some of that.

In the opening chapters, author Luke Stevens speaks from the heart when he launches on a bit of a tirade seemingly against HTML5. Many of us, myself included, have heard the story of how the markup of millions of websites were analysed and the most common class names were used to decide on some new element names. As the title of the book suggests, Stevens tells us just how true this statement is, with proof to back up what he says.


From the origins of the new elements, to the HTML5 document outline and semantics, Stevens laments the lack of a content element and has problems with how we’re being told (and in my case, telling others) how to use HTML5.

Indeed he argues that we shouldn’t be even using HTML5 yet remarking that the reliance on JavaScript shims to enable it to work on older versions of Internet Explorer, and the lack of support for it by screen readers as just some of his reasons.

He does praise WAI-ARIA and the benefits it has over HTML5 and earlier versions of HTML, and remarks on the usefulness of canvas and how it probably will replace Flash in many areas.


This may sound like the book is mainly negative with the odd positive thought sprinkled in for good measure, but this would not be an accurate representation of the book.

Whilst reading the book it must be remembered that it is written as an opinion and the author meant it that way. Stevens does back up most of what he says with hard facts and figures, although it does occasionally get a bit too “ranty” in places when an argument has already been made.

Make your own mind up

I do recommend reading this book, as regardless of whether you agree with what the author has to say, it is informative and interesting and you will definitely learn something new on the way. I happily praised the book on the official website.

I will still carry on using and endorsing HTML5, but it’s always worth reading opposing views and deciding for yourself.