File Under: HTML5

Beautiful Websites: Google’s Book of 20 Things

If you’re looking for a nerdy book to give that budding programmer in your family this holiday season, Google has you covered.

Best of all, it’s free (you cheapskate) and it’s written entirely in HTML5 (you nerd).

The book is called 20 Things I Learned About Browsers and the Web. According to the forward, it’s “a short guide for anyone who’s curious about the basics of browsers and the web.”

It covers the structure of the web, then offers primers in HTML, JavaScript and Ajax, then offers a glimpse at what’s next in the world of browsers and web apps. There are also discussions about privacy, security, open source software, and design.

The book was written and built by the Google Chrome team, so the bulk of the technical stuff highlights features in Google’s browser. Under the hood, there’s some cool tech going on. There are fancy CSS type treatments and animations throughout. They’ve also recreated the familiar page-flipping animation as you thumb through the book, which frankly smells like the 1990s but adds a rather quaint touch here.

It’s a solid demonstration of how HTML5 can be used to present content in a compelling, “featurey” way. Plus, it’s not just for kids — I learned something new flipping through it, though I’m not saying what. I have a reputation to uphold.

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