Book Review – Instant HTML5 Presentations: How To
by Tony Dunsworth
First off, the disclaimer, I have received a free copy of the book in exchange for the review. For most of my readers, this is well-known and established, but I like to also post a reminder so people are fully aware of my involvement. The book is Instant HTML5 Presentations: How To by Davi Ferreira.
Now that I have that out of the way, I will admit, I thought the book was interesting. It is, basically, an extended tutorial on using reveal.js, HTML5, and CSS to create a Single Page App (SPA) that functions as a presentation. Reveal.js is a very interesting library and he covers it in good depth. There is also supplemental code if you don’t want to type in the code from the book.
Mr. Ferreira steps through each portion of the process carefully and by the end of the book, 60 pages later, you should have a very good understanding of how to do this yourself. His subheadings in the book included being able to not only customize the presentation, but add notes. One idea I wish he would have elaborated a little further is setting the same presentation up on two monitors so you could use the speakers notes effectively. I have an idea on how to do it, but I think a little more explanation there would be beneficial to someone who wants to throw a presentation together, but isn’t a programmer naturally.
He also discusses in the book how to configure and use Sass to build your CSS faster, but he pays no attention to Less for people who either can’t or don’t use Ruby and Rails for the website. To me, the example on this would be creating a presentation and then putting it on a flash drive, using some WAMP stack to create a temporary server for the presentation, and then running the presentation from the flash drive. His only suggestion is to write CSS. Could you find a way to use Less since you’re likely not going to be using Ruby on someone else’s machine? Or, for something I may be doing later this month, I have a presentation due in a class and would love to use this as a way to deliver that presentation. I have a private web host or I could even upload the page and the CSS/JS here, either way, there is no backbone support for Sass.
Overall, I was impressed at how much I picked up in 60 pages. Mr. Ferreira is a good writer and doesn’t spend time adding in anything unnecessary. I would recommend this to anyone who has to create presentations and is looking for an alternative to PowerPoint which gives more flexibility. Go buy the book, it is wort the few dollars Packt is charging for it.