Wednesday, November 7, 2012

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Friday, April 6, 2012

Review of "Introducing HTML5 Game Development"

I had the opportunity to read "Introducing HTML5 Game Development" by Jesse Freeman as part of the O'Reilly Blogger Review program.  I received a free copy of the book for this purpose.

My main criticism of this book is that it has a very misleading title.  I came in expecting to learn how to use HTML5 and JavaScript to build games.  Instead, I found a tutorial of how to create a game with a commercial game development framework called Impact.  (After looking at the product page again there is a subtitle  'Developing Games with Impact'.  That still sounds to me like the games you develop with this book will have an impact, not that this is a guide to using Impact.)  The code samples in the book are useless unless you fork over $100 for a license to the Impact framework.  The author mentions that other good free and open source frameworks exist but doesn't cover any of them and spends very little time on the underlying technology in HTML5 that allows game development like this to work.

There were some sections on game design and techniques used by the author when he creates games.  Those ideas transcend any particular framework and I found them interesting.

If you are looking for a guide on how to use the Impact framework to build a game then this is a great introduction and I recommend it highly for that purpose.  It is well written and has plenty of example code.

However, if you are looking for an introduction HTML5/JavaScript game development, this is probably not the book for you.

For more information, see the O'Reilly product page here.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Review of "Javascript: The Definitive Guide"

JavaScript: The Definitive Guide was writing by David Flanagan and published by O'Reilly Media.  I received a copy of this book as part of the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program.

What an aptly named resource for a language that seems to be getting more popular by the minute.  JavaScript just recently surpassed both Perl and Python in Tiobe's monthly index of programming languages which is in no doubt due to the recent innovations in server side JavaScript as well as html5.

This book is most certainly the definitive guide for JavaScript and is very readable given the amount of information that is covered.  It is not only a good guide to JavaSript in addition to that there are over 300 pages of both core and client side reference materials that will make this a must have for anyone that is serious about working with this language.

I especially appreciated the organization of this book that allows for learning and using JavaScript both on the web, but also on it's own.  Much of what you find for JavaScript references around the web focus on the web and it was nice to be able to approach much of what JavaScript can do outside of that context.

Overall I was very impressed by this book and highly recommend it to anyone who is serious about JavaScript.

You can purchase this book from O'Reilly at this link:

Monday, February 13, 2012

Blog in 20 minutes

One of the common selling points of Ruby on Rails is how quickly one can get a new website up and running.   I have to say, as much as I like Ruby, Google has sure made doing everything I need to do in a blog so much easier.  This new blog was up in less than 5 minutes.