The Modern Web by Peter Gasston

I've been meaning to write this review for a while now but I've successfully put it off for months. Since I'm trapped in a giant mettle tube sailing through the air at 38000 ft this seems like the opportune time to finally get down to it.

The Modern Web in Gasstons own words "is about front-end web development in this new web-everywhere era". Obviously modern web development covers a wide number of disciplines and Gasston presents a selection of these throughout the book, from HTML, CSS to device APIs and microformats. In my eyes it provides a great introduction for developers of practically any skill level. Obviously if you've never written a line of code in your life you might want to start elsewhere. Once finished though the reader should have a fairly good understanding of the various pieces that come together to make the web and hopefully a better understanding of how to write modern websites.

Anyone working in the web space knows that it's a continuously evolving beast and as such things tend to go out of date fairly quickly. Gasston makes a very good job of pointing out where each technology is currently at and makes it obvious if he is talking about things that were at the time of writing in flux. One of the great ideas used throughout the book is that each chapter has a further reading section. So for example if you want to find out more about anything that Gasston mentions or find out what the current state of play is with a certain technology after reading the chapter on it you have some great resources there at your fingertips.

Gasston has an easy to read writing style with occasional witicisms thrown in and well thought through examples. This makes the book much easier to read through than some of the technical books that I've come across recently. The combination of this and the wide spread of content means that I'll certainly be recommending it to anyone that has an interest.