Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Perl Black Book and Adding Value through Curated Content

I've been holding off for some time wondering how I was going to start this particular blog. After all, its called the HTML 5 Black Book. Its meant to tell hundreds if not thousands of tiny little details about the JavaScript language, HTML 5, CSS 3 and other web technologies. The inspiration for this blog is also quite daunting. Its the Perl Black Book which undertook to explain Perl bit by bit in 1 page articles and samples. Over the course of a thousand or more of these articles you quickly grasp how to get stuff done in Perl, without having to read extensive chapters on very specific subjects. Its truly an amazing book and for me it got me from 0 to Hero on Perl over the course of a few months. Well that, and the fact that I wanted better log parsing for my Half Life server. Never underestimate how much learning can transpire when games are involved.

That all aside, the concepts that make the Black Book so successful are the brevity of the articles and the fact that from each you learn something. They in turn build on each other so that all of the small things you've learned build on each other until you have a working understanding. So that is precisely where and how I'll start for the layout of my content.

For the content itself, just as I've been posting things that I'm learning about on my personal blog, here I'll post more on things I tend to know something about or have a strong opinion for. Things that should help you evolve your prowess in using HTML 5. For example, some areas that I find are not well covered when I browse the web or review questions on Stack Overflow:
  1. Code organization and protections that are now available to ES 5 and where possible how they can degrade gracefully to ES 3 (though most of us should not worry about such degradation).
  2. Useful poly-fills for new web features that still have not achieved a great deal of interoperability.
  3. Various performance notes that I've collected over time.
  4. And hopefully some real life interactions that I have with people around me on the subject. In fact if you run into something interesting that you think deserves a black book entry then contact me since I'd be interested in covering it.
I'm also looking to fill out a few key references pages so if you have some strong recommendations for people whom I should follow or reference materials that are just too good to pass up then please feel free to forward those along. An example, great page, might be the Learning WebGL Lessons though I'll likely share links like that on my HTML 5 Game Gems blog instead ;-)