The Mobile Web Handbook — nearly done

On Tuesday I delivered the final edits for The Mobile Web Handbook, my new book published by Smashing Magazine. Order it here.

The book is a bit late; it was originally slated to appear in June. However, it’s really done now; you can expect the e-book in about a week and the physical book at the end of September. Right now the only unresolved issues are a few minor styling ones, as well as the index. I expect both to be solved somewhere next week.

Writing a book about the mobile market and the mobile web is tricky. Circumstances change faster than I can keep up with even on a blog, let alone in a book that’s already slightly outdated by the time it reaches the consumer. That’s why I decided to talk about mobile web fundamentals such as the viewports and touch events, as well as the browser market, especially the Android one. These topics will remain important in years to come, even though browser compatibility patterns will continue to shift. The gory compatibility details are on the companion pages (work in progress; not ready yet.)

The Mobile Web Handbook. Written by me. Tech editor: Stephanie Rieger. Design and illustrations: Stephen Hay. General editor: Vitaly Friedman. Copy editor: Owen Gregory. Additional editors: Patrick Lauke, Max Firtman, and Vasilis van Gemert. Production: Markus Seyfferth.

Here’s the table of contents:

  1. The Mobile World: How the mobile world differs from the desktop world. Highlights operators and device vendors.
  2. Browsers: How the mobile browser market works. Which types of browsers there are. Excludes Android, which is more complicated than the rest combined.
  3. Android: Why the Android browser market is so terribly complicated. Why Google Chrome is not the default browser on all that many devices.
  4. Viewports: Why mobile browsers need three viewports instead of the one that desktop browsers support. Also resolution, media queries, the screen.width/height problem, and related topics.
  5. CSS: A quick look at several CSS declarations that are hard to implement on mobile for a variety of reasons.
  6. Touch And Pointer Events: What touch and pointer events are, how they work, and the difference between them. Also: why Microsoft’s insistence on pointer instead of touch events makes sense from a certain perspective. Future of event handling on many devices.
  7. Becoming A Mobile Web Developer: Some tips and tricks for becoming a mobile web developer. Mostly about which devices your lab should have and how to collect them, but also a bit about a few aspects of desktop web development that may not translate to mobile.
  8. The Future of the Web on Mobile: A quick look into the future. What's next? How will the web evolve on mobile?

In general, and with my financial well-being in mind, I’d say everyone who reads this should buy it. That especially goes for web developers who want to understand mobile browsers and the mobile web more than they do today.

This is the blog of Peter-Paul Koch, web developer, consultant, and trainer. You can also follow him on Twitter or Mastodon.
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