HTML5 Hacks

Hacking Next Generation Web Technologies

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The HTML5 Hacks Community

HTML5 Hacks is more than just a book and a set of companion code repositories. HTML5 Hacks is a group of HTML5 Evangelist/Makers that enjoy pushing the limits of modern web technologies and the JavaScript language.

By creating ‘bundles’ of hacks packaged into web applications that leverage the Twitter Bootstrap UI and are deployed to remote git repository endpoints such as Github and Heroku, the community of hackers can fork, share, and contribute back to each bundled application.

HTML5 Hacks represents a crossroads between open source social coding, ‘Maker’ culture, and application development with future-friendly, standards based, web technologies.

Our definition of ‘Hacks’ was originally inspired by the O’Reilly Hacks Series, which followed a standard format of around 100 standalone demos, including 3-6 pages of documentation, for each target technology.

Since then, our definition for HTML5 hacks has broadened to include more integrated, and sometimes complex prototypes that bleed into world of hardware, robotics, and peripherals being programmed with JavaScript.

Our hacks generally fall into one of three categories:

Single Specification ‘Proof of Concepts’

Similar to the original O’Reilly definition; Simple and focused solutions. Typically, 3-6 pages of documentation. i.e Most of the examples in O’Reilly HTML5 Hacks Chapter 4 – Hacking Your Graphics with Canvas and SVG or O’Reilly HTML5 Hacks Chapter 7 – Geolocation Hacks

Integrated Solutions

Demo of multiple technologies being used together; These Hacks tend to be more ambitious and need more documentation. Typically, 10-20 pages of documentation. i.e Most of the examples in O’Reilly HTML5 Hacks Chapter 8 – WebWorker API

Prototypes and Frameworks

Deployable applications; UX prototypes; Frameworks. These hacks may even incorporate production artificats like Unit and Integration tests, a build workflow, and/or leverage a Continous Integration server. Depending on the hack’s author/s and goals, production accelaration may be a priority. i.e Robodeck

Getting Started


GitHub is one of the most popular places to host open source code, because it’s free for open source projects and has good integration with the open-source version control system Git. Github’s documentation is outstanding, so for more on using Git and Github see Github help as a starting point.

The HTML5 Hacks is an Organization at Github. Github Organizations simplify team management by creating separate dashboard context and profiles for member users.

All of the HTML5 Hacks are located within the HTML5 Hacks Team and the members are shown here.


Each of the chapters from O’Reilly HTML5 Hacks has a companion repository. The index is located on the HTML5 Hacks Team page. For example, by navigating to Chapter 1’s repository you should get the README that explains in detail how to access, and contribute to the code samples.