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Jul. 3rd, 2006 | 08:08 am

I suppose I'm the only one who is upset by the change over the years in webdesign from HTML to PHP and CSS.

HTML, while seeming intimidating at first, is actually relatively easy and fun. The syntax is simple, and the formatting even simpler. But PHP and CSS, both touted as being easy, are in actuality a nightmare to try to build a site in unless you've had a class focusing specifically in them. You could pick up HTML by looking at the source code of sires and trying it on your own. With PHP and CSS, the idea that someone could come along and learn solely by doing is a foreign idea. I barely understand the sole stylesheet I use for my site.

The worst part about this, though, is that fact that older browsers are simply left in the dust. While there's always going to be an element of this with the nature of a constantly upgrading Web, at least with HTML, even if a certain tag wasn't supported, one could work around it. But with these new tools there's a certain strictness that is reminiscent of true programming languages rather than a markup language. If something isn't supported, then the user can't see anything. And since no one bothers making pages for users browsing with NetExplorer 4.0, then you're force to upgrade the browsers as well, forcing along a change that some people can't adapt to.

Then again, it doesn't help things when the W3C forces some BS standards that make writing HTML the right way a damn nightmare. You're supposed to put a slash in BR tag now? Bullshit!

It's times like this I wish there were an HTML revolution.

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Comments {4}


from: magnus_samma
date: Jul. 3rd, 2006 06:02 pm (UTC)

I know how you feel. HTML was the first (and only) programming language I learned anything about, and writing my own webpage practically from scratch, even if it was a fairly simplistic and bad one, was one of the proudest moments of my life. Nostalgia aside, other programming languages are just so hard to get into, at least for me. It makes you wonder why anyone would change. What, is HTML not good enough for them or something?

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It's too good, actually.

from: nangbaby
date: Jul. 4th, 2006 01:11 am (UTC)

The problem is HTML is too easy. While not everyone can get it, most people with a working brain have the capacity to learn the basics. Unfortunately, that means that there's not too much other than adding tags you can do to complicate the process (although the W3C tries). If you add CSS and PHP, though, along with a healthy dose of CGI that interacts with a MySQL database, then you have the need for expensive, specialized software to do all the coding for the people. In order to make web design more commercialized things have to be more complicated so people can make money along the way.

There's also the factor that people want to force their sites to look a certain way, without the variance that accompanies web browsers. I think that while it is a worthwhile goal, the wonderful thing about the Internet is that people view it with different browsers and computers. A standardized appearance is good for business, but it's trying to force the same experience on people, despite the capabilities of the software they're using.

And the sad thing is this. Learning HTML did help me understand the basics of programming like pointers and local variables in a roundabout way. I forgot what I learned, of course, but at one time, I knew it.

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from: sin_ominous
date: Jul. 3rd, 2006 09:27 pm (UTC)

The only benefit I saw to CSS was the ability to do custom fonts. Apart from that, I'm particularly old-school html-savvy. For the newer stuff, I just had programs that auto-generated css stylesheets upon saving to html.

Apple's Pages, for example, can export any of their templates to .css. So, I guess I cheat at that at taking the easy way out. :P I know my online portfolio, from one of my college COM courses (Media Design, to be exact) had one frame with a .css sheet. http://www.geocities.com/jaguarspig/ (navigate the top frame and click "Resume")

Bottom line: Frankly, I just go with whatever works. Mostly html, and .css where needed, which isn't often.

Now PHP, that's a whole 'nother monster I wouldn't even dare to touch. :P

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from: nangbaby
date: Jul. 4th, 2006 01:31 am (UTC)

CSS has its benefits, to be sure, but the problem is most professional and "serious" sites are designed with a heavy combination of CSS and PHP and little actual HTML. As a result, HTML is being almost completely excised from the end result, thus denying the user any opportunity to study how something works.

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