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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

W3 Looks Worse Than It Is

            I promised this would happen wayyyy back, but I never specified when I would actually begin it. I was wrestling with exactly where to begin. So I’ll begin with me.
            I’m not formally trained as a webdev. I don’t have a degree. All of the HTML, javascript, and CSS I know is self-taught. And that’s fine. If anything, this should put it in perspective. Anyone can dabble in this and get good results.
            You don’t need to take a class. You don’t need to invest in expensive software. You don’t need to master every little thing to start. You just need to start.
            We will start with what you’re looking at right now. What you see is not what’s actually there. The computer has interpreted the webpage as it’s been encoded to create what you see. But as a first step, you need to see the actual code. First step, copy this: view-source:  now paste it into your browser's address bar in front of the site address. Alternatively, you can write click anywhere on the web page and select view page source.
            Okay, I’m assuming you scrolled through it a little bit, and were just completely confused, almost to the point of being overwhelmed. Yeah, I know. It’s okay to want to go fetal and clutch your teddy bear. It’s even more understandable if looking at that gave you a headache.
            Now, the good news: I coded very little of that. If I were to guess, I’d say about 3%. Software tools provided by my blogging platform or by an HTML editor have provided everything else.
I remember the days of the typewriter. We had to feed the paper in manually, indent text just so using tabs. On my particular typewriter, if I wanted italics or bold, I had to switch out daisy wheels. I had to double space manually by hitting the return twice. And this was a nice electric. Everything needed to be adjusted on the earliest typewriters. Now we have word processors such as Microsoft Word, which automatically handles our page formatting. We also have software to code our webpages. Yes, we will occasionally have to manually insert, change, or copy code, so we need to know what it looks like.
But it really does look worse than it is.

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