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HTML/CSS as a Prelude to Programming (catsonkeyboards.blogspot.com)
16 points by saundby on July 25, 2008 | hide | past | web | favorite | 5 comments



Nice. I would even suggest learning HTML/CSS, followed by Javascript as a first true programming language. Many a CS professor may disagree, and for the true hardcore CS students, JS will only take you so far. But for the average high school student who has no desire or need to understand the complexities of compilation, GUI libraries, memory allocation, etc., Javascript is a great way to learn programming quickly and visually without the "voodoo" involved in getting a C script to run.

Not to mention, limited experience with HTML/CSS/JS is probably far better on the resume/useful in the job market than limited experience in C/Java/Python.


This is sort of the self-taught path I've followed, but I have no idea how to use an IDE. Can anyone recommend a good one for beginners (assuming that may not be the same as the wonderousness of some emacs thingermajig I don't understand either). Right now I use vi and see what changes in the browser. Where's the IDE come in?


IDEs are useful for helping you match tags, see what part of your page is affected by which tags, and checking your HTML. They're also just handy as editors, e.g. they allow you to open multiple files simultaneously (e.g. your html file in one tab and your stylesheet in another.)

Not that there's anything wrong with vi. I use it and an IDE.

You might want to give Arachnophilia a try. It's simple, configurable, multiplatform, and does more than HTML/CSS: http://www.arachnoid.com/arachnophilia/

Amaya is prettier, and focused on web page design: http://www.w3.org/Amaya/

Neither one breaths fire like the big IDEs, but both do a great job on what they do. ;)


This is a fantastic little write-up. So many kids these days miss out on the benefits of understanding what is actually going on under the hood of that flash DX/OGL GUI. There are bits and bytes, logic and complxity. I don't know what I would do without the technology of computing systems; maybe try to invent them?


ESR also recommends learning XHTML before taking on programming, saying it can teach a person certain mental habits. This fellow however, enumerates those mental habits quite well and accurately, based on my own learning experiences anyway. A great blog entry indeed.




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