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Why still code HTML/CSS by hand in a text editor in 2019?

Discussion in 'HTML & Website Design' started by Gary-SC, Jun 3, 2019.

  1. deathshadow

    deathshadow Acclaimed Member

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    #21
    A little over a decade ago I knew two brilliant young men. They were close friends of mine, and both have passed. They each had observations that changed how I look at websites, they are the absolute truth, and they are things the majority of "designers" never consider:

    1) Dan Schulz: "People don't visit websites for the goofy graphics we hang around the content. They visit FOR the content".

    It seems so simple, so obvious. It isn't. Marketing and Advertising types are used to having to "grab the user's attention" in their print or video media. Simple fact is if a user is already on your site, YOU'VE ALREADY WON THAT BATTLE!. Your job stops being about flashy marketing glitz, and is instead about giving the user what they came to your site for. Information, the product, etc, etc. That's why content is king, that's why content should be front-and-center.
    SEMrush
    I'm not saying if you have a physical product you can't make its presentation glitzy, but avoid excess artsy-fartsy garbage that is unrelated to and/or detracts from / distracts attention from what's important -- the product.

    If that's not what your art and graphics and goofy animations are doing, GET RID OF THEM. Endless pointless images of smiling children add nothing of value to the page, just as stupid animations might impress a dunce the first time they visit the site, but the fifth time they come back you might just be pissing them off. Kind of like how the "AMD: Gaming Evolved" and "nVidia: The way it's meant to be played" videos in games piss users off.

    2) Aaron Swartz: "The best interface design is the one the user doesn't notice."

    This seems almost counterintuitive, but think about it. Users are visiting your sites to do something. They came there with a purpose and ANYTHING that interferes with that purpose is bad design. If the user lands on your site, gets what they want, and didn't have to think about it, or get distracted by the layout, or have to navigate page after page after page just to find the simplest of information, then you have made a really good design.

    Good designs are clean, simple, effective, intuitive, and don't get in the way.

    This is why my list of the three TOP web designs horrifies most of the artists under the DELUSION that they are designers: Google, Wikipedia, and Craigslist. Clean simple content oriented design. I would even add Amazon and E-bay to that. Sure, many of those sites have piss poor code implementations, but their DESIGN is actually quite good. If you think ANY of those sites had some PSD jockey sitting their spanking his crank on a graphics tablet to create their layouts? Well... no.

    In that way, all this arsty flashy glitzy scripting and graphics heavy trash feels like "designers" who have been tasked with one simple job: Cover up for a lack of "content of value". That's why you see these dumbass giant full-screen sized slideshows or video backgrounds pushing anything resembling actual content below the fold (bottom of the screen before you scroll). They truly believe the information they are presenting or content you landed there for cannot stand on its own, so they try to bypass rational thought with art to make you "feel" instead of think.

    Kind of like modern news media. They're stealing from Pro Wrestling by exploiting "cheap heat".

    That's the core of it. Scam artists don't want you to think, they want you to feel. That's why they lie through their teeth about how much "simpler" or "better' their garbage is, but are unable to present a single rational argument to support those claims... or if they do, it's card-stacked in their favor by using poorly / ineptly coded examples of the alternatives.
     
    deathshadow, Jun 15, 2019 IP
    SEMrush
  2. mmerlinn

    mmerlinn Notable Member

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    #22
    Here is a true story about how important it is to know how to code.

    Victim: Me, about 1980 or so.
    Hardware: Apple II+, 16K memory, 1Mhz chip
    Software available: Apple BASIC

    At that time sorting programs for that computer did not exist. If you needed to sort something, you did it by hand, or wrote a program to do it for you.

    By hand is prone to typos and very very slow.

    So, I decided that I had no choice but to write my own sorting routine in Apple BASIC.

    I did. How did it work out? HORRIBLE. It would sort just fine. Everything worked EXACTLY as needed. EXCEPT it was slower than a turtle racing to the moon. How slow? I did a test. 2000 words 4 letters long in a random order. Result. After TWELVE (12) HOURS the computer was NOT FINISHED sorting them!

    Needless to say, I only used that sort program on VERY SHORT lists.

    Then one day I was perusing Kilobaud, an Apple magazine, and saw a sorting routine there that looked promising. So I MANUALLY typed in ALL 250 lines of Apple BASIC code and got it to working. Result? Same 2000 words in TWELVE (12) MINUTES! Wow, I was ecstatic!

    BIG PROBLEM though. I have 16K of memory. Sort routine consumes about HALF of my available memory! Leaves me NO room to do much of anything else.

    So, over the next 6 months I kept tweeking the code more and more. End result? FIVE (5) lines of Apple BASIC code consuming less than 400 BYTES of space out of the 16000+ bytes available. Test result? Same 2000 words in TWELVE (12) SECONDS. In addition I could sort ascending OR descending whereas the original program would ONLY sort ascending. I used that sorting routine for 8 years on that computer.

    About 2 years later I discovered that Beagle Brothers in San Diego had sponsored a contest to find the fastest BASIC sort routine. They then added the results to the discs they were selling. And, of course, that is the program that people bought the disc for.

    When I found out about it, I wrote to Beagle Brothers to get benchmarks to determine how fast their sorting program was. I also included the benchmarks for what I had. Their reply? IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR AN APPLE BASIC PROGRAM TO SORT THAT FAST! Needless, to say, I never bought the disc because it was OBVIOUS to me that I had the FASTER ALL BASIC SORT ROUTINE.

    In summation, my original sort routine was a bubble sort. The one I typed in was a shell sort. My final routine was a modified shell sort.

    I learned a LOT in this ONE exercise much of which some 40 or so years later I am STILL using. You will be able to say the SAME thing years from now once you learn HTML and whatever else in the meantime.
     
    mmerlinn, Jun 18, 2019 IP
  3. Gary-SC

    Gary-SC Greenhorn

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    #23
    Love this. I also suspect it will make authoring a web page simpler as well.

    How funny, most of those GUI tools, Bootscrap templates, and TurdPress themes are based on the complete opposite perspective. It seems to me that they want me to notice how KEWL their stuff LOOKS!

    It makes sense. Those GUI tools and dumb methodologies are never about doing things right and effectively. They are all about feeling easy.
     
    Gary-SC, Jun 18, 2019 IP
  4. Gary-SC

    Gary-SC Greenhorn

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    #24
    @mmerlinn

    I am going to take your story to the core of my heart and hang onto it as I continue to learn. It confirms even further that my investment in learning to code HTML and CSS by hand and how to think in that mode (and now thinking of expanding my horizon in light of my recent discoveries!) is going to go WAY beyond any tools those startup companies come up with!
     
    Gary-SC, Jun 18, 2019 IP
  5. NetStar

    NetStar Notable Member

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    #25
    Editors are fine if you need to make simple layouts and don't have the time to learn the code. Anything beyond a basic layout will become annoying and too much effort in an Editor.

    I once desperately tried to use DreamWeaver. I spent so much time pointing and clicking and readjusting to never get the design quite right. Once I went in to the Source Tab I was able to write the layout in a few minutes.
     
    NetStar, Jul 2, 2019 IP
  6. kk5st

    kk5st Prominent Member

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    #26
    I call bulsh! For the reasons mentioned in several posts on this thread and others.

    On second thought, after multiple re-readings I'm not sure what you mean by capitalizing 'Editor'. If that includes the likes of DW, I might be agreeing with you. My first venture into writing a commercial site began when a friend who had an import business asked me because I knew all that computer sh't (so he thought). He gave me his DW to use. After several hours, I said to myself, 'EFF it, Self', went back to a plain text editor, notepad or one of its variants, IIRC, and learned html (was pre css). Of all the jobs required for building a web site, writing the html and css are maybe the simplest.

    gary
     
    kk5st, Jul 3, 2019 IP
  7. deathshadow

    deathshadow Acclaimed Member

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    #27
    I believe they meant fancy editors such as WYSIWYGs, or things like "site builders", hence the attack on DW. I don't think that comment was directed at the likes of sublime, visual studio code, notepad++, editPlus, etc.

    Or at least, that's how I read it.
     
    deathshadow, Jul 3, 2019 IP
    kk5st likes this.
  8. NetStar

    NetStar Notable Member

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    #28
    I think you took my post out of context. The topic of this thread is editors that allow for point and click design. I am referencing Editor in that context. A What You See Is What You Get editor can take more time and effort to design a layout beyond a basic level than just writing out your code. The original poster is not referencing programming editors like Sublime, Scite, Brackets, Notepad++, etc. Not sure what was confusing about my post when re-reading it even for a second time.
     
    NetStar, Jul 3, 2019 IP
  9. kk5st

    kk5st Prominent Member

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    #29
    @NetStar

    Because an editor, to me, is just that. It is not a WYSIWYhope-for application. So, it was ambiguous as to your unconventional usage.
     
    kk5st, Jul 3, 2019 IP
  10. NetStar

    NetStar Notable Member

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    #30
    The topic is about WYSIWYG editors. It doesn't need to be redefined. And by the context of my post it's fairly obvious. If it wasn't to you hopefully my clarification helped you understand.
     
    NetStar, Jul 3, 2019 IP
  11. Gary-SC

    Gary-SC Greenhorn

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    #31
    @NetStar and @kk5st

    I can see how it might have been confusing to @kk5st.

    I asked:
    I was referring to a text editor such as Notepad++, Sublime Text, Visual Studio Code, etc. any text/code editor. In general, it is reasonable to expect that people refer to something like Notepad++, Sublime Text, Visual Studio Code, etc. when someone says "text editor" or "code editor" in the HTML/CSS coding context where I discussed my question specifically to address writing/coding HTML/CSS manually using a text editor. Furthermore, the term "editor" was never used later in the message to refer to GUI tools (I used two different ways to describe them, none of which said "editor": "GUI front-end development environments such as Wappler, Webflow, and Pinegrow" and "GUI tools") To that, @NetStar responded:

    I can see how it can sound like

    after reading the original question which says "text editor." Then, @NetStar continues:

    One can conclude that it is affirming the stance that directly editing code is better than dragging and dropping by mentioning that he had to resort to editing the code directly in the Source Tab. Or, one can also conclude that @NetStar is using the term "Editor" to say "WYSIWYG Editor" and take it as saying that WYSIWYG editors are fine so long as you can peek in and edit the code where things are more complicated than "basic layout." Since the original post never said the term "editor" to refer to GUI "editor," it is not entirely clear whether @NetStar is affirming the code-centric methodology or affirming the usefulness and versatility of GUI tools since they allow you to edit code manually.

    On top of all of the above, the dictionary definition of the word "edit" magnifies the very subtle lack of clarity even further:
    A newspaper or magazine can contain images and layouts, so the term "edit" isn't limited to written text. However, it is interesting to note that the first and foremost definition refers to preparing for written materials. It is also interesting to note that, when CMS companies say "you can edit the website contents," it gives an impression of editing text contents and information that is largely text-based. So, it is reasonable to assume that, when people hear the term "edit," it has a lot to do with text/code. And, when used in an unconventional way in the context where I refer to "text editors," following up with the term "Editor" can cause some confusion among some readers regardless of the following paragraph implying an exception to the common and more likely usage of the term in general.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
    Gary-SC, Jul 3, 2019 IP
  12. mmerlinn

    mmerlinn Notable Member

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    #32
    I fail to see what is so confusing here. The OP stated:

    A text editor is for editing TEXT, like a LETTER TO YO' MAMA, or like a RESUME, or like ANYTHING else with TEXT but generally NOT for images etc. Yes, some WYSIWYG editors can be used for editing text but their PRIMARY purpose is to jiggle and juggle CONTENT (TEXT, IMAGES, and so on) making them MORE than a text editor. Since the TITLE of the OP's thread SPECIFICALLY notes TEXT EDITORS the following discussion primarily contrasts them to CONTENT editors which are much more than simple text editors.
     
    mmerlinn, Jul 3, 2019 IP
  13. Gary-SC

    Gary-SC Greenhorn

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    #33
    Yup, that is my point as well. I think the potential confusion lies in some response used the word "Editor" to refer to something that is different from what the original question was referring to using the same word.
     
    Gary-SC, Jul 3, 2019 IP
  14. Morten Rasmussen

    Morten Rasmussen Peon

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    #34
    Deathshadow, you are a codemaster. Thanks for all this info. Very informative.
     
    Morten Rasmussen, Jul 4, 2019 IP