When I met with a friend of mine to help me lay out what it was I needed to do to teach myself to code, he emphasized, with great importance, the idea of documenting my progress. That’s difficult. Without much to show using the limited amount of knowledge I have, it’s easy to make the excuse that I should wait until I have items of substance to show before actually putting anything out there. Progress isn’t pretty, but if my work on Lined Paper Lamppost has taught me anything, there is something satisfying about looking back at where you were alongside where you are now. Despite the difficulty in finding a way to best show how I’m progressing, I think it’s worth doing.
Let’s start with what I’ve been working through over the past few days.
My friend recommended I begin—during “Stage 1,” as he put it—by working through some of the sections and exercises available on W3Schools. So I did. The header image of this post is the first example that pops up when you begin HTML. This is what it amounts to:
Granted, I learned this stuff back in high school. The class I took managed to kind of layout the basics (even though our teacher never taught, we just worked through a book and basically plugged in whatever we saw), but I wanted to begin from the beginning, to assume nothing, to pretend that “<p>” means potato and “<html>” means hide the monkey’s lemon (whatever that is). From there, the lessons detail headings, paragraphs, what a body tag means, how to change a background color. They teach font color changes, data tables, image links and links in general, adding to a wealth of knowledge that allows me to do this(!):
HTML isn’t interesting. No one would probably pretend that it is, but HTML is the framework for what’s to come. It sets the skeleton upright, it puts the gears in motion—everything that comes next simply lays overtop of it to create something more appealing, more better (at least when it comes to web design related things and at least as far as I know).
So here’s to HTML. When I am at some point in the future laying out the framework for the systems powering my robot companions, I will look fondly back at you and these moments. You started it all, HTML—I will never forget that.