If beginning math, biology, physics etc. can be explained in plain English why not HTML? It can, but no one ever has – until now.
In 1998 I bought a used 1.6 mega pixel digital camera for $150 and started designing websites. At first I worked in HTML 3.2. At the time there was no online help for beginners – at least none that I could find.
Everyone I asked to teach me something either didn't know any more than I did, knew it inside and out but couldn't explain it in language I could understand, or (worst of all) didn't know and tried to hide their ignorance behind a wall of jargon.
I want to introduce HTML to the uninitiated in a language anyone can understand.
Now there are any number good online resources on HTML; but on the whole they are for intermediates and experts. Any beginner would find w3.org intimidating at best. Even a great site like www.w3schools.com is not all that helpful to those that lack a basic understanding of what's going on. It's like trying to learn to drive from a car repair manual.
Since I started I have worked exclusively in web design. Mostly I design travel sites. Good design has an order and logic I find rewarding. At the same time there is always something new to learn – some new challenge to meet. It's not factory work.
I'm originally from the US, but now I live in a small Mayan village on the shore of Lake Atitlan in the mountains of Guatemala. I first came here in the mid 1970s. At the time there was one telephone in town ...and it seldom worked.
Twenty five years later I plugged into the net and suddenly I could share my beautiful but remote corner of Central America with the whole world. All I needed was a computer, a connection to the internet, some pocket change – and the time and energy it took to learn HTML. That is all you need as well.
HTML is to web design what arithmetic is to engineering. You can't design bridges without knowing the math and you can't learn the math without first learning arithmetic. You have to start at the beginning.
As HTML5 becomes the standard you will hear a lot of talk about powerful, but complex new tags such as
<video>. Such talk can sound like car freaks discussing superchargers. Don't let it scare you.
First learn the fundamentals and the rest will come in time.
- Duncan Aitken
- Panajachel, Guatemala