Unlike say C++, the core concepts of HTML5 are simple. The difficulty for beginners is not HTML's complexity but that it usually comes cloaked in an all but impenetrable fog of jargon, acronyms and just plain bad writing.
Most think of computers as logical – and indeed they are perfectly logical to other computers. The problem is that computer logic is different from human logic. Unfortunately many of those that do understand computer logic are also different – nice enough I'm sure, and no doubt well meaning – but different.
That difference is no small part of what makes them good at computers – but bad at explaining computers to the rest of us. They just don't get what we don't get.
A guy from some technical support desk once told me I should "migrate" a site. ...migrate? It's not a Whooping Crane. I had no idea what this fool was talking about. Eventually I figured out that he wanted me to change servers; that I should transfer the site to a different hosting service.
I'm no genius, but I graduated in good standing from a respected university. I've owned I don't know how many computers over the years and I've designed a lot of web sites. I am not new at this, but still some twit in dirty glasses can make me feel like an idiot. Worse yet, "migrating" the site did in fact fix the problem.
Then there are the error messages: "Please ask the system admin to check their resolv.conf and their dns trust relationship. Ignore any messages of success, this can only result in failure!" *
...what? Aren't I the system admin? I had never heard of a "resolv.conf" any more than I had a "dns trust relationship". Besides, even if I had checked the resolv.conf what trust relationship they might once have enjoyed was clearly long gone.
You too will have such frustrations. When you do, remember that it's not you; it's them – from the twit in dirty glasses all the way up to Bill Gates.** It's their fault, not yours. Even when you do do something really dumb (and you will) blame them. It may be wrong, but copping that attitude has carried me through many, many a rough patch.
So steel yourself against the forces of chaos and confusion. Never lose faith that there will come a time when order and logic shine like the sun on a clear new day.
In the mean time ...onward through the fog!
A computer where you store a Web site, usually rented from a hosting service.
Web hosting services "hosts" web sites on servers to make them accessible to the world via the Web.
* I swear I did not make this up. This is a real error message I got – bleak prognosis and all – from a prominent hosting company.
** A computer scientist sent an email admonishing me for being too harsh. I am not saying all computer scientists are "twits in dirty glasses" any more than I say they are just like Bill Gates (which wouldn't be so bad, would it?). I'm not trying to insult anyone ...except that twit in dirty glasses.
She went on to say my critical tone could discourage readers from getting into computer science. That is the last thing I want. While I strongly recommend augmenting your education with a basic writing course, I do not believe there is a more promising or exciting field of study than computer science. Look at what has happened in the last few years. What's next?