The things that surround us every day can be looked at from a variety of perspectives and on a number of different levels.
Most of us take for granted that our bodies work; that they will do whatever is necessary to keep chugging along. But people in the medical profession have a highly sophisticated knowledge of how our body parts work in tandem to create a living, breathing human being. The various components of our bodies fascinate these people while the rest of us just say, “Meh, as long as it works.”
Speaking of the human body, how about health care? We go to free clinics to get medical treatment without batting an eye. One piece of plastic allows us to enter any clinic in the country and receive medical care. Most people aren’t aware of the complex bureaucracy that chugs along behind the scenes, allowing us this privilege. But it’s there.
How about the Internet? People log on to Facebook or ESPN without knowing how these sites were created. We read them, admire them and appreciate them. But users simply take for granted how the text, images, sounds and video have come together to create a polished final product.
Like biologists who study the human body or government officials who dot the i’s and cross the t’s of our health care system, learning HTML has given me a higher level of appreciation for web designers.
Here’s an interactive demonstration. I think I can hear your collective oohs and aahs. First click on this link and peruse the page.
Pretty, right? Wouldn’t it be cool to see the anatomy of that page? If you answer yes, simply click on “view” and then “page source” to see the code. That is, if you’re using Firefox. That whole mess of code amalgamates into something so beautiful. Wild, huh?
For this class, we had to create a personal webpage using HTML, a technology widely thought of by optimists to be old-fashioned and by pessimists to be extinct. HTML is to the internet as organs and bones are to the human body. It is the language of the web that looks like a jumbled mess until it is translated into pretty websites. I should mention that web designers are moving more and more towards web design programs like Dreamweaver and approaches such as CSS but that’s a topic for another post.
HTML is a long and tedious process. But that is not to say that it is illogical. Much like equations from math class or nomenclature from chemistry, HTML is a system that is very much based on memorization and practice. When one looks at web code, it is easy to see it as a mass jumble of crap. An illogical and random mess of characters. But if you have the time to further analyze its complexities, it actually become, dare I say, simple. As someone who occasionally longs for the days of “right and wrong” answers in the maths and sciences, HTML has somewhat filled this void in my life.
I really enjoyed doing this assignment. Being an avid user of the Internet (aren’t we all?), it is interesting to learn how the web is created. This technology that will come to define a generation has been influential on so many levels. There was a time when you whipped out a map to get directions. Or headed to your local library to educate yourself on a particular issue or event. Now, an Internet connection is all you need. It is a technology that has matured over the years and many of us (including me) have a hard time remembering the days before GoogleMaps and Wikipedia. We should all appreciate its functionality. And if you have time, learn some HTML because your appreciation will only go up.