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posted by martyb on Tuesday July 02 2019, @04:39PM   Printer-friendly
from the lawns dept.

"Front-end" developer, Pete Lambert, writes about why front-end "web" developers should start to learn HTML. More and more developers are using only pre-made frameworks and quite unfamiliar with the fundmentals of the technology they are using, such as semantic markup. He notes that the continued failure to pay attention to the basics of semantics is slowly breaking what's left of the World Wide Web and suggests reasons to correct that and has some pointers to learning resources.

I’m a ‘frontend of the frontend’ kind of guy. My expertise is in HTML and CSS, so it’s easy for me to wax lyrical about why everybody should learn what I already know (for the record, I don’t know it all - we still have heated debates in the office about what the best way to mark up a certain component might be). This isn’t about ‘my job’s more important than yours. If you’re writing code that renders things in a browser, this is your job.

It’s about usability and accessibility. If you don’t think the semantic structure of your Web page or app is important then you’re essentially saying “Well, it works for me in my browser, ship it”. I don’t think you’d do that with your Javascript and you certainly shouldn’t be doing it with your CSS. Search engines need to read your content, not enjoy your swoopy animations or fancy gradients. Screen reader software needs to read your content. Keyboard users need to read your content. Who knows what technology will come next and how it will consume your app but I’ll bet my bottom Bitcoin it’ll work better if it can easily read, parse and traverse your content. The way these things read your content is that they know it’s actually content and not just strings of text wrapped in meaningless tags. They know what’s a table and how to present it, they know what’s a list and how to present it, they know what’s a button and what’s a checkbox. Make everything from divs and they’re going to have to work bloody hard to figure that out.

Earlier on SN:
How to Build and Host an Energy Efficient Web Site (2018)
Conservative Web Development (2018)
Dodgy Survey Shows 1 in 10 Believe HTML is an STD? (2014)


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  • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Tuesday July 02 2019, @05:29PM (1 child)

    by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday July 02 2019, @05:29PM (#862461)

    VR world wide wank is next.

    I thought that was Second Life.

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  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday July 02 2019, @05:44PM

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Tuesday July 02 2019, @05:44PM (#862464) Journal

    Just a beta version :)

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