Twenty-first – the HTML5-fever

This assignment has nothing to do with the readings about user experience with story telling, which I enjoyed very much. However, the questions about my way into using HTML5 become very personal since it was only yesterday that we discussed HTML5 in class. Maybe discussion is a word that does not really describe yesterday’s class: most of us were overwhelmed. While HTML5 is not so different from HTML; after all they share one genealogy, in HTML5 there is a revolutionary change in the attitude toward coding. I called it de-democratization because in order to master HTML5 you need much additional knowledge, like Java script, and based on my first impression, it can be mastered only by those who are really experienced. HTML5 seems not to suit beginners.

To me HTML5 compares to HTML like French to Italian. First I learned Italian and I was very happy with it. Italian writes phonetically, and has very clear rules of articulation. French does not. Italian always seemed to me clear, logical, and welcoming. French, in contrast, seemed to be a language that I could not conquer. As if it was the language of the restricted circle of the philosophes and I could not enter this elite circle. HTML seems to be approachable and to have a very clear structure, hence, it promises that through understanding its basic functioning one can progress alone in using it in creative ways. The first encounter with HTML5 promised something very different. It suggested: think very well before you push down the first button on your keyboard. Learn new items, and re-learn how to relate them, forget about being systematic with the tagging, and more. One looses his or her hardly earned sense of confidence by being forced to restructure information and being encouraged to leave behind the bars that earlier created a rhythm in the coding. This is not the psychological milieu a beginner should cope with.

And only on top of that we understand that HTML5 is still a work in progress. Do we see the end? Do we know how will it look once it will be announced to be a matured and settled language? As a beginner, can I foresee the problems it wishes to bridge over that earlier could not be solved or only in a more labor-intensive way? Not really.

Hence, I am very happy with my present (or more precisely: yesterday’s) knowledge of HTML. And I do not see lack of point learning anything, which might not serve me immediately, but at a later point in my life I might understand and use the hardly acquired knowledge. Like on that winter morning in the Paris metro, when I could explain that I did validate my ticket, it was just hard to see the stamp on it.

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