I’ve been thinking a lot about HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) lately. It is a markup language for structuring the content of websites. Its syntax is in fact so simple that a lot of folks on the internet will get very upset if you call it a programming language. I don’t care. I need to collect zero nerd point over this. This is a sincere fan letter to HTML.
Are you older or younger than the internet? I grew up with it, and I think that is why the early stages of www feels so nostalgic to me. Pure HTML is how the internet looked when I first encountered it, and at a time when it was simpler in a lot of ways and felt like a more pure place to hang out than it does today. A perfect example is the very first website to ever be made. Did you know it is preserved for your enjoyment? Here it is in all its glory. This is what HTML gives us: content (headline, paragraphs, links, images, tables) with no styling whatsoever to make it pretty. Functional brutalist and beautiful!
Modern web development is constant flux. As a web developer, I need to keep up with a staggering amount of changes to the languages and frameworks I use for work. I also need to learn a couple of new ones every few years or so, in order to keep my skills current. In a world that is always changing, HTML is forever! I mean, isn’t it incredible that the first website ever created is written in such a simple and powerful markup language that it perfectly renderes in every browser known to man today — some 30+ years ago.