html & css aren't programming (WAS: RE: [thelist] Your top timesaving tips?)

Kelly Hallman khallman at
Fri Sep 19 00:12:30 CDT 2003

On Thu, 18 Sep 2003, Wil Cone wrote:
> Noooo! Not another pedantic "doing X isn't 'real' programming" thread! 

I love the 'not another' line prior to a response to that thread..  :)

> Needless to say, I think the black-and-white proclamation that html/css
> isn't (real) programming is an oversimplification of a grey area...

Considering that HTML and CSS lack the characteristics of even simplistic 
programming languages, I don't think it's much of a simplification...

> The CSS dynamic pseudo-classes :hover, :active, and :focus constitute a
> (limited) sequence of operations to be performed by (a browser).

Pseudo-classes may have a special meaning to the browser, but defining
them is no different than defining styles for any other selector.

> Furthermore, I would argue that by defining visibility, placement,
> z-index, etc., you are in essence working out a sequence of (~one-time)
> operations to be performed by the browser...

Again, these are merely style declarations.. This definition would
encompass Photoshop and Pagemaker; is that also programming?

I think HTML and CSS fit comfortably under the heading of "coding" which 
covers traditional programming, markup, etc.

Kelly Hallman

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