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

Joshua Olson joshua at
Fri Sep 19 09:05:09 CDT 2003

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Wil Cone" <wil at>
Sent: Friday, September 19, 2003 2:22 AM

> I'm saying that HTML/CSS can be considered programming because it
> conforms to the definition supplied:

Ok, using pure HTML/CSS, make me a program that can play tic-tac-toe.  How
about a program that will tell me if a word is misspelled, or that
determines scheduling conflicts for a college's professors.

Do that with pure HTML/CSS and I'll concede that creating HTML/CSS
constitutes programming.

I think that part of the miscommunication is that the concept of "html/css
is not programming" has been incorrectly construed as "html/css is not as
good as programming".  This is not the case.  There is a definite art to
rock solid html/css construction.  Just like I hire a professional concrete
pourer to lay down the foundation for my house, I hire a professional
html/css person to do my design templates.  There are a lot of crappy
html/css markupers out there, and IMO a truly good html/css professional is
hard to come by.  Likewise, a good programmer is hard to come by.  Some
people can do both very well--depending on what they are doing, they my be
coding or they may be doing html/css design.

So a solid html/css designer (and I think "designer" is a more appropriate
word that "coder") has nothing to be ashamed of when people say that
html/css is not coding.  They don't mean it offensively (usually) and are
wrong if they think it's a slam on you.  Being a good html/css designer is
to be applauded and recognized, not ashamed of because it's not programming.

BTW, if you are a good html/css designer, shoot me an email off list, I'd
love to talk with you.  No dreamweaver or frontpage kiddies, please.  :-)

Joshua Olson
Web Application Engineer
WAE Tech Inc.

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