For years I had this thought that since Flash is so much more superior to HTML, there’s really not much point in learning the ins-and-outs of HTML. At that time when this thought first seeded, CSS was something that was not ubiquitous, and browser quirks seem to be the cause that drained the life source out of every web developer’s soul. To avoid that same painful road that many took, I stuck on to that thought and pursued Flash till it’s what I’m doing best today.
Well I guess in my line of work, HTML is something that you cannot run (much less hide) from forever. It was about to be my first HTML website in 5 years, and web standards must have grown so vastly over all this while. After my thoughts had settled, I decided that this would be the best opportunity to relearn my skills.
Instead of using my existing knowledge of using tables to layout the content, I wanted to use some CSS to give order to them, so I picked up "The Essential Guide to CSS and HTML Web Design" from the library as a starting point. Just after reading the first few chapters, I had already realised what I had been missing out all this time.
Given that the deadline was just 10 days away, I was virtually working on the book everyday after work, and improving on what I had the following day. When the project finally went out to the client for approval, though brain-drained, I was glad. 😀
I’ve learnt a whole lot about usability, accessibility, semantic and clean markups, SEO, the quirks between browsers that I have to look out for, breaking down layouts to implement CSS for XHTML based on the design, and I managed to do it all without using a WYSIWYG tool (e.g. Dreamweaver).
As an interactive developer, I feel more empowered now that I know these technologies. Yes, Flash can do a whole lot of things and lets you escape those problems that you would otherwise have to face with HTML, but still, knowing XHTML and CSS is something else altogether. 😉