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[info] What webdev language should I learn first ?


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You can start programming web pages very quickly - what you should focus on depends on what you want to do.

No matter what, having familiarity with xhtml is important, so that is something you can start with immediately in any case.

Along with xhtml, you will want to learn about cascading stylesheets (css). These are both fundamental to web development.

see http://www.w3schools.com/web/default.asp

However, after that there your path will depend on what you are interested in doing. In its most general sense "building websites" covers a a wide variety of skills and knowledge. Website development touches in all these areas (and more): Graphics, layout, art, server setup and administration, security, programming (both client side and server side), general computer knowledge, writing, accessibility, "web centric" things such as html, css, Web 2.0, blogs/wikis/blikis/forums/video/podcasting, dynamic web sites, Ajax, web services, and so on... and etc. It goes on and on. For a hobbiest, you have to get some skill in a number of these areas - but you can start with the basics and follow along into any area that you find interesting.

The essential thing to understand is that you can put together simple websites with very little knowledge, and learn the things you need to know to do anything you want to do.

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Re: [info] What should I learn first ?

I have no disagreement with what mdshare said, however I have one suggestion, or rather a bit of guidance for anyone looking to learn xhtml.

Certainly delving right into xhtml is the way to go, but if you go to the w3 schools site, you will need to look at the html section as it contains more basic instructions on how to script html.

xhtml is a more strict form of html and they do not re-explain html in the xhtml section.

So, while I am all for starting out from the git-go with scripting html in the form of xhtml (remember, xhtml is simply a strict form of html), just remember to refer to the html section for tutorials on how html works while keeping in mind the things that are in the xhtml section so you can keep your html scripts in a valid xhtml format.


My own personal opinion is that xhtml is a not 100% necessary. Some people freak if their pages don't validate as valid xhtml. The question really is, can the people you want to use your website, use your website? If you need xhtml to make that happen, that's great, if you don't that's okay too.

If you find xhtml hard to understand, don't shy away from learning html thinking that html is inferior, or is somehow not "cool" to be caught using.

With that said, I don't want to discourage anyone from learning xhtml either, and I encourage everyone to give it a shot. xhtml being more strict than html makes it more compatible with more things (mobile devices and so on). I'm just saying, if you find it hard, don't hesitate to start out with html ;)

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Re: [info] What should I learn first ?

I fully agree with you, but as potential new programmers on CE I thought it's better to push them towards xhtml.

And my mistake for not checking on the w3schools so I had no clue that the info was so sparse on it.

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Re: [info] What should I learn first ?

Pushing towards xhtml I totally agree with! I wish I had been pushed in that direction as well, but alas I had myself, and front page as a guide when I first started learning html. Then w3 schools came into the picture, and xhtml just seemed like some foreign thing that I might should not click on :D

I hope I didn't make it sound like w3 schools is not the treasure trove of information that it is, my main goal was to tell people that if they need basic instruction on HTML syntax, that they need to consult the html portion of w3 schools in conjuction with their studies on xhtml which seems to be geared towards not repeating anything in the html section, but is sort of an addon to it.


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Guest Anonymous

Re: [info] What should I learn first ?

Well my own experiences suggest that using Firefox with the web-developer toolbar installed is ideal. It has a hot-key (Ctrl-Shift-H) which sends your current page (hosted, not local) to the XHTML validation service -- **very** handy that.

Since I started using standards compliant pages, the quality of my pages although not necessarily the content ;) has improved a lot, and the webdev toolbar has really been a great help.



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  • 3 weeks later...

Re: [info] What webdev language should I learn first ?

I wouldn't suggest anyone who explicitly don't have to use XHTML to use it ... On many

sites that 4n4lyse how different browsers handle markup languages (HTML, XHTML) one

can find alarming number of problems when it comes to XHTML and most browser in use

today! Without going into details here (check blogs of guys behind W3C standards), you

can run into cross-browser problems much easier if you use XHTML than HTML 4.01 ...

I myself found this to be true since I started making my and some other pages in XHTML

just to find out FF and IE refuse to show same content identically, even with things like

CSS hacks ... After switching to HTML 4.01 Transitional (and cleaning code from XHTML

remains) all my sites apeared exactly the way I wanted them to apear ... Also, many

older versions of FF and IE worked correctly, which was not the case with XHTML page

If you are listening not me but those people that are making standrads, XHTML is the

thing of the past ... HTML 5.0 is about to take-over, same as JavaScript 2.0 ... You can

find about that on most relevant web sites, for example:

"2.1 Dependencies

This specification relies on several underlying specifications.


A conforming user agent must support some subset of the functionality defined in DOM

Events and DOM Core that this specification relies upon.


This specification depends on HTML 5 for defining the Window object and finding the character

encoding of a text/html resource. A conforming user agent must support these features.

NOTE: The Window Object 1.0 draft is not referenced normatively as it appears to be no longer

maintained and HTML 5 defines the Window object in more detail. This specification already

depends on HTML 5 for other reasons so there is not much additional overhead because of this."


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