The Secrets Of Hand Coding A Web Page
How I got started in hand coding
I built all my websites with only a notepad, except my first website. It was a site that I uploaded to a 2mb of free space provided by my ISP.
The two HTML editors were perhaps the first reason why I gave up using a WYSIWYG html editor. The Navigator would make some changes I did in Frontpage, and Frontpage made the page done with Navigator into something else. I don't really remember what happened then and that's not important. Nobody uses them nowadays.
When I started learning CSS and later trying to customize the original wordpress theme - Default. it was impossible to continue using any of those 2 editors.
I had Dreamweaver installed on a desktop I bought from a friend, but running that software took ages. Can't remember if it was a 486 or 586 machine.
Anyway to cut the long story short, I switched to hand coding as i was comfortable working with a notepad. That was the only thing that run with a "normal" speed and I had the experience of editing the autoexec.bat and config.sys when I was meddling with DOS. Heard of them? Never mind..
That's history. The younger generation may never even heard of them, like the pager or beeper. Anyway, back to hand coding. It's not that difficult. I am not here to convince you with all the advantages of hand coding, because I've never feel great being one. I though all developers and designers were hand coders!
It was when fellow club members were trying to take over a club's website that I had been working on, and when they asked which editor did I use and I told them, notepad. "What? you are a programmer?".
I was never trained in computering. I didn't even pass my GCE "O" Level exams!
I always thought that those who were computer literate usesd complicate software to get the job done, Those who aren't can only settle with simple tools.
Enough of this introduction. In the next following lessons, I am going to show you how to hand code a webapage.
I am not sure if my hand coding skills were different from others. I've not come across any site that offers hand coding tutorials. except one, WPDesigner.com by Small Potato, many years ago. It was not really into hand coding but a tutorial on creating a WordPress theme. I remembered him talking about typing the whole code by hand instead of copying from his examples.
I did followed his instructions but realised I couldn't do that without coming back to check the typos when it didn't worked. Typing text is very different from typing codes. You would spent hours figuring out where the error was. Later it developed into copying and amending those that served me well.
In conclusion, my coding methods may be different from others. I learned to handcode not because it was cool. It was the only method that I could build a web page. That is really nothing to brag about being a hand coder. To me, hand coding is just a copy and paste job. I still envy those who could build a web site with their regular HTML editor. When theirs sites are up, I may still be struggling with the template.
And, I'm not sure who would be faster at troubleshooting an error code. I have no WYSIWYG to depend on, so I'll have to go through the codes... and with a special notepad, things get much easier.
I think only those who are able to use both editors and notepad are in the position to advise which is better and to explain the advantages and disadvantages of both. I knew only of one so I am in no position to join in the debate.
But if you are sicked of learning, changing and upgrading software to create a web page, it may be time to switch to hand coding. If you own 3 machines, each running on a different OS, like Windows, Mac, and Linux, using a notepad may be easier for you..
The Secret? In essence, it's really a copy and paste job. Some may take pride in writing the whole code. I'm not that bright, I can't remember the exact code after a while. The easier way is to refer to my previous file, copy the line I wanted and paste to a new file.
Of course, there's no need to copy the code for a paragraph from my previous file. It's just beginning with <p> and ending with </p>. And since I can't type fast, it will be copying <p> and paste it to the beginning of each sentence.
I don't care if that doesn't define me as a "true" hand coder. The objective is to bring the page up, and it's done. That's all that matters.
So, if you are interested in trying out hand coding, I can show you how to code a page in 5 minutes.