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back to article Standing NEXT to an HTML coder is like standing NEXT TO GOD

”The New Aesthetic has the ‘scenius’ of London’s Silicon Roundabout to support it. These people are working creatives of Bridle’s generation, with their networked tentacles sunk deep in interaction design, literature, fashion and architecture. If you wanted a creative movement whose logo is a Predator supported by glossy, …

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Trollface

A hit on the Bong

Steve - you work in a fictional loft office with wooden floors don't you? Of course you do.

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Re: A hit on the Bong

I'm still trying to work out if this Bong person is being serious or this is some work of utter English sarcasm. I'm hoping for the later otherwise I'm not sure it has any right to be on the Register ... or at least not this far past April 1st (which was quite a poor showing this year anyway).

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Anonymous Coward

Bring back the BOFH

Seriously, anyone who said Simon had lost it and wasn't funny any more needs to start grovelling right now.

They didn't know what they were saying Simon, please forgive them and come back to the Reg, lest we have to suffer any more of this bollocks.

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"They didn't know what they were saying"

They don't know anything. If, by Friday, you don't find yourself in need of a dose of the Bastard, then what you have is not a job, but rather an unusually remunerative hobby.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: BOFH

On a Friday, I like to read stories where management, finance and hell desk staff die.

If I wanted stories where they don't die in some truely horrible way, I would just do my job....

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Silver badge

"Imagineer"

Is that in the Disney sense or the "FAQ about Time Travel" sense?

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Windows

Article hand-coded in HTML, natch....

Erm...

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Anonymous Coward

Shoddy...

That was a shoddy article, a poorly disguised personal attack on RCJ, I'm disappointed.

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Anonymous Coward

ave you seen RCJ review of the raspberry pi on the beeb website? Utterly cretinous. Worth a personal attack of gargantuan proportions, methinks.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Shoddy...

That's why it's funny.

We have to pay for the BBC it is compulsory. When the Beeb calls HTML a programming language and spooges over Apple then mocking the idiots is fair game.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Shoddy...

HTML may not be functional or procedural, but it is a programming language, the clue is in the "L".

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FAIL

Re: Shoddy...

No, it's a markup language. The clue is in the ML.

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Re: Shoddy...

Actually, the clue is in the "ML".

Markup Language != Programming Language.

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Re: Shoddy...

I think RCJ's job may be safe, married as he is to the Vice-chair of the BBC Trust. Nepotism, thy name is BBC ...

Anyone know what he read at Cambridge? I'm betting it wasn't a science subject.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Shoddy...

Ok, you can all state that a markup language is not a programming language, but can anyone back that up?

Markup is just a method for coding something, just like recusion is a method. Just because markup is limited to programming how a display appears, doesn't mean that it's not a programming language.

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"...can anyone back that up?"

Yes, but no one has felt the need to do so, because it's really only thickos who have a problem with this. The difference, put as simply as possible, is:

In a programming language, one programs, which instruct a computer in how to do something.

In a markup language, one marks up, which instructs a computer in how to draw something.

If what you're doing isn't telling a computer how to draw something, then you can't do that in a markup language -- you'll need to put on your Pull-Ups, climb up in Daddy's swivel chair, and use a real programming language instead.

Clear?

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Flame

Just saw the RasPi review - at the end of the video he said "That was pretty hard!" - FFS! He's supposed to be a technology "expert"????

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FAIL

@Aaron Em Re: "...can anyone back that up?"

Drawing is a subset of doing.

Every programming language is limited to a subset of the available machine functionality, with the occasional exception of straight machine code. So claiming that HTML is not a programming language solely because it's limited to display functionality* is not the correct answer. Please try again.

* Which is not even true. Many tags (< a >, < script >, < style >, < img >, < form > to name a few) instruct the system to reference external data sources. HTML is supposed to be semantic, not visual, in nature. Just because it's primarily used in visual media doesn't mean it's limited to visual media.

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Anonymous Coward

Markup languages are not programming languages, because:

... They are not Turing-complete.

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Trollface

Re: "...can anyone back that up?"

thanks for that.

you know i never knew that autocad and photoshop were written in html.

still you live and learn.

at least some do.

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I dunno what his tech credentials are, but reporters often come across as Joe Thicko in the questions, because they have to ask the questions Joe Thicko won't have thought of 'cos he's thick, but still would like to know the answer, if someone asks it for him.

As for HTML, no it's not a programming language, and IMHO, HTML is crap to use for someone who is an occasional marker-upper. It really is the markup equivalent of assembler. Better to use some kind of web page development app that hides the ugly syntax.

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Bronze badge

Re: Shoddy...

> Ok, you can all state that a markup language is not a programming language, but can anyone

> back that up?

Anyone who's learned a bit of computer science can.

HTML cannot express the storage and retrieval of data, which makes it formally less powerful than any language which can do so. Such an abstraction is not just not Turing-complete; it's not even as powerful as a push-down automaton (PDAs are not TC).

HTML cannot express iteration, which makes it formally less powerful than a language that can express regular languages, such as regular expressions.

Those are not a hand-waving distinctions; they are fundamental formal (mathematical) differences which have tremendous theoretical and practical consequences. Anyone who doesn't know the difference between a markup language like HTML and a programming language is operating at a severe disadvantage when commenting on either. It's not impossible for such people to have useful things to say about HTML,[1] but it's not a good position to start from.

[1] I recently wrote a review of a collection of academic essays on HTML [forthcoming in Enculturation], and a number of the authors were, I believe, in this position. That didn't stop them from having intelligent things to say about HTML - but they didn't try to talk about programming.

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Re: "...can anyone back that up?"

OK. Now show me where RCJ called HTML a programming language. I'll wait.

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Re: "...can anyone back that up?"

@Chris 3: Way to move the goalposts. As far as I can tell, most of this thread is in response to AC @ 13:35, who did claim that HTML is a programming language; and AC @ 14:47, who wanted to know if anyone could "back up" the claim that it wasn't.

That said, I see from the linked BBC piece that RCJ appears to lump HTML, CSS, and "Javascript" [1] under "computer programming" and "coding", terms he uses interchangeably. Certainly he's not being careful with his technical terminology. So while AC @ 13:19 may have been inaccurate in writing "the Beeb calls HTML a programming language", the accusation is not far off the mark.

Following up on my own post: Some of you may be familiar with Eli Fox-Epstein's demonstration of a Turing-complete machine written in HTML and CSS. Some people argue this shows that HTML5+CSS3 (and I think HTML4+CSS3 - I don't see any necessary dependencies on HTML5 there) is a TC language.

There are a handful of arguments against this. One is that the mechanism in question (an implementation of Rule 110, which in turn can be used to implement a TC tag system by combining stable structures generated by the rule) is infeasibly awkward. But of course feasibility isn't a criterion for formal proof. A better one is that neither HTML nor CSS are TC in their own right, so it's still the case that neither is a "programming language". Another good one is that Fox-Epstein's machine has to be manually clocked: it depends on input from the user for each state transition. HTML+CSS still lacks iteration.[2]

That said, using checkbox state to hold information is clever and does contradict what I wrote about the lack of facilities for holding data. If the IFE machine didn't depend on the user to iterate, it would be a TC machine.

What if we hypothesize a way to add iteration to the IFE machine? Does that make HTML+CSS a programming language? That's rather debatable, too, because the "program" would be expressed as a (very large) series of checkbox input elements. That's not what I consider "written in HTML", and I suspect not what most people would either.

[1] Which, of course, is the name of Mozilla's implementation of ECMAScript, and not a distinct language of its own. But few people care to get that one right either.

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Serious question:

Was this meant as a joke or is it legitimate? I guess it works from a sarcasm point of view, but if it's a real point of view it's worrying for the future.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Serious question:

You're clearly old-school. Satire is for engineers and laughter is just so offline. The Bong plays to the new, post-funny, social humour economy.

Jokes don't need to have punchlines any more, and we no longer have to 'get' them. In the new world, we semantically flag content as funny, and that means it is funny.

(Or at least I hope so, coz if the above is not true then this Bong stuff would appear to be written by someone who thinks they can write funny because they've read the Wikipedia definition of humour)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Serious question:

Mind you, he's right about MLF

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Re: Serious question:

Damnit, I always misread MLF as something completely different....

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Re: Serious question:

It is to humour what Shoreditch is to useful.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Serious question:

You're missing a letter. Thankfully, it is I.

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Anonymous Coward

HTML code? I thought it was a Mark-Up language.

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Boffin

My Eyes!

Ouch!

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Anonymous Coward

HTML

is a programming language - don't make me laugh it might hurt you.

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FAIL

Why post as Anon? Re: HTML

Most 'programmers' today lack the basics.

To use Bong's example... We don't test because we're too busy writing mash ups to geo code our content..

Now for all those wannabe app developers, how many have written a geo coder ?

Nope they borrow someone else's code. Of course the person who wrote that geo coder had to test their code...

Was Bong trying to show sarcasm and make a commentary about the 'build first and then see if the shit works...' attitude, he missed the mark. The key there is that it's the company's business plan which is crap. Not the code. Build something well, and then see if there is any value to it.

Of course in today's world of the illiterate programmer, anything that kinda works, is considered a good job.

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Facepalm

Hmm....

That MAY work if the biggest hardship that comes of your site being down is that the I don't get to tell the world of the tasty fillings in the "deep fill" sandwich I had for lunch which I had to pay full price for because my 20% off IDV (Internet Discount Voucher) couldn't be downloaded (i.e. you're site is REALLY unimportant), but if you're Barclaycard (like in this article: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04/27/barclaycard_offline_payments_down/) you better make sure you have engineers and testers and network guys to get you out of a hole or, event better, keep you out of it in the first place!

This piece doesn't really show how important you are, the exact opposite I suggest.

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Thumb Up

LOL!

That's got to be one of the funniest articles I've ever read on the Registry! It even puts some of the BOFH stories to shame. Kudos!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: LOL!

Either you don't get out much, or you wrote this article.

Which is it?

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“We don’t check our code. We never test. We can’t because we fail fast and we fail often.”

Sounds some of the people I've worked with in the past. Scary.

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Smiling Away

i remeber as a child nattering away to my grandad all the time and even when i came out with (what i realise now that i am more aware of the world and grownup was some ridiculous rubbish) something that was no where near the mark he would always listen and smile so following his example i am doing the same to this article.

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Re: Smiling Away

...when did you stop coming out with ridiculous rubbish?

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WTF?

Tell me this guy is trying to be funny...

Being old enough to have managed to get a dotcom site off the ground in the last dotcom boom.

It never IPO'd for my billions but its still there trading shares over 10 years later...

I can say that if you want to craft a funny pile of crap from your back room then fail fast and often is great. But at the point that you start trying to build something that is going to last more than a few weeks then you need to think about the structure and the longer term strategy. By the way the post profit economy == BROKE. those servers in Tele-house need revenue to run them so you better start thinking about how your hobby pays the bills (other than EU grants that is..)

90% of your start up time spent on a well written specification document will generate you a well built site in a fraction of the time FFAO will, with the benefit of understanding the growth potential and scalability of what you have built.

Cut the crap and the buzzwords and start working smart.

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Some things are beyond satire...

The real problem faced by Mr Bong is that no matter how hard he tries to be completely OTT with his humour, there are already too many people out there saying this kind of stuff for real. The same kind of people who mistook Nathan Barley for a lifestyle documentary and got confused when they couldn't find anywhere to sell them a Wasp T12 Speechtool.

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That

and this guy wouldn't know funny if it threw a pie at him.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Tell me this guy is trying to be funny...

The guy was trying to be funny.

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as an old engineer

This piece panders to all my prejudices but even so, MOST EXCELLENT.

and if i had a beard, it would be full of wotsits.

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MLF Evaluation

I thought the video was titled "MILF evaluation film". I turned out to be much less interesting that I'd hoped.

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Re: MLF Evaluation

That was my first thought as well

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