In developing for the web HTML is the very frontest of the front-end, and if you’re a front-end person, you do need to know your HTML. It helps keeping things simple and allows people like me to hit ‘view source’ and figure out how something is done, so I can use it on my own site. I started out writing HTML decades ago in simple text editors like notepad. I still write on my blog in text mode exclusively, never in visual or wysiwyg mode, and add a lot of my html in postings by hand (sometimes aided by keyboard shortcuts that make things easier and avoid repetition)
HTML is the web. And it is useful and powerful in its own right. Without embellishments through scripts etc.
It is in part why I like the IndieWeb, as it seeks to use HTML itself to make webpages machine readable, and to add things that take the best of the social media silos, without all the ajax stuff for instance. So that it works, because it is made of the web, on the web, for the web.
When organising the IndieWebCamp Utrecht last month I realised how little connection I still have to coders and developers for the web in my network. Many people I approached with an invitation to participate told me ‘I don’t develop much for the web really.’, they’re more into all kinds of frameworks and work on things like algorithms, machine learning and data analysis. Cool stuff I heartily agree, but ultimately it mostly ends up being shown in a browser. In HTML. So in a way it is disappointing to encounter a certain disdain here and there for HTML.
For me, I need to dive more deeply in the various ways HTML is currently used to add machine readability to web pages.