Web vs. Software Development

I’ve always enjoyed programming Windows applications. I’ve only recently started to really enjoy web development. While there are a lot of things I find missing in web development, there’s one big thing that makes it so appealing…

Notepad Is Still The Best HTML Tool When I first began working on my personal Web site nine years ago, the HTML coding tools were in their infancy. (Not to mention that the whole concept of a personal site was virtually unheard of.) I taught myself enough HTML to be dangerous, hired a couple of kids to do the coding, and Strom.com was born. Over the years, I kept the site updated using Notepad and some cheat sheets taken from a few books at the time. Since then, I have resisted all attempts at making things fancier, and have continued to use Notepad and then Microsoft Word to update the pages on my site.

Before you go read the article and come back here screaming “but he isn’t saying notepad is great” I want to say that, yes, I know. His point is that even with all the technology we have we still depend on a simple tool like Notepad way too much.

... the tools should be better by now, and Notepad shouldn't be the default development environment. Maybe by the time I launch a site in 2014 (boy does that seem like a long way off) we'll be using something that can finally make Notepad obsolete.

My point, however, is different. I love a lot of the tools out there. Dreamweaver and other WYSIWYG tools make designing pages so much faster than hand coding everything. But! They’re not really necessary. You can live without them. You don’t have to fork out thousands of dollars to have a really good looking, dynamic website. It’s possible to do it with Notepad. Of course, you can also use Notepad and some compiler to create software for Windows, but not many people do that anymore. It’s so much easier to drag and drop than to hard code what your software should look like.

Anyway… web development, for someone like me with a very limited budget, is so appealing if only for the fact that I don’t HAVE to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars every few years for development tools. Unless, of course, I really want to, but I don’t really see that happening. A good text editor with color coding and multiple undos/redos is good enough for me!

I, of course, reserve the right to change my opinion at any time. :-D