Top Down Approach to HTML

HTML has really, to me, been a subject that I’ve long been wanting to grasp. With the final assignment being to, on our own accord, get to know any of a number of different programs, I decided to combine the two and practice some HTML using the Firefox add-on Firebug.

This turned out to be a pretty much top-down approach to HTML since Firebug enables you to view the full HTML script of a certain website without doing much explaining. I realized very fast that I didn’t know anything, in fact, about HTML and it took a while to figure things out.

One big advantage though was that Firebug highlights areas that a specific part of the code defines once one moves the mouse cursor over this particular coding. Relying on this simple help, I could start playing around with it and soon figured out some pretty cool stuff. I could change websites (locally, of course) which is a very fascinating skill to play around with:

I found it very helpful to spend some time trying out everything I could and getting accustomed to the concepts. I did eventually learn a lot about HTML like this. Every page has a characteristic structure: it is divided into a ‘head’ section, which details the website’s header and a ‘body’ which contains all the visible coding.

Within the body there are again various sub-sections, each defining one specific block on the site. The blocks are further split up into the various components that make up the content (links, images, labels etc.).

After initially being a little frustrated by the amount of information and my lack of understanding, it now really started to make sense. I managed to manipulate all kinds of components and changed whole websites.

I believe that this way of learning is incredibly effective, fast… and fun. I feel rather secure in my ability to navigate an HTML document and it shouldn’t take to long until I start writing my own. Firebug has been a huge contributor and self-educating by just trying things out, is a very powerful approach.

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One Response to Top Down Approach to HTML

  1. maxsc21 says:

    hey johann, i think firebug is quite an interesting add-on.. did you know that yannick wrote about the same thing? Check out his post, it’s interesting to see the similarities.
    http://itineraryforvision.wordpress.com/2011/06/28/finding-out-how-the-web-works-using-firebug/
    To understand the structure of web pages built up with HTML and see which actions affects what this programm is brilliant. It helps to demystify the whole programming stuff and is the perfect weapon to say bye bye to the fear of technology 😉

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