Ashley Kolodziej — May 2021
Dear HTML & CSS
I see you.
I’ve seen the YouTube videos. You’ve been condensed down to a sixty-second blip on the path to bigger and better things, a one-trick
div pony at the back of the race. You’re a support character. Everyone knows HTML these days. Even if that’s not the case, it’s not hard to learn, they say.
I know it’s not true.
You are the foundation of the Internet. You are the bridge between humans and information. When we say HTML isn’t an expertise in and of itself, when we take you for granted, we leave behind the people and systems who access that information using web crawlers and accessibility technology.
Markup requires systematic thinking. What structure is the best match for this content? How can we make this content easier to discover and parse in the right order? What tags do we need to ensure a screen reader will parse your information correctly? I want you to know I know how important you are, and I still ask these questions.
I think of you every time I test a website in VoiceOver and discover it is completely unusable, with my keyboard’s focus jumping away to places I can’t actually interact with and no clear sectioning and headings to help navigate.
And to my longtime friend, CSS. I want you to know I understand you are so much more than just a pretty face. Sure, your main job is to, well, style markup. But why should that be any less celebrated than the other languages? You are the visual translation of information. What good is all the information in the world if we can’t easily understand it? You hold the keys to hierarchy and contrast and layout, the keys to visual communication.
I know, and I respect that. There is a time and place for specificity, and I cherish your ability to manage that. I love your system of overrides, of thinking ahead to what should and shouldn’t be modifiable by another developer easily. I find the appreciation of specificity and
!important and contrast and all the beautiful little things you do well increasingly lost in the pursuit of the newest and shiniest frameworks.
But I am still here for you, HTML and CSS. And I will continue to show everyone I can how much you both have to offer. Because without that foundational care and expertise, we wouldn’t be able to communicate this information at all. You are the languages at the core of equitable information distribution, and I want you to know that even if you aren’t in the spotlight right now, I remember that.
Even if it sometimes feels I’m the only person out there who still does.
We love you, HTML & CSS.
Yes i also love html and css these are the two languages which i enjoy when i write a code for these two languages.
This is beautiful..❣️
I literally cried reading it. Someone understands my feelings.
We do love you!
Seriously, no comment. Loved it.!
Meanwhile HTML/CSS: I love you to ❤️
I love this article. It speaks directly to my heart. I LOVE HTML and CSS and I create amazing things with them!
More people need to see this!
This is so amazing…and nice.
You’re not alone. I met HTML/CSS while building a Sailor Moon fan page via Geocities and been in love with it since. I use to use it every day for work but now it’s mostly JS. I really miss it.
Oh wow, I remember geosites! Lycos and some others back in the day.
Thanks for this letter, and know you’re not alone :-)
I too fell in love with my sweet HTML CSS dear…love you
Why am I shedding a tear….
Nice l love the HTML and css
Please know that you are not alone…
This was beautiful
Lots of love: Shoaib
Where is the damn like button :)
Awesome markup and cascading
Was wondering of same thing: (
finally, omeone giving CSS & HTML the respect they deserve
Sublime letter! Stop HTML and CSS3 Bulling, they are so cool!
CSS is so much than a “real” programming language. To me, it’s a way of life, a way to express myself visually. Thank you for writing this up :)
A CSS Programmer.
I hope someday SVG will be spoken of in the same breath as HTML, CSS, and JS as it is also an amazing web technology that brings so much to the table. But, yes HTML and CSS are always pushed aside as just some container for all the JS functionality, whereas if one took a few moments to learn how they work, you would see a much richer experience.
Love them both, since the first time I clicked on the magical “Show Page Source” around 1995. Among all “flavors” nothing could shine without the Vanilla.
Seriously, such an amazing article.
Thank you for writing such a brilliant and much-needed post. I’ve been watching the JS and React craziness going on over the last few years and have refused to take part. The fundamentals of the web are, and always will be, HTML and CSS. Without these at the core, JS, React, or even PHP (or any other web-based language for that matter) would not even exist.
1000% to the SPA craziness! Being able to view source and see exactly what you’re getting is what made the web so open source, and amazing. Now that application developers see their platforms dying they’ve had no choice but to move over to the web, and creating this compiled garbage. The beauty of the web is that it’s non-compiled. Some HTML and style and http requests is all you need. Not rewriting browser requests and unpacking bundles. Gross.
love you CSS
Love u HTML & CSS ❤️❤️❤️
My whole childhood is just based on HTML and specially CSS. Designing 100th time and still thinking about the styling… Love these days ❤️
Totally and wholeheartedly agree.
For as much as I see developers trash on HTML and CSS, I as a UX designer see it as crucial to my work.
I don’t think it’s ever going to be busy or go out of style or to be able to be effectively replaced by some framework that will create a solid accessible final result without having to learn to code it.
Thanks, this is beautiful. I got a bit teary
One of the best heart-touching love letter.
Learning HTML and CSS may be easy on high level. But mastering it needs lot of effort.
After a few years of js & frameworks I started from scratch with CSS & HTML education. It’s frustrating and counterproductive not to master the fundamentals.
Nice words! And so true…
Superbly described keep it up!❤
HTML and CSS shouldnt be taken for granted
Yes! HTML and CSS are programming language and I don’t care for those who think it just markup, You touched many hearts with you letter, great to see such a letter
Not to mention CSS Keyframes Animation!!!
Thank you all so much! This support means the world to me.
I wrote this article to create a vocal influence in the other direction – a voice that says we should remember HTML and CSS are true specializations to be respected.
I love learning new languages, and I actually have had a lot of fun learning the basics of React. But sometimes the pursuit of the latest and greatest technology means we forget to celebrate the expertise needed to master HTML and CSS. I haven’t always felt respected as someone who specializes in HTML and CSS, even if that’s not what the development world intended. It’s been a long and hard journey to respect myself, and honestly, I’m still working on it. I know this experience is not unique to me, and not necessarily unique to HTML and CSS, either.
So if you connected with this article, it would mean the world to me if you took a moment to give support and thanks to someone you know who writes in these languages, whether they’re a junior or senior developer. I really could have used this reminder as I was growing in my career.
Thank you for this wonderful article
Inspirational, to say the very least. Thank you. This post really makes a difference to me in seeing a similar vision. I am also a developer who writes HTML and CSS daily. I respect it for its ability to transform our visions into something we can share with the world.
HTML and css its like we really have forgotten about these guys haven’t we. I love them so much
Well done… and you are definitely not the only person. I’ve been writing HTML since before I knew it was HTML. Ok, I’m saying that for effect, but I learned SGML (a superset of HTML) in the ’90s at a temp job, which enabled an easier understanding of HTML when I came across it.
Anyway, great write-up. And, again, you are not alone .
such love is to be adored..
Love ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ it
Beautiful love letter…
Every thing is well said..
Love you HTML & CSS
I Love this article! You are a true nerd/geek as am I. I read to the end. You talk with HTML as if it’s your partner. It’s funny!
Love you HTML and CSS.❣️
Look what I’ve made with HTML+CSS (no JS):
Live demo (you can disable JS in your browser): https://avisek.github.io/No-JS-Noughts-And-Crosses
Oh I love this!!!
We love you HTML and CSS
YES! I come from a design background and started writing html/css in 1996…Yahoo had a gray background and hand curated list of links…
Web sites used to look good once CSS and Zen Garden came into their own. I used to teach web design through the late 90’s to around 2011–then mobile hit and all we started seeing were basic cookie cutter SPAs. Now all we seem to see is minimal design and flat colors–glad to see gradients are at least popular now. We need to get back to visual design layouts that are optimized but still visually sticky–and that ONLY comes through thoroughly knowing what HTML and CSS–especially CSS– can do. Live long and prosper, HTML/CSS!!!!
The two first languages I have tried.
Indeed, they’re both loved and cherished. Thanks for speaking our mind on this.
Oh CSS, how I find it truly fascinating to have stumbled upon you. How come a simple text give colour to this pale world. It was as if I was peeking through another dimension beyond our own. If only I could be with you, I would show you the mountain and valleys of wonder, the seas and lakes spreading across the web filled with nothing but thousand lines of elegance dedicated to you. It’s as if…
I wouldn’t have fallen in love with coding in the first place if it wasn’t for the kindness of HTML & CSS. These two are the foundation of programming(especially web-based)
CSS you are the life in the pale world of the web.
I love you with my whole heart.
With love from SOG
That’s beautiful ❤
I don’t know why but i’m crying over this. Such a beautiful letter containing yet technically beautiful words.
I love you, HTML and CSS. The website wouldn’t exist if there were no both of you. :’)
Wow. This is amazing
HTML and CSS aren’t programming languages?
How did I make this then?
(I don’t have to explain I guess, the URL itself is descriptive enough)
I remember, in sixth grade, sitting in my school’s computer lab having learnt HTML just a few months ago and having realised that paint, ms word and ms logo isn’t all computers can do. My friend came running to me, too excited to even take a breath, to tell me that now we could make our webpages look pretty and functional. It wasn’t a chore anymore. There was this thing called CCS?, SCC?, CSS?. He didn’t know, but we both thought it was pretty cool.
I love this… really captures how I’ve been feeling lately. And the comments are wonderful . Whatever newfangled stuff comes along, we’ll still be here.
I’m loving it..