Sunday, September 29, 2013

My history of webmaking

I resumed dabbling in making websites earlier this year. My association with the web is actually very ancient. The story begins in 2001. When I was in class 12, I learnt HTML from an online tutorial which I had to download page by page. It was the study break before our 12th exams (called 'Higher Secondary' in my state) and I needed some recreation. I had a non-existent social life and I didn't play with other kids (which has a long history, about which I'll blog some day). In those days, internet was something you had to connect to once in a while. Charges were high and I was rationed to one hour of internet every Sunday evening. I had to download whatever I had wanted to surf all the week for offline viewing.

Coming back to the story of HTML -- I found that the format (it was version 4 at that time) was pretty much human-readable. I started reading and writing HTML and soon I created a site for our school batch. I also started dabbling in Javascript -- which was my introduction to functions, loops and other elements of imperative programming. Soon after when I joined college I continued with my experiments with HTML and Javascript but they became less and less as I became busier in other interests. The only things I remember doing are a site for a consulting firm (this was a paid assignment) and the site for Mensa Kolkata.

In those days creating websites was seen as 'designing' them. It was not considered programming. Imagine my surprise five-six years later when I saw the very languages which once seemed very minor with limited capabilities become the hot programming languages of the day! Back in school or college I used to envy people who wrote programs in C and C++. I never thought my knowledge of HTML (I used it for writing regular documents, including my resume) would ever come to any use. In the last few years the trend reversed --  I started looking with awe at people who were creating amazing sites and apps.

Cut to the present -- what I set out to write today was actually my experience with python+flask. It was extremely easy and fun! I'll write more about it later.

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