back to article Standing NEXT to an HTML coder is like standing NEXT TO GOD

”The New Aesthetic has the ‘scenius’ of London’s Silicon Roundabout to support it. These people are working creatives of Bridle’s generation, with their networked tentacles sunk deep in interaction design, literature, fashion and architecture. If you wanted a creative movement whose logo is a Predator supported by glossy, …


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      1. Aaron Em

        Spoken like somebody

        who would have an industry at all if software engineers hadn't built him one.

        1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

          Re: Spoken like somebody

          Wrong guess - engineer developing a CSS layout engine. Read the spec, there's considerably more to it than most people appreciate.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Spoken like somebody

          "who would have an industry at all if software engineers hadn't built him one."

          Software engineer? WTF?

          You bloody prgrammers would have no industry if it wasn't for proper "engineers" who design and build the hardware :-)

          A real engineer knows which end of the screwdriver is the business end and has oil under his/her fingernails.

          And as for those people who keep confusing the word "code" with writing a computer programme...get a dictionary. A markup languge is as much "code" as a programming language. Different job, different skill. Debatable whether they are of equal dificulty, but both are "coding" so long as you remember that coding != programming.

      2. Hayden Clark Silver badge

        Re: What's with all the HTML/CSS loathing?

        Well, I've noticed that CSS is a curious time sink. Back when a colleague and I were building web reporting pages, we did the layout properly using CSS. He's the expert, and I dabbled, but we both experienced the effect whereby any attempt to modify the CSS automatically consumed an entire afternoon minimum. Irrespective of the apparent triviality of the change required.


      3. Jean-Luc

        Re: What's with all the HTML/CSS loathing?

        I'll upvote you, but I think you are missing our (coders,admins) point somewhat.

        I don't undervalue your skillset. HTML, CSS is easy to write. But quite hard to get just right. I know, I've dabbled in it. Good designers are valuable and arguably a bad designer will produce worse results than a bad coder, whose handicraft may work, but just slowly or in an error-prone fashion.

        But, being a designer in HTML is a different skillset from being a developer altogether. When someone says that they want to promote programming and shows off his one-day, shake 'n bake, "programming class in HTML" to prove his point then that really leads me to wonder who decided that particular person was qualified to be an expert on technology.

        Flip it around - "we need to promote web design skills so I've spent a day learning Visual Basic". Does that sound clever to you?

        1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

          Re: What's with all the HTML/CSS loathing?

          Christ. Look, I'm not an HTML guy - I write server-side Java and before that C & Perl on UNIX boxes, and have done since the late 80s. But to disparage HTML/CSS/JS as "not real programming" is a cheap shot made by people who's experience of HTML is undoubtedly limited to a few table tags for formatting. It's moved on. Think learning K&R C from the white book and expecting to understand the Linux Kernel.

          I completely agree about your point as a "designer" - I can't design for toffee - but that's not what I'm talking about here. A web team for an outfit like Amazon or BBC will have a design team and a front-end build team, who translate the mockup into HTML/CSS/JS. If done properly it's technical work, with definite elements of software engineering. And I can say that with absolute certainty as I've been extremely well paid to do both.

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: What's with all the HTML/CSS loathing?

            It's not a "cheap shot" made by "people whose experience of HTML is undoubtedly limited to a few table tags for formatting". I have been a C and C++ programmer on embedded devices and in telecoms. I've also dabbled in DB design, mainly because I'm good at it and I enjoy the nature of the work. And I have also, more recently and because people seem keen to pay me for it, done web development which (along with a fair bit of JQuery, AJAX and such) included doing all the HTML and CSS which was a very great deal more than using a table for layout. I'm already using some of the new HTML5 elements, I can not only position stuff where I want, but I can get it to not break in IE7 either (almost always).

            The point of all this? In my not very humble opinion based on having worked professionally both in "real" programming and coding up HTML and CSS, I can tell you that yes, HTML and CSS are indeed easier than actual programming. Quite a lot easier actually.

            That's why people who are skilled in actual programming get huffy when HTML and CSS work are called programming. Because they aren't in the same league.

            1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

              Re: What's with all the HTML/CSS loathing?

              I'm largely in agreement with h4rm0ny here. I'm a programmer (with a quarter-century in the profession) and a computer scientist. I've also worked with HTML since not long after it came into existence. Yes, Cowherd, I've read the specs; I keep local copies of the HTML 4, XHTML 1, and CSS 2 specs (and the ECMAScript spec, but then Javascript [sic] is a programming language) because I refer to them frequently. When I create web pages, they get run through the SGML and CSS validators. I've done academic work on HTML and related technologies, too. I've also used numerous other markup languages, some of which are also programming languages.

              So my HTML work goes far beyond dabbling, thank you very much. But I don't confuse it with programming; and I don't think too highly of the opinions of those who do.

      4. boy gobbo

        Re: What's with all the HTML/CSS loathing?

        You call us 'almighty engineers'. I'm cool with that. We call you 'script monkeys'. K?

  1. John Styles

    The post-modern post-irony world

    How many of the people commenting appearing to not get it are really not getting it and how many are playing along with the joke?

    For what it's worth I welcome the arrival of Bong! and the departure of BOFH.

    Semi-amusing historical footnote, I remember going to visit a 'VR' company (the company selling WorldToolKit if anyone remembers that) near Old Street station in what is now Tech City / Silicon Roundabout about 20 years ago. They were obviously the forerunners of this brave new paradigm shifting industrial / post-industrial power-house (I think they were are spin off of a company that did software for music labels).

  2. lukewarmdog
    Thumb Up


    A fantastic Reg article with the appropriate amount of fantastic Reg Readers Responses.

    Big digital thumbs up.

  3. Flash_Penguin

    Sense of Humour Failure

    Really? There are commentards struggling to identify this as satire?

    Get a grip.

    O and take the rest of the day off, see if you can find where you spat your dummy out during the week.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Aaron Em

        No kidding

        It'd be easier to laugh at if it didn't give the impression of having been applied with a spade.

  4. Mr Young


    I must add another capacitor to me sarcasm filter sometime...

  5. OzBob

    Funnily enough,,...

    there was an article on a NZ news website last month complaining that a lot of people were sticking some front-end on a database and calling it "Technology innovation".

    I don't think we have exhausted the full electronic engineering component of IT, even though the chips are getting more complex and faster.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fixed headline

    Standing NEXT to an HTML coder is like standing NEXT TO someone who thinks they are GOD.

    Seriously, did anybody manage to read all the way to the end of that article?

  7. Ironclad
    Thumb Up

    BOFH vs Steve Bong

    Now there's a crossover that'd rival Marvel's best.

    P.S. enjoyed the article, keep it up, somebody needs to keep pointing out the emperor is stark bollock naked.

    1. Admiral Grace Hopper
      Thumb Up

      Re: BOFH vs Steve Bong

      I admire and approve of your thinking. Just make sure that it's "crossover" and not "slash", please *shudders*

  8. Luther Blissett

    Give me the house boy

    Barclaycard site bites pillow, web payments impossible

    Zynga shares bite pillow as biz bleeds $85.4m in Q1

    Samsung overtakes Nokia, Apple in mobile handjob race

    Europe bites seals in air passenger name-swap deal with US

    Gigantic lava spirals make Mars ice valley theory bite pillow

    Ubuntu 12.04 LTS: Like it or not, this Linux bites

    FTC hires hotshot lawyer for Google antitrust probe

    Oz court blows away cloud PVRs

  9. Reverend Brown
    Thumb Up

    Otto Z. Stern's Shoreditch counterpart? I'll take it.

  10. proto-robbie

    Many millionaires have said...

    ... that they wouldn't have succeeded without a failure or two along the road. Is this the foundation for the Rapid Fail Environment? All these billionaires who fail all the time? Sheesh, and it's been staring us in the face all this time.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    yes... no... but....

    Yes it is a programming language

    no, html coders are not gods

    but it's friday, lets not take things too seriously

  12. Jamie Kitson


    Excuse my ignorance, but what does HUT stand for?

    Also, in the video screen shot you missed an "I".

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    My sense of humor was ticked precisely because it's real albeit a bit blown up with a magnifying glass.

    Unfortunately a lot of 'start up' thinks they're the bomb and turns out they can't even code properly. You'll find mostly this type of people hanging around techcrunch and other startups for startups types all too often, mixing in and rubbing up the sugar daddies.

    Spot on and lmao. Unfortunate that this will hit the nail on the head of the very people it's taking the piss out of.

    it's nothing to be ashame of. Those guys contributes to bubble 2.0 which we need to pop.


  14. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

    Tut Tut

    Well he got one thing right, peeps who write HTML are coders, not programmers

    Anyways; we all know that Standing NEXT to a COBOL programmer is like standing NEXT TO GOD

    1. Admiral Grace Hopper

      Re: Tut Tut

      No, sadly standing next to a COBOL programmer is only equivalent to standing next to someone as old as God.

  15. stupormundi

    sure is samefag in here

    Andrew is that you?

  16. Sil
    Thumb Down

    It isn't often that one reads such a piece of crap.

    Crap is everywhere but this is it.

  17. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. stanimir

    html code = one of the shortest joke ever, the title put a smile on my face

  19. koolholio

    I'm young and I agree, its not real programming

    HTML usually gets translated by the browser into C++ or VC++ in microsoft's case, VBscript and javascript require a 'more complex skillset' than HTML and CSS

    Real programming would be simillar to Actionscript, ASP, CGI(perl), PHP, JSP --- the list goes on...

    you cannot call yourself a true coder unless you know how it interacts with the underlying framework, which alot of coders these days either 'dont care' or 'dont know'... they then wonder why their code doesnt work properly!! (the young and old can be guilty of this)

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The "code" that runs TheRegister, facebook, the BBC News or google, would not exist without HTML, as HTML is a prerequisite of the underlying code.

    It is a prerequisite because it replaces having to write complicated code to generate a user interface.

    Because it replaces having to write the complicated user interface code your self, it is at least as valuable as the equivalent code.

    Admittedly, HTML has a prerequisite that you need a browser in order to view the user interface - why? - because it's reliant upon code.

    So, HTML is used to call functions, and you can write programs to produce different HTML depending on

    A> the results of the functions,

    B> the results of the programs

    C> the results of the interaction between everything

    D> whether or not you have HTCPCP compliant devices attached.......

    Is it code? It's certainly time for another coffee..

    Mine's the coat with the V for Vendetta mask, as my helpdesk work for the week is over, and now i'm on user interface development for a bespoke customer-facing database front-end instead.

  21. letooth
    Thumb Up

    LOL, would be even funnier if it wasn't so close to the truth

  22. bag o' spanners

    I like to sleep on Friday afternoons. That way, the landlord can wake me up for the evening session with a chilled Star and a cheese toastie. I catch up with the BOFH on Sundays, when all my phones are in flight mode.

    <@@> beer!</@@>

  23. Gannon (J.) Dick

    There, I said it.

    I don't miss the <blink /> tag.

  24. Daniel Gerson

    What nonsense!

    Yes, it's got easier for script-kiddies... but this article is utter tripe.

    There's a reason that Angry birds HTML5 game, which is really the cutting edge of HTML5 was programmed in Java in GWT, with a solid testing environment, IDEs and supported various software patterns. Because it makes sense! Computer science, and the necessary leverage that you get from type checking (that enabled GWT) will never go away. This article represents the new ignorance, smugness and self-satisfying rationalization.

  25. Paddy

    Yea, butt

    Will these young imagineers earn enough to pay for my pension?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Funny :) Nice spoof on pretentious fake business people & other retards

    The BBC and broadcast media is obsolete now, as far as I'm concerned, this explains how retarded they are on subjects like computing. All my media is now recorded and unscheduled, so broadcast media just seems archaic to me now.

    To the people who like broadcast 'media events' like sports matches, get real; I don't judge the modern version of Roman Gladiator circuses of any benefit, given it is just part of the media distraction industry to keep you from think about what is really important, like getting genuinely meaningful entertainment and news, especially seeing all the inconvenient Fnords which TPTB want you to ignore!

    All 'Whale Song' money-for-nothing arses need to be mocked, shunned, even fought, defeated, and neutralised, so that we can get back to a genuine robust economy and earned happiness.

  27. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Like standing next to God ....

    .... if God needed a bath, that is.

  28. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Some Fine Wine for the Main Course .. with Shots at the Bar later, a Waster of a Bed Time Dessert

    If anyone here knows Steve Bong, hit him with this post and Alternate Reality Gambit and quite very reasonably fully expect a novel tech city reaction ........

    For some Joining up the Dots. Jointing the Bigger Picture for Mobile Flexibility and Speedy ProAction in Changed Program Projects ...... New World Order Plays for the TelePrompting of Media Puppets Pimping and Pumping Sub-Prime Portfolios.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      More Fine Wine for the Main Course .. with Shots at the Bar later, a Waster of a Bed Time Dessert

      Whoops.. 00ops .... that earlier post [17:54 GMT] should have been written to reveal New Orderly World Order Plays which are a completely different from Present Austere Shenanigans Treatments.

  29. Chris 3

    Crap hatchet job.

    The post is required, and must contain letters. Is RCJ screwing some Reg big-wig's missus or something?

  30. GarethJones

    Ok I will bite..

    I understand that the article is supposed to be read "Tounge in Cheek", but anyone who describes HTML as a programming language needs to start writing in assembler. This will teach you the basics of real programming and give you the building blocks and understanding of what is really happing "under the hood",which can then be applied to any other REAL programming language.

    HTML, by my definition cannot be described as a programming language as the basics are missing. I.E Branching, Looping and conditionals. As I see it HTML defines the layout and content of a web page. Which in turn is parsed by the browser calling the appropriate real code functions along the way to produce the desired web page.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ok I will bite..

      Ok... I''ve programed in z80 Hex (ie: assembled by hand, programed by switches/keypads), z80 & 6502 assembler, BASIC, pascal, Modula-2, C, C++, Windows batch, Powershell, perl, python and HTML.

      HTML is a programming language, it may not be the best, most flexible language, it may be designed for one task, but it's still a programing language. Just be cause it's not a procedural language, doesn't mean it's not a language. You may as well say that you can't have electronic logic gates without a NOT gate, you demonstrably can, they're just not that flexible.

      1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: Ok I will bite..

        "HTML is a programming language"

        Ok, I'll bite. Write the following code in HTML. Just HTML. Not PHP, not Java, not JavaScript, write it in HyperText Markup Language:

        set data location 'a' to 2

        set data location 'b' to 3

        add the contents of data location 'a' to the contents of data location 'b' and store the result in data location 'c'.

  31. Furbian

    Don't check their code...

    Yeah, I should have tried that for the stuff I worked on for gas pipelines, who cares if a misread pressure reading causes a gas explosion... or the travel safety device, the production data for which is kept for 25 years in case of failure leading to a injury or a facility.

    Then again, yes I am a has been, didn't do any web tech, but I can still write assembler, no longer in employment, and not getting back any time soon (or ever) it would seem..

  32. Phil Atkin
    Thumb Up

    Are Bong Ventures hiring?

    Seriously, this dude is da bomb. Nobody else in the entire world-beating UK HTML5 industry is quite so zeitgeistig, so utterly au courant. I could thrive in an incubator like that - astonishing, visionary, and surely an acquisition target to grow and frankly improve DFJ. I need those stock options fieldmarshal Bong!

  33. Mike 137 Silver badge


    Maybe this explains why so many web applications are security nightmares? See

  34. b0hem1us

    must be joking....

    Is this yet another English joke we mainlanders don't get or someone mistook May for April? Perhaps this is exactly why we don't have the Saturn V, space shuttle or Concorde today, yet we had it 50 years ago. Perhaps this is why there is all this online fraud a garbage all over net. Orlowski 1, Bong 0. You are wrong, live with it.

    P.S. If this is how you invest people's pension money, you should be tried, found guilty and jailed in solitary for rest of your days.


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