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I give up

by VM Brasseur on November 25th, 2006

The plan for tonight was to sit with the laptop and get some coding (or at least designing) done.

Yeah, well, that didn’t last so long. I found the code I need to digest in order to get my work done, then my eyes glazed over. It’s probably because most of the function is written using HTML::LoL and that always makes my eyes go buggy and my brain shut down. (Bob, I love ya man, but is it really that bloody difficult to just write valid HTML by hand? Why complicate things this way?) I could probably force myself to slog through the code, but quite frankly at this moment it just doesn’t seem worth the effort, even considering the deadlines which need to be met.

So my grand plans have been derailed. Alas. More is the pity.

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  1. FWIW, coding progress was made this afternoon/evening while awaiting the completion of laundry and duck stock. Not a lot of progress, but better than nothing. And besides, it’s a weekend. I really shouldn’t be working anyway. 🙂

  2. Why complicate things this way?

    Oh don’t get me started.

    The main thing (oops, looks like you got me started) is that when I want to blockquote some text (as at the top of this comment), I want to write “blockquote” once, not twice. (In HTML one writes <blockquote>…quoted text…</blockquote>.) Either I’m smart enough, or my text editor is, to make my closing delimiters match my opening ones; why must HTML compel me to provide additional proof that I’m closing the tag I mean to be closing?

    The other main thing is something I admit I could have solved in a different way, and yet may: it’s that big long multiline HTML strings in the middle of my code mess up my beautiful indentation. But when the language’s syntax is co-opted to produce HTML, you get beautiful indentation “for free.” The different way to solve this is to make Emacs smart enough to indent big long multiline HTML strings in the middle of code as HTML rather than as the syntax of the surrounding language, or not at all.

    The final main thing that made me feel justified in writing HTML::LoL (and its sister technologies Latte and Blatte) is the comment I once read from none other than father-of-the-web Tim Berners-Lee that HTML was never intended for humans to have to write or even see. (He thought people would be content with software that generated HTML for them. He didn’t understand that people don’t like to get too far from the “bare metal.” That’s the same mistake that the folks behind SOAP have made. But that’s a rant for a different time.)

  3. I have to admit getting into a big argument with Guy over HTML::LoL (the sort of argument where someone—in this case me—says, “Can we just drop this now?”). He thinks it’s a good idea as it strictly enforces valid HTML. I think it’s a PITA to read/write (sorry) and that writing valid HTML is pitifully easy and adding this layer of abstraction is unnecessary. Part of his point hinged upon the fact that he’s spent a lot of time in the past trying to debug code/displays created by coders who were incapable of writing valid HTML.

    Keep in mind as well that the discussion was between one with a Masters degree in Comp Sci and the years of experience to back it up and one who sort of accidentally fell into programming a few years ago. Though, logically, that ought to have been enough for me to concede his point I really can’t. Valid HTML is easy to write and anyone who can’t do it by hand probably ought not be allowed near the code repository.

    None of which really has much bearing on Bob’s comments above. I’m a big fan of beautifully indented code (though I use that other text editor to do it). I just don’t have a problem with getting my code to indent as I like it, even when I’m not using HTML::LoL. I also don’t mind adding closing tags. I kind of like it, to be honest. It helps show me that I’ve completed that thought or segment and am ready to move on to the next one. It also forms a nice neat structure which I can scan either coming or going in the code.

    So I guess I just can’t relate. Which is fine, of course. Relating is not a requirement.

    And, FWIW, I finally did finish the most recent project and did use HTML::LoL to do it. I just whined about it a lot.

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