Switching languages: pros and cons

 

Well, I’ve done it.  I’ve finally moved on to other languages besides Python.  Right now I’m learning the glob of languages known as HTML, CSS and Javascript.  Here’s a sample of my trials and tribulations.

HTML and CSS pros:

  1. After having to write out ABSOLUTELY EVERY tiiiiny little instruction in Python, I am loving these languages. You can literally just say <button> when you want a button and a button appears!  Magical.
  1. I feel like a real coder now because of all the <something> something </something>. Actually, let me translate that into what the computer sees:<something> = HELLO I’M STARTING SOMETHING something = HERE IS THE SOMETHING and </something> = GOODBYE, I’M ENDING THE SAME SOMETHING. But damn, you should see how fancy and incomprehensible it looks with a long block of those.
  1. Sizes, styles and colors, oh my! Since python is just text, I’m pretty blown away by all the styling you can do using these languages in concert.

HTML and CSS cons

  1. I forgot that creativity scares the living daylights out of me. CSS lets me have access to all of these stylistic choices, where I can change backgrounds, dimensions, text-alignment, etc. But every time I think about how I want to design the webpage, I’m like…..can I just make it all plain black text on a white background?  Please?
  1. Sometimes CSS blatantly ignores my instructions, and I can’t find the bug. I’m convinced it’s a personality difference.

Javascript pros:

  1. Concept-wise, it’s pretty similar to Python. As long as I learn the right syntax (which is pretty much just a boat-load of curly braces), I’m good. It’s like Spanish vs Italian, pretty much.  Not that I have ever tried to learn Italian. I’m just guessing that’s an apt analogy.
  1. No other pros. This languages is annoying the hell out of me.

Javascript cons:

  1. Since it’s so similar to Python, you would THINK it has the same functionality. Nope. It’s kind of behaving like a very picky dictionary.  That is, I’ll try to define something, and when I tell the code to spit it out, it says “undefined.”  Rude.
  1. The error messages don’t tell me anything. Three separate times I’ve spent over an hour figuring out why it said “unexpected token ‘else’”. Turns out, I put a semicolon where I wasn’t supposed to.  BUT THEY SAID IN EVERY TUTORIAL I USED (3 of them!!): “put a semicolon after every line or you and the computer will get confused.”

This is madness. Madness, I say.

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Also speaking of madness….  did you know that you can see the source code for every website?  If you’re using a PC, just press ctrl + U and it takes you there!  It’s a little overwhelming to look at, but it’s cool.  Additionally, you can press ctrl + shift + j  (on chrome, at least) to get your very own console.  You can even edit the website’s code from there! It will only change for you and not everyone else who uses that page, but still.

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