During winter study, in addition to interning in a seventh-grade math class at Mt. Greylock, I will be teaching a Free University class on making a Web page. I am teaching it in pure html, while Seth Izen, the coordinator of the Free U, is teaching Dreamweaver. I wonder which of us will get more people to sign up? And who will have more people come? And if anyone will sign up or come at all? And if anyone actually still exists that doesn't know how to make a Web page yet?
I compare a Web page made in Dreamweaver to a cake made by Sara Lee: Sure, it looks like a real cake, but when you read the ingredients, it has so many twenty-letter words that you don't know what you're eating anymore! (I have actually never eaten a Sara Lee cake.) Likewise, when you look at the source code of a page made in Dreamweaver, there is so much useless junk there that you have to scan down and down and down until you find something that actually affects what the page looks like.
For instance, the Free U description book is a whopping 215k. I bet that if I were not frantically studying for an art history exam and attempting to learn 2500 years of architecture in the next 12 hours, I could create the same page in a tenth of that. Dreamweaver may be convenient, but it is so inelegant. Though this blog is published by Blogger, I weeded out all of the useless junk out of the source code when I began, and so only that which is essential remains. When you make a page with Dreamweaver, you have to spend a long time weeding out the useless stuff if you want to have an elegant and efficient page, and that's just no fun.
But my Free University course -- that's fun!
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