HTML is the BASIC of the web

So Jeremy said it this morning in response to Aral getting excited about Scratch.

BASIC for me and thousands of others was the chance to write some very simple code and see it do something. Me, as a kid, could control a computer:

10 PRINT "Hello World!"
20 GOTO 10

HTML offers the same quick reward system because I write the following, save it and view it:

<title>Hello World</title>
<body>Remy waved excitedly</body>

The reason HTML works as the BASIC of the web is covered perfectly by Aral:

The beauty of BASIC was that it was zero-install, ubiquitous, single-tool, instant-reward (interpreted/instant-run).

The browser is the interpreter – instant reward and completely ubiquitous. Forget the arguments that HTML is or isn’t a programming language – we’re talking about accessibility and ease of learning. HTML has both of those licked.

Kids are way ahead compared to when we were kids. They have MySpace & Facebook pages, they’re constantly exposed to the web, and they know about view source. They know how to email a file to friends (i.e. their hello world page), and they’ll quickly find a free hosting solution akin to geocities or angelfire – so don’t worry, you’ll soon be able to find their pink flashing neon web sites, because…

HTML is the BASIC of the web.

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A developer from the UK working and loving the web.