HTML is still where it’s at

I just read a ridiculous thing at NetworkWorld about the “demise” of HTML skills. It’s in the conext of an article discussing “5 IT skills that won’t boost your salary”. I’ll quote the passage and highlight the relevent parts to save your eyeballs from being assailed by their ad-heavy pages:

Technical skills may never die, but areas of expertise wane in importance as technology advances force companies to evolve and IT staff to forsake yesterday’s craft in favor of tomorrow’s must-have talent …

As companies embrace Web 2.0 technologies such AJAX, demand for skills in HTML programming are taking a back seat. According to Foote Partners, pay for skills in technologies such as Ajax and XML increased by 12.5% in the last six months of 2007, while IT managers say they don’t see a demand for technology predecessors such as HTML. “I’m not seeing requirements for general Web 1.0 skills — HTML programming skills,” says Debbie Joy, lead solution architect for CSC in Phoenix.

Is it just me, or does anyone else find that ridicuous? AJAX requires HTML, just like cars need roads, or boats need water. Without HTML skills all the flashy new AJAX development wouldn’t work.

Tell your managers, we need to keep the plain old semantic HTML skills. Without them the web is dead.

HTML, PHP and JavaScript Experiments

I was browsing through some stats for my website tonight and noticed a few people were visiting for my Automatic Image Replacement Engine (AIRE) which I did a long while ago. So I thought I’d do a quick post about some of the other experiments I’ve worked on which are all free for any use (just credit me as the original author).

3hive player – playing the sharing!

A If nifty Greasemonkey script for Firefox which adds a little player for every track found on the excellent 3hive music sharing website. Keep up the good work, boys.

CSS Gantt chart

Show a Gannt chart with just HTML and CSS, no need for images. There’s even fixed-width and fluid-width versions.

Datatable class

A simple datatable class for PHP which will allow you to pass an array of values which will then be displayed as a table. Format cells almost anyhow you like, add optional alternating CSS classes, and lots more options. There’s also a simple explanation of object-oriented programming on that page in case you’ve found it as difficult as me to understand the concept.

Refresher function

Update a part of your webpage with JavaScript the easy way, so now anyone can do that clever AJAX stuff.

Clean URL Capability Checker

If you want to know if your server supports mod_rewrite, the fantastic way to rewrite URLs, then use this little tool.

Zoom Boxes

An experiment with multiple boxes that zoom in and out when clicked. Not much more I can say about that, really.

AIRE – automatic image replacement engine

Fonts are limited on the web, so I wrote this little PHP function that will render single-line text using any font you want as an image. Before you say “but images aren’t accessible!” it writes the images in as backgrouns, leaving accessible text in the HTML. Hoorah.