||I recall my specific thought process when I considered
first building web pages (in 1995):
- should I learn HTML?
- will learning HTML be tough?
- should I learn an editor authoring tool?
- will I have to learn a tool and HTML?
- how long will it take?
- what if a tool generates improper or invalid HTML?
I decided to learn just HTML, or at least concentrate on only HTML at
first. It was cheaper, faster, I only had to worry about learning one
thing, I didn't have to worry about other people's interpretations of
HTML. It has worked out pretty good.
Admittedly, a variety of things helped me:
- my formal programming experience (FORTRAN, Pascal, xBASE, VBA, etc.)
- my exposure to tagged languages and tagged environments (a VAX SGML
variant, WordPerfect 5.1 DOS, old WordStar!)
- I am very comfortable at file and disk management
- I am very comfortable with communication technology, web surfing,
modems, transferring files between computers, downloading and
installing programs (thanks to John Bramwell)
- I have more than one internet access point (a local ISP, CompuServe,
Mom's Bell Sympatico)
- I have different computers to work and test on (Macintosh, Windows
machine, Psion palmtops)
- I have installed many different browsers (Netscape Navigator and
Microsoft Internet Explorer, Opera, Psion) onto my computers, so to
see web pages in many different scenarios.
- I had (!) a lot of time to experiment
The learning curve is steeper I believe if your footing is weak in
these areas. In that case, it might be better for one to go the authoring
route. But then these applications are in and of themselves very rich and
take a greater time to fully assimilate.