Twenty years ago my partner informed me we had to be on the World Wide
Web. He might as well told me we were going to Mars. I dutifully
downloaded Netscape and started surfing and reading about this new
In a few months it fell to me to put on a seminar for programmers
about accounting—well, double-entry bookkeeping. It is a subject
not for the faint of heart. Those of us who got it on the first try
haven’t a clue why the rest of world can’t see it.
Unafraid of my subject or my audience, I decided to write the thing
using HTML. I’d read some how-tos and felt confident. Our printer said
he could take HTML in place of a WordPerfect document.
The seminar went well, and I got decent reviews. The book looked good,
as the printer had done a decent job highlighting my outline. (I had
used h# tags.) I declared myself an HTML expert.
Fast-forward to the past three weeks. I wrote a blog post. I searched
for software. Our hosting company offers WordPress as part of our
contract, and I settled on that.
I copied and pasted my post into the WordPress form. I had used HTML5
to write the thing and had to display it in my browser and use copy and
paste because I couldn’t figure how to upload an HTML file as a posting.
I then spent three weeks reading how-tos and experimenting for the
look and feel that I wanted. I settled for what I could get.
The whole experience with WordPress and other software I tried is that
HTML is much too difficult to learn, so we’ll replace it with a new
system. My experience is that it’s not easier, just different. There’s a
trade-off between ease of learning and ease of use.