re: Are CSS and HTML programming languages? VIEW POST


Why are ppl so obsessed with this question and why is this gate-keepy?

Look, let's say that neither HTML nor CSS are programming languages. So what? Seriously, so what?

Let's assume that you make absolutely static websites using plain HTML/CSS. What now? Well that means that you're not a programmer, but a web designer. Is it worse? I think it isn't.

If you're angry about some dude that says stuff like "html and css aren't real programming languages" on random twitter threads, why do you even care? He has his opinion, you have yours.

Answering this question, yes, HTML and CSS are programming languages because they're turing complete, if you do that stuff, otherwise no. Setting text color and typeface is not programming.


I think whether people are hung up on it depends on the context. I haven't looked up the thread from the tweet in the post, but I can make some prejudicial assumptions about it based on the style and who got tagged in. That makes it look gatekeepy. A similar comment on a different thread might not be.

I want to take it down to a contrived litmus test:

If someone said they wanted to be a robotics engineer, and wanted to start out with an easy programming language and asked for suggestions... well, I don't think anyone's going to go with HTML or CSS.

Not because there're better alternatives available. Most of use would discount them because they're not the same type of language we all associate with programming things; we'd certainly bring them up if the asker was interested in making a website for their robotics project.

So I think it's not cut-and-dried. Depending on the scenario they are or are not "programming" languages, and as long as people aren't using that distinction to put other people down, then whichever definition's ok.


Front-end skills are not as valued (in terms of esteem and salaries) as back-end skills. This has real-world consequences and isn't just the stuff of Internet fights.


not as valued (in terms of esteem and salaries)

Should they? If so, why? What are your arguments? In my company, iOS dev is valued 1.5x more than web dev. Can we argue that I (the latter) deserve the same salary as the iOS guy? I certainly would like that.

What makes you equalize web dev and web design? Do you think that if you write in every book that "CSS and HTML are programming languages" something would magically change?

What makes you devalue front-end skills?

What makes you think that I'm devaluing front-end skills?


I think that's changed in recent years. Nowadays, front-enders need to know a lot more than they used to, and get a lot more respect in the industry.


Agree. I think that a lot of people who are so vehemently on the "HTML/CSS ARE NOT PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES!" side don't see that, and don't understand why the question (and thier response) matters in the first place.

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