Hand-coding HTML is still hip, says NY Times Design Director

Who would have thought that 13 years later I would still be using HTML tags in my every day life.

Being that my first "real" job was at a web design shop as a code monkey, it warmed my heart to see Khoi Vinh, Design Director for the NY Times state that they still write HTML code by hand. Of course, I have to believe that he was referring to templating and such, as there is no way they could maintain or deliver that amount of content without some kind of CMS.

It's our preference to use a text editor, like HomeSite, TextPad or TextMate, to "hand code" everything, rather than to use a wysiwyg (what you see is what you get) HTML and CSS authoring program, like Dreamweaver. We just find it yields better and faster results.

At my company we've been through this ordeal several times, finally settling in on PHP templates for the corporate site and Atlassian's Confluence for our developer sites. The corporate site still requires manual code intervention but we're modularized enough where the risk vs. reward is still OK. I'm waiting for Matt Asay to give me the green light on the Alfresco web product before we move to a full blown CMS. He knows that I am a difficult customer.

In the meantime I continue to enjoy/loathe our blog system here at CNET that requires us to format HTML. I like the control versus other blog tools, but it gets a little onerous.

About the author

Dave Rosenberg has more than 15 years of technology and marketing experience that spans from Bell Labs to startup IPOs to open-source and cloud software companies. He is CEO and founder of Nodeable, co-founder of MuleSoft, and managing director for Hardy Way. He is an adviser to DataStax, IT Database, and Puppet Labs.


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