About the HTML Shark

...so exactly why is it, that I have this site?

In 2003 when I was about to make my first site, WeirdSpace.dk, I didn't know anything about HTML, other than it existed. I knew something about programming due to my education and my job, but HTML: Nothing! I got hold of a useful booklet and along the way I got something pieced together, but it wasn't without frustrations due to things that wasn't properly explained, as soon as you wanted to do something that went beyond the cave dweller stage.

My experience as things progressed, and thus the reason for this site, is that there is a lot of sites offering help with HTML. There isn't really that many different sites, because for the most part they just copy W3C School, so you have the same examples over and over again. To get inspired, you need to see different examples, not 100 copies of the same example. Among the few alternatives there were too many smart-ass sites, that couldn't help anyway, which could be a little straining on one's patience, just like the identical examples. I don't know how other people feel about this, but when I have to find a solution for something, I would like some concrete examples showing how to do it and the effects you get, and I don't appreciate texts addressing the reader like you are stupid. Also I would appreciate being told if there are any pitfalls and things that can't be done, without some sort of workaround... and then you really want to know what that workaround is, otherwise you are not getting anywhere!

Anyway, any idiot can bitch about mediocrity and the World not being perfect. Not much progress in it, though. Now I try to make the site I missed myself when learning HTML, in the hope that it can help others do things. The content on the site started on one of my other sites, pilgaard.info, but the way the net looks today, the search engines can't figure out how to handle a site spreading out over several subjects that are not directly related... and apparently the visitors get confused too... and then your pages end up on page 1000 in the searches, no matter how good or useful the content is. How cool is that? The content in its current form was originally written in Danish for the site HTML-Hajen. To be honest, making the site in Danish is not helping in attracting many visitors. I just thought we needed some educational material in Danish instead of everything being in English. Then as the body of work started growing, it made sense translating the pages English, still on the Danish site, and as the translations started gaining momentum, it made sense to move the English version to a dedicated site, and here we are.

Computer whisperers and the name of the site

A running joke, especially when I help my mother-in-law with her computer, is that just like you have horse whisperers and dog whisperers who have special powers to make the animals change their behavior by just being there, I am the computer whisperer who shows up and makes her unruly IT behave. For a moment I considered the site to be named computerhviskeren.dk (i.e. computerwhisperer.dk), but while the philosophy I use when fixing other people's computer problems permeates this site, the name didn't make much sense. This was supposed to be a toolbox, so those who want it, can get help becoming proficient in HTML and web programming (in Danish a highly proficient person at some particular skill is called a shark i.e. an HTML-shark is a highly proficient HTML programmer)... and so it was that I could see the logo before me: a shark with HTML written down the side, that could only be a success.

Michael Pilgaard
December 2013