I’m not going to lie, seeing all those movies, television shows, and the likes when I was younger (and maybe even still if I’m honest) that portrayed hackers and computer geniuses that created and destroyed and created again all in a digital medium were enticing. I could be like Felicity Smoak in the DC Comic Arrow. She’s constantly hacking into traffic cameras and government feeds to save the day. That could be me. I could save the day without having to put myself on the front line, rather just online. I often dreamt of being able to code like that, to create and invent spaces on the internet for fun and for passion. Unfortunately for me, I’m bloody awful at coding, even just understanding it. This week’s reading has taught me that much. I understand the basics, but the most I’ve ever done is copied and pasted coding from one website to another.
I suppose that’s why the idea of learning coding, even in its most basic form, still draws me in. I mean, there’s a ‘metalanguage’ for mark-up languages to be created for different purposes. It makes sense, yes, but the first time I read that premise I’m pretty sure I was blown away that it took enacting a standard for everything to fall into place. People didn’t simply have a standard, one has to be created. It took until 1998 for the metalanguage XML to come about. In perspective, I was four. I was four before there was an effective way to standardize coding.
Granted not many people had computers at this time, but honestly, why wasn’t this happening simultaneously with the invention of computers? Why did we wait to standardize? Why wasn’t that forefront in the process?
It gets me thinking about this though: an ampersand is the start entity reference, but to have an ampersand symbol you have to type out the references, both beginning and end and the code for they symbol you wish to appear: ‘& ‘. We have codes for symbols, because symbols me something else entirely in this context.
What else to we do with symbols?–I ask introspectively as I suddenly begin to contemplate the universe through a series of cyclical thoughts initiated by this question. I’m slowly understanding this whole, ‘mark-up language’ thing we’ve just read about, but I’m also just curious as to why our symbols need symbols. Why can’t we just make things easy? Why can’t our symbols just be symbols? Why is there a double meaning?
Also, why can’t coding be easy? Even the rules have rules. I just want to help vigilantes and be like Justin Long in “Live Free of Die Hard” or Neo from “the Matrix.”