Are HTML and CSS easy?
John Oxton recently asked a simple question: Is XHTML and CSS easy?. The post received quite a few comments, and the answer obviously depends on who you ask and in what context. John has summarised the comments in Is XHTML and CSS easy? Follow up.
I have stated my opinion on this before, but I don’t mind reiterating it: learning the basics of HTML and CSS is easy, but mastering them takes a lot of time and effort. Many people think they know all there is to know about HTML and CSS, but the reality is that their skills are only intermediate.
There is a lot more to understanding HTML than knowing how to write markup that validates. You also need to think about document structure and semantics, something that is missing from a large number of documents that use valid HTML. I would say that in most cases an invalid document that is semantically marked up is preferable to one that is valid but completely void of semantics.
I’ve been working with HTML for ten years and CSS for seven, and I still encounter situations almost every day where I need to stop for a moment to consider how to mark up a particular piece of content. And don’t get me started on keeping track of browser (IE) inconsistencies when it comes to CSS or the problems you will run into if you try to use XHTML properly.
You can never stop learning when you’re working in the web industry. The day you think you know it all is the day you should look for something else to do.
So no, I do not think HTML and CSS are easy.