There are two approaches to learning or any other kind of language:

  1. An “application centric” approach: learning a particular program such as DreamWeaver and creating code with the tools the application provides.
  2. An “application agnostic, code-centric” strategy: learning how to code HTML in the simplest environment possible, focusing on the code. Once code mastery has been achieved, you can then export your knowledge to any application you wish, using the features of more advanced programs to enhance your work and speed the development process.

As I have discussed, there are multiple problems with the first approach. For that reason, I prefer to teach introductory web development classes using the simplest text editor possible: on OS X, TextEdit, and under Windows, Notepad. There are problems and limitations with both applications that prevent either being recommended for professional use, but for learning, they are very useful tools.

It is important to understand that both Windows and OS X preserve preferences on a per user basis, not system-wide. That is, unless you are using a development environment tool like Vagrant, moving to another machine, or logging in under a different name, means that you will have to repeat the setup steps for each application.

As you learn, you will be making files and then throwing them away, or archiving them; for clarity and use of use, I suggest saving to the Desktop of the OS instead.

Enjoy this piece? I invite you to follow me at to learn more.