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computing

amazing photoComputing

I can remember in 1967/8 designing a short computer program in a language called Atlas Autocode. Then the program had to be compiled and converted to a set of punched cards which were sent to Manchester to be run on an Atlas mainframe computer in a pre-booked slot. The results were sent back the following day and eventually I would get see the results. Syntax was strict and the slightest typographic error rendered the whole thing meaningless.

Nowadays internet browsers run on scripted languages, which are compiled when read into the browser. Programs are available which enable you to create images or touch up photos you have taken.

We can type simple programs on our own personal laptop computer, using nothing more than a word processor and run them instantly in a browser. Some errors are even forgiven, although most are still not. The scripting language used for basic web pages is known as HTML or XHTML and this is supported by style instructions known as cascading style sheets, which define how the content will look. Another script language is used to perform simple automatic actions initiated by viewers' actions and is known as javascript. A look-up of the coding instructions is available here.

Of course, nowadays, there are programs available which allow you to create a web site from a template, rather like word-processing, and press a button to generate the code and another to upload it to the web. No need to know about code.

As the choice of display devices has mutliplied, the task of catering for all devices simultaneously has become a bit of a nightmare. Computers and phones have widely differing screen sizes and orientations; some retain mouse and mouse pointers with hover capabilities whereas others use touch. This site targets computers and mobile phones separately, but with changeovers available..

Anyone with a web site can upload pages in a matter of seconds and they are available immediately to anyone who browses the internet. Amazing.