HTML is not a programming language. It is seen as a mark-up language instead. Mark-up languages are used to display structures on the web like text, images, links, tables and other web structures. Writing in HTML alone doesn’t make you a programmer. You’ll need to combine it with some other languages like JavaScript, php or even some web frameworks before you can be considered a programmer.

This question brought up a debate in the world of coding. Every coder on the web has his own opinions on this particular question and that’s what makes it soo difficult. You can take a survey and check the first ten blogs that pops up when you search the keyword “is html a programming language” and you’ll see alot of answers. Well, I’m going to tell you why there are different answers for this particular question then I’ll leave you to decide if HTML is a programming language or not.

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Is html a programming language top results.
Top results of the keyword “is HTML a programming language”.

Why is HTML a programming language?

Before we talk about why HTML is a programming language, we should first ask what a programming language is. A programming language, is a set of instructions which is used to give commands for the computer to execute.

With this description, HTML cannot be considered a programming language. It does not contain any of the features most programming language have. No conditional if/else statement, no functions or data structures like arrays and dictionaries, no events and it can’t do any computational logic. HTML also cannot carry out math functions which is performed by alot of programming languages. If you type in 2+2 in HTML the result would still be 2+2.

You can’t declare variables in HTML And it also doesn’t have any functional purposes. You just write markup code which the browser interpretes am displays for your users.

HTML falls under this category as it gives commands to the computer browser in form of tags which the browser executes and displays it on the screen as a website. These commands can be inform of images, styles, links tables, buttons, and forms which is being displayed on the web browser for visitors. HTML is also typed in a code editor and it is seen under the languages option in various popular code editors like vs code, sublime text, notepad++ etc. See our guide to choosing a programming language for your career.

Why HTML is not a programming language.

In as much as HTML gives declarative instructions to the computer, it doesn’t fall under the category of a standard programming language as it doesn’t contain some basic features of a programming language like loops, functions, arrays and object. People who say this see HTML as a Mark up language owing to it’s name “HyperText Markup Language”.

HTML in this view, is no different from Microsoft word due to the fact that it just writes and displays text on the screen with different styles which are also available in Microsoft word tool bar. The only difference between Microsoft word and HTML is that Microsoft word has a user interface which makes it easier to use while HTML doesn’t have a GUI, hence it uses code editors which makes people see it as a programming language. Also HTML files are displayed on a browser and ends with a file extension of “.html” while Ms-word files are displayed in the Ms-word package and uses an extension of “.doc” or “.docx”.

These are enough solid points which can disqualify HTML as an actual programming language because saying it is one means saying writing in Microsoft word too is programming because we write text in both of them which can also be considered as giving the computer a command of what to display. We also style them how we want to before displaying them on your screen. Can you consider that programming? Well, I’ll say no. But you should still consider learning HTML as it is still important. Here’s why html is still important for web development

Now you see, this topic is really difficult to answer as many computer scientists are yet to finalize an answer for it. But as a coder or developer, you can pick your personal answer and share with us with your own opinions in the comment section. We’ll love to hear from you.

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vic okeke

I'm just a web developer hoping to help out junior developers in algorithms for their projects.


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