A Mozilla tool is offering beginners an easy way to create websites by making HTML coding “incredibly simple”
Good news for users wishing to build their own websites after Mozilla launched Thimble, a new tool for beginners to learn to create Websites.
In a 18 June blog post, Matt Thompson, communications director at Mozilla, said Thimble “makes it incredibly simple for anyone to create and share their own Web pages and other projects in minutes.” Thimble is one of the apps to come out of the Mozilla Webmaker project, which the company announced on 22 May.
Thompson said Mozilla Thimble is “an intuitive visual editor that lets you write and edit HTML right in your browser, preview and correct your work, and then publish and share fully functional Web pages with a single click. Thimble removes many of the barriers for novice users trying to learn code, and includes a series of starter projects and templates to help anyone get started quickly.”
In a 22 May post, Thompson said the goal of Mozilla Webmaker is to move people from using the wWeb to making the Web, thereby creating a more Web literate world. Thimble is a key step in that direction.
Meanwhile, Mozilla also announced a new Webmaker Website on 18 June. The new site includes projects to help users make and learn with Thimble, plus other Webmaker tools like Popcorn and the X-Ray Goggles. “We’ve got great new projects to help you do everything from tweaking your blog template, to making interactive videos, to creating fantastic 3D Web pages – including projects from partners like Tumblr, the London Zoo, the New York Public Library and many others,” Thompson said.
“You don’t have to be a professional coder or wizard to be a Webmaker,” the Mozilla Webmaker site says. “In the same way that you don’t have to be a professional baker to make bread, or a professional auto mechanic to change a tire or poke under the hood, you shouldn’t have to be a professional Web developer to understand how the Web works – or make your own stuff. We want to help you go ‘beyond upload’ to unlock new opportunities for creativity and innovation in your life and work.”
“Mucking around in HTML is like making bread from scratch or changing a tire,” said Meredith Stewart, a middle school history teacher in North Carolina, who is cited on the Webmaker Website. “They’re acts of understanding and joy.”
“When we gained literacy, we learned not just how to read but to write. And as we now moved into an increasingly digital reality, we must learn not just how to use programs but how to make them,” said Douglas Rushkoff, an author and technology and media commentator for CNN, who also was cited on the Mozilla Webmaker Website.
Thompson said Mozilla is inviting users worldwide to use the new Mozilla tools and projects as part of the company’s big summer learning campaign, the Mozilla Summer Code Party. The party starts 23 June with a “Global Weekend of Code” and rolls all summer long, he said. So far, more than 330 Summer Code Party events have been created by community members around the world.
Mozilla’s goal with Webmaker and Thimble may be lofty, but it’s also needed, because, according to Mozilla, “The Web is becoming the world’s second language, and a vital 21st century skill. Digital literacy today is as important as reading, writing and arithmetic. Mozilla believes it’s crucial that we give people the skills they need to understand, shape and actively participate in that world, instead of just passively consuming it.”
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