Those multi-panel windows in Codecademy are honestly a genius and elegant way to show how what you do to the underlying code affects the displayed webpage. After learning a few basic tags and following the lesson instructions, it was interesting to toy around and go off-script to see how things changed. Only once or twice were the instructions difficult for me to follow and I had to use the hints.
It speaks to the economy of HTML that you can only know how to use no more than a dozen tags and be relatively well-equipped. With some basic research I found that there are only about 250 HTML tags that anyone would ever really need to know — this makes me more confident that learning this language will be a lot easier than I originally anticipated.
It was also revealing (and strangely powerful) to use the inspector tool. The example in the “Meet your web inspector” showed how it was easy to download a picture that the site perhaps wanted to prevent (obviously you could also screenshot anything). Not to skirt the ethical boundaries of the technology, but I did experiment with the tool a bit… I used the web inspector to delete a site overlay on The Boston Globe website when the paywall hit, but the site didn’t load any part of the article. The inspector did come in handy on the Wall Street Journal site, which will load the lede and second paragraph, but obscures the second paragraph making it hard to read. Using the inspector though, you can easily read the first two paragraphs within the HTML. I suspect that with more poorly-designed paywalls, simply deleting the paywall pop-up could reveal an entire article. Or we could all just start paying for subscriptions to newspapers…but I digress.