Mining The Source Code

I can't believe how, when people ask me if I've had "three years' experience" of web design or whatever, they insist on asking me where I learned my stuff: in other words, who I've worked for.

I don't have to have worked for someone to know how a server works, what the scrambled egg in a URL means and how to decipher it, what HTML code does, how Cascading Style Sheets work, what an inline or external Javascript script looks like, what Java does and so on.

The tools I need are always available to me whenever I open up a web site in a browser. I prefer working with both Firefox and Opera, and I'd probably open up Google Chrome and even Internet Explorer browsers, too, to see how a web site behaves in each of the browsers.

Most of all, I can mine all but the most abstrusely-written web pages for their resources. I know that some websites don't allow you to download or right - click things embedded in the page such as images, sound files or embedded videos - porn sites, in particular, write their pages' source code in as arcane a manner as possible to prevent people from doing just that with their videos - but right-clicking is not the only technique available to the determined hacker.

By "hacker," I mean "person who finds practical solutions to seemingly - insoluble problems," not what the media think the word refers to.

Just today, for instance, I showed my Mum something: a blog post which had an embedded MP3 podcast. I showed her how to get that podcast, by following the link to the originating site and mining the page for the desired file.

It was the work of a few minutes to perform the deed.

So. Not afraid of computers, able to speak the language of the web, and knows where to reach for the resources I am after.

And they call me "inexperienced."

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"And if we have unearned luck, now to scape the serpent's tongue, we will make amends ere long. Else the Puck a liar call ..."

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