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Mozilla launches Thimble

A new tool that makes creating a website simple.

In 1997, making a website seemed like the simplest thing in the world. Of course, it wasn't — there was all sorts of HTML code involved, and making a professional-looking site took almost as much work then as it does now. But there were tools available to make it seem easy — Tripod and Geocities had templates and tutorials, and Netscape Navigator had a decent WYSIWYG web creation tool built in.

Fast forward 15 years, and creating a website seems like an endeavor best left to the professionals. But Mozilla, carriers of the old Netscape crown, wants to change that perception with Thimble, a web-creation tool that promises to make the act of creating a website easier than ever.

Aside from a basic page creation tool, Thimble has a number of interesting tutorials built in to help teach you HTML, and by extension, how to create your own page. One of the tutorials, called Hack a Map, gets you started by showing you some pretty advanced code. But the tutorial isn't about learning the advanced code, it's about learning the basic errors that are causing the page at the left to show up incorrectly. Thimble will show you exactly where the website is broken — say, in showing you where a missing HTML tag should go. Even though you're doing light work, you're doing that work on a complicated page. The whole process feels far more enjoyable than your usual tutorial, as if you're learning by doing something important. Even if that something important is a map filled with a Minecraft pig, CatBread, and a triple rainbow.

If you're curious, you can check out Thimble over at the Mozilla website. And who knows, while playing around with pictures of cats, you might actually wind up learning something.

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