This is my response to Kyle Simpson’s post about HAML.
Let’s start with a disclaimer of my own: I haven’t used HAML (or SASS) in a real environment, so I don’t know how useful it can be.
Now, with that out of the way, here’s my opinion, based on Kyle’s post:
HTML (and CSS) are two languages that are easy enough to learn. Of course, there are certain intricacies related to how browsers handle HTML and CSS, but that doesn’t change the difficulty of writing in those languages. A link will always be marked up with an a tag, and you’ll always use the background property to set background styles on an element. Once you get the basic syntax, there’s not much you can do wrong (luckily Geocities doesn’t exist anymore to disprove my point ;)).
And to round off my response, here’s a little analogy: I prefer reading books by English authors in their native language instead of a Dutch translation, because I can understand all the subtle nuances and jokes the authors make as they intended them when they wrote them down. However, if my English wasn’t that good, I’d probably prefer the Dutch translation.
It’s the same with HTML versus HAML. To really understand what’s going on, it’s easier to look at the HTML code that’s being put out, as long as you have a good understanding of HTML. However, if you’re not really that good at HTML, but understand HAML very well, you’ll probably prefer reading the HAML code. But that will always mean that you won’t always get the subtle nuances of HTML (granted, there aren’t that many, but if you look at CSS vs SASS, then it starts to make more sense).