Fruitful Presentation

Hello? My name is Min Guhong.

I’m South Korean, regardless of my will.

So my surname is “Min”, not “Guhong.” It’s also not my responsibility.

But you can call me just “Min.” Or “Michael” something. It’s easy to pronounce.

Thank you for inviting me to Fruitful School anyway. It’s also where I want to be a student or a teacher.

A few days ago, my favorite American friends Laurel and John asked me to reveal my secrets to make websites…

with a video.

But I can’t handle a video very well. And the time to render a video is quite boring for me. Benjamin Franklin said, “Remember that time is money.“

Websites are easier to make and edit than videos. And also I thought it would be better to present about websites through a website.

It means you have to keep clicking to watch the next content following my strategy, as you’ve done so naturally.

But I don’t know how many times you have to click from now on. Maybe once or 100 times?

I studied literature and linguistics at Chung-ang University, and computer programming at School for Poetic Computation (SFPC), and some useful skills such as design, knotting, or ikebana on the web through search engines such as Google.

But it’s not enough to introduce me just by my educational background. I’m still learning new things as a student at the school called “Google.” Aren’t you, too?

I work as an editor, a designer, and a programmer at Workroom, a graphic design studio and a publisher.

As a writer and a translator, I wrote “New Order,” a book on coding, and translated “Forget all the rules you ever learned about graphic design. Including the ones in this book.” by Bob Gill into Korean. Now I’m translating “A *New* Program for Graphic Design” by David Reinfurt.

As a teacher, I teach coding as a practical and conceptual writing in my small school “New Order.” It’s also a sibling of Fruitful School, one of pedagogical models of the future.

As a CEO, I run a one-man company “Min Guhong Manufacturing.” (It can be abbreviated as “Min Guhong Mfg.”) The company is parasitic on Workroom. Workroom is its current host. Its first host was Ahn Graphics founded by Ahn Sang-soo, a South Korean leading typographer. Laurel is also the godmother of the company.

The company’s main goal is to promote itself in various ways. The results manufactured in the process are called “products.”

The products are writings, games, videos, clothings, fonts, foods, books, exhibitions, and so on. Including this you’re watching and clicking, websites are one of them.

Recently the company sent a letter of respect to Young-hae Chang Heavy Industries. The title is “Dear Messrs. Young-hae Chang Heavy Industries.” It’s Korean, but even if you’re not Korean, you can fully feel the meaning. And the company is waiting for a reply.

You can also see the other websites the company manufactured here, here, or here. But the amount doesn’t matter. It’s the process of introducing the company anyway.

Do you have any favorite websites?

This is my favorite.

Yes, the first website on the web. Only purely white, black, blue, purple, and red… It was made by Sir Tim Berners-Lee maybe?

This website shows what I’m after.

The content in the website is graceful and practical…

and the technologies used are old but still work perfectly. For over 30 years! Therefore, the website is also the oldest one.

There are many technologies for making websites. But we don’t know everything, and we don’t even have to learn them. We have a lot of things to do, such as having to live.

HTML and CSS at the bottom of the pyramid of web technologies can be sufficient. There are many things we can do with only them.

Of course, you may need other technologies. Sometimes I also use JavaScript, PHP, Python, and so on, as needed.

“Write less, do more.” This is a motto of jQuery by John Resig. I reflect it, whenever I use technologies.

Some people don’t like jQuery. Others say it’s outdated. Sometimes I agree, but I like it. It’s old but easy to use.

Technology is important. But the more important thing is how to use it. And the most important thing is whether you have something to say to yourself or someone. In short, content.

So, for example, the argument over jQuery and vanilla JavaScript doesn’t really matter to me. I can just use both or either as needed.

Think about websites you often visit. Why do you visit them? Because of fancy design or amazing effects?

If the content is beautiful, the means of containing it will have a certain aura, like the first website or a book I love to read. I believe that.

This thought remains the same since I first made a website for my friend I loved when I was an 11-year-old kid.

Do you have any favorite HTML tags?

<a> is my favorite. As you know, it makes generally blue underlined hyperlinks to the content. It makes all the hierarchies horizontal. It distinguishes between websites and books.

<a> means “anchor.” So when I click it on a website, I anchor there and move to another website, web page, or somewhere.

Around HTML, such as <a>, all tags wrapped around content make (block-level or inline-level) elements. And all elements are semantic boxes. Some boxes are placed next to others. Some boxes contain some boxes. Sometimes it looks like Kowloon Walled City.

<p>This is a sentence. This is another one. Two sentences are the components of a paragraph.</p>

<p> defines the content as a paragraph.

<ol><li>This is a sentence.</li><li>This is another one.</li><li>Two sentences are the components of a paragraph.</li><li>But the structure of this is a list, not a paragraph.</li></ol>

<li> defines the content as an ordered list. And it can be more complex. It means more context is added to the content.

<ul><li><a><figure><ol><li>This is a sentence.</li><li>This is another one.</li></ol><figcaption>Two sentences are the components of a paragraph. But it’s a figure as an ordered list in another unordered list.</figcaption></figure></a></li></ul>

What CSS does is to give the boxes visual or invisible styles. And the other computer languages such as JavaScript, PHP, or Python add functionalities to the boxes. It’s like this if I talk roughly.

In short, making a website means practically controlling the boxes with combining technologies. And you should decide the content in the boxes.

Then where does the content come from? Sometimes it’s given from someone such as clients. But the easiest way is to find it within yourself.

Think about your interests. What you like, or what you don’t like… What you’ve felt in your life. What made you who you’re now. What makes you different from others. Only about you.

If you found something within youself, start to make the file index.html. And keep developing the file with confidence. Sometimes you might fail. But the website is “the perpetual beta” until you lose confidence or get bored developing it. This website also will be changed little by little.

And making something even if it’s not a website must make you happy first in any way. Otherwise, it’s of no use.

Don’t be too misled by social media. Not everyone gets a lot of likes, so the likes of social media are likely to make you look shabby. Focus on yourself, not on other people’s reactions.

Don’t try to look cool on purpose. If you’re cool, you look cool naturally. It’s a little sentimental, but making your own website is about loving yourself.

One more thing. Coding is writing (and editing).

Code is for writing. I’m also writing now… Slowly and carefully like E. B. White or Stewart Brand.

In coding, designing is also writing. The letters I typed become spaces, forms, colors, or animations. Designing as writing. This is not a metaphorical expression. It has nothing to do with concrete poetry. It’s as clear as Nouveau roman.

Coding is primarily communication with computers. Computers are not as generous with typos as humans are. So when you’re coding, you have to be a writer, above all, an (authorial) editor. Otherwise, you will meet hideous bugs.

In coding, naming is also important. There are many things to be named. Titles, usernames, metadata names, domain names, class names, id names, function names, field names, database table names… Like the names of the characters in Dostoevsky’s novels.

Naming is about how I define a thing.

If I name something “something,” something becomes “something.”

If I name something “article,” something becomes an “article.” If I name something “list,” something becomes a “list.” If I name something “cherry,” something becomes a “cherry.”

A good name effectively implies the content. The results are already determined by how I name it.

Since the invention of the web, it has been beautifully vast and messy. Assuming the web is an orchard, a website is a fruit.

It can be a watermelon, a melon, a peach, a fig, a cherry, or a tomato.

Is a tomato really a fruit?” About two years ago, when Laurel tasted “Mysterious Fruit,” she once asked me this.

I answered, “Good question. Some people say tomato is a fruit, others say it’s not. Some people say both. Whatever the truth is, when I believe that a tomato is a fruit, it becomes a fruit for me.”

Can the web be fruitful? Can the web make us happy? The answer is the same. I believe that the important thing is to believe. And it’s up to us to decide what to believe or not.

Thank you for watching and clicking “Fruitful Presentation.” If this presentation was fruitful for you, I think it’s all thanks to the energy of the title. You can share the fruitfulness with your family or friends.

For this website, I only used simple but semantic HTML and CSS. I wanted to prove that I can do many things with not bad content and basic and fundamental technologies.

You can download this website here, and check out the code. But it may not be as great as you think. That’s how secrets are supposed to be.

And feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions, or an unbearable healthy desire to tell me that you love me or Min Guhong Mfg. You can also try to read ”FAQ” on the Min Guhong Mfg.’s official website.

Well, have a fruitful day!