What is HTML?
HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. If you ask a
technically inclined person, they might tell you that it is a text
formatting language used on the World Wide Web. From a layperson's point of
view, it is a series of codes used to put information on a "home page"
on the Internet. Who is correct? Both.
Where does HTML come from?
HTML was created as a use of the Standard Generalized Markup Language
(SGML), which is the International Standard (IS0 8879) for text markup.
This standard defines document elements such as paragraphs, various
levels of headers, etc.. How those elements are displayed (font
type, size, colour, etc.) depends on the bowser that is being used to
display the document.
Unless you are working very deeply into HTML though, you don't really
need to worry about SGML. All you really need to know is that SGML is a
standard for markup languages and that HTML works within this standard.
Why is it used with Chebucto Community Net?
HTML is the format for all documents on CCN. HTML describes
the logical structure of the document, not its appearance, and the way the
document is displayed depends on the browser you're using. There are two
types of browsers available: text based and graphical. Lynx is text based
and cannot view graphics. It is the interface most CCN users
see when they dial up. Netscape, as one example is graphical. HTML source
code should be written so that it looks good on both types of browsers.
It is used on CCN because it is the format of most documents
used on the World Wide Web. Because HTML only describes the logical
structure of the document you can view HTML documents regardless of what
browser you use.
Tell me more about these HTML codes
If you've ever used Word Perfect, you may have seen "reveal codes".
Looking at "reveal codes" will show codes used to format the document. It
is a similar concept for HTML. For example, to bold a phrase in HTML,
the following code might be used.
<strong>This text is in bold</strong>
The output would look like this: This text is in bold
All that is required to format the text are the codes between the <
sign, and the > sign. So <strong> is considered a code,
commonly known as a tag. A pair of tags, such as <strong> and
</strong> is known as an element. One thing to note is
that in paired tags, the indicators for the beginning tag are < and
>. The indicators for the ending tag are </ and >.
There are many examples of tags and elements used in HTML. Some tags are
used by themselves, such as <p> and some are used as a pair,
such as <em> </em>. In Lynx, the HTML source code can be
seen by pressing the '\' key.
Also note that what you see is not always what you get. Bold text in
Netscape may not be bold in Lynx. A bulleted list in Mosaic might not
be the same as one in Netscape even though the codes are the same. All codes
are dependent upon how your browser wants to interpret it.
Models for an HTML Document
If you have done a bit of web browsing, you'll notice that an HTML
document has structure, much like books or any reading material. Just
looking at this page will reveal that it contains paragraphs, section
headings, and lists. Links to other documents are also important, they
are covered later on.