LET'S BREAK THIS DOWN A LITTLE
You may have heard the expression "hyper" in describing someone.
In simplest terms, it means active, kind of "all over the
place". The word "Hyper" as part of HTML is similar in context.
It simply means that when you are on the internet using a browser
such as Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer, you can in fact,
go "all over the place". In browsing through the World Wide Web (WWW),
if you see something you like, you can go
immediately to it. There is no set order to do things in.
Hyper is the opposite of "linear". Linear means that there is
a certain order you must follow such as "you must do this before you
can do that". Programming languages such as BASIC and FORTRAN
are linear. HTML does not hold to that and allows you to jump to
any page on the WWW and at any time. Thus the word HYPER
refers to the idea that the text in HTML is not linear.
We are working with text only files.
More on text only files in Lesson Two.
"Markup" comes from the fact that in order to create web pages,
we will be typing in the text and then "marking up" the text.
If you are familiar with WordPerfect, consider this example.
Suppose you just typed a document in WordPerfect. If you choose
REVEAL CODES from the VIEW menu, the monitor screen or Window
splits into two parts. The top half of the screen shows the text you typed
in and the bottom half shows the same text but with the words marked
up with "codes" or "tags". For
example, suppose you typed the following three lines in WordPerfect:
Hi, this is bold
This is italics
These words are centered
If you choose REVEAL CODES, you would see the following on the bottom half of your screen in one version of WordPerfect:
[Bold On]Hi, this is bold[Bold off][HRt]
[Italic On]This is italics[Italic Off][HRt]
[Just:Center]These words are centered[HRt]
In other words, the text has been marked up with codes or tags as
indicated between the [ ] symbols. Each [HRt] indicates that the
ENTER key was pressed. [Bold On] means that everything after
this tag is bolded. The [Bold Off] tag simply says that
bolding is to end here.
Unless you choose REVEAL CODES, you won't see these tags.
All word processors have codes
that tell the computer how to display the document, how to
print it out, etc.
In HTML, WordPerfect tags or the tags from any other word processor won't work. HTML has its own set of tags to mark up text. If you want something bolded or centered, you have to indicate so with HTML tags. WordPerfect automatically puts the tags in for you. In HTML, you must put in the tags yourself. If you want to see the tags for this page, just choose VIEW from the menu bar of your browser and then choose SOURCE or DOCUMENT SOURCE.
"Language" means that we are using a language with
all its syntax. Note that HTML is not a programming language
such as BASIC or FORTRAN. These are linear programming
languages and are based on a whole different set of rules and
are far more complicated to learn. So HTML is the basic language for creating
web pages on a website and, as you will see, is also an easy
language to learn.
XHTML stands for EXtensible HyperText Markup Language.EXtensible
XHTML is not bringing with it a lot of new tags. The purpose of XHTML is to address the new browser technologies that is sweeping the world. Today web pages are being viewed in browsers through cell/mobile phones, cars, televisions, plus a host of hand-held wireless devices and communicators. Alternate ways to access the internet are continually being introduced. In many cases, these devices will not have the computing power of a desktop or notebook computer and so will not be able to accommodate poor or sloppy coding practices. XHTML is designed to address these technologies. XHTML also begins to address the need for those with disabilities (such as the blind and visually impaired) to access the internet. Thus web pages written in XHTML will allow them to be viewed on a wide range of browsers and internet platforms.
XHTML is the result of the hard working World Wide Web Consortium
(the W3C) to bring some sort of standard to provide rich high quality
web pages through these varied devices. XHTML became an
official W3C recommendation in January, 2000.
XHTML is now a web standard and is the next generation of
(usually written HTML5) is the new web standard. It follows HTML 4 (which came out way back in 1997)
and XHTML. Since the introduction of HTML4, a lot has happened with the web and something needed to be
done to address all the new technologies and latest multimedia. HTML5 is the result of cooperation that began in 2006 between the World Wide
Web Consortium (W3C) and the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group
(WHATWG). While HTML5 is still evolving (still under development), the latest
browsers do support many of the new features and elements in this version. The
basic aim of HTML5 is to provide two things - (1) to improve the language and
(2) to support the latest multimedia. In order to accomplish this, some ground
rules were established by the W3C and WHATWG. Among them were to reduce the need
for external plug-ins (such as Flash plug-ins), better handling of errors, and more
markup elements (tags) to replace scripting. HTML5 should also be device
independent (that is, understood by computers and the many devices in existence
while also keeping it easily readable by us humans.
The bottom line is that due to time and cost, AOL has not been able to get the Netscape browser developed to a point many of its fans expect it to be. As a result, it is the end of the development of Netscape branded browsers. As of February 1, 2008, there is no more support for Netscape web browsers. That is, there is no more active product support for Navigator 9, or any previous Netscape Navigator browser. This includes Netscape v1-v4.x, Netscape v6, Netscape v7 Suite, Netscape Browser v8, and Netscape Navigator/Messenger 9. These browsers will still be around for long time yet as people will continue to use them and you can still download them. It is just that the support is no longer there. That is, there are no more updates on security patches and no more active product support. In other words, there will be no more security updates to keep us safe on the web with Netscape browsers.
So what does all this mean? The Netscape team fully stands behind the great work being done by the Mozilla Foundation and recommends that you download Mozilla Firefox and give it a try. Mozilla Firefox is a current web browser that is very secure and it has the look and feel people have grown accustomed to with Netscape. You can even add Netscape themes and extensions.
There are many surfers surfing with Firefox. It is a popular browser with many good features. If you are serious in creating a personal or business website or creating websites for others, you may wish to download a copy of Firefox. It is recommended that you view your web pages in both Explorer and Firefox. Sometimes a web page can look great in one browser but not so great in another browser. So it is good to check your work in various browsers such as Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Flock, etc..
Note: These lessons address mainly Internet Explorer and Firefox with references to Netscape. However, you can use any browser and if you are using Flock, the results will be the same as in Firefox. If you were to ask me what my browser of choice is, I would have to say Firefox. I believe the features, security and support are second to none. Even if you prefer Explorer, you should still check your work in Firefox as I still check my work in Explorer.
You can download your free copy of Firefox from www.mozilla.com.
To illustrate what I am trying to say, here are three unsolicited testimonials I received. This first one is from Karen who lives in the state of Georgia, USA. She writes: "I can't thank you enough for taking the time to explain HTML. I'm off work due to an illness. Being bored out of my mind I decided to try to create a web page without any knowledge of HTML. The programs I used did the basics, but I found them confusing because I lacked the knowledge of HTML. So I went surfing and found your website. I must say that I am impressed. After going through all the lessons, I've got some great ideas and can't wait to get started on my own page. I decided to dump the programs and do all the coding myself. When I finish my web page there will be a note of thanks and link to your website. My greatest appreciation, Karen."
Here is an email I received from Brenda who lives in Illinois. She writes: "I have printed all of the pages of your lessons and am impressed at the level of information it contains. I can actually understand what you are talking about although I am brand new to HTML. I am teaching myself how to create my company web page using FrontPage and I have an embarrassingly simple web page on Geocities. Some trouble has occurred in FrontPage with extensions and color changes, hence I am trying to learn HTML to correct them. Thank you so much for taking the time to create these lessons. They are fabulous! Brenda."
Our third email is from Sharon who lives in Pennsylvania, USA. She writes: "After being overwhelmed by HomeSite, and constrained by templates on free space websites, this is exactly what I was looking for. You write in a wonderfully clear, concise way, that's easy to follow. Your problems are instructive, and the pace is perfect. THANK YOU!"
I have also received many other e-mails from people expressing similar view points. I'm not advocating that we "dump" these programs. For some people they are very essential in designing websites and in updating them. But the point to be made is that it is better to take some time and learn HTML first. Then if you do run into some problems with these programs, you will know how to correct them.
So now sit back, relax, and learn a whole new language called
HTML. You will be happy you did.