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Fundamentals of HTML
The increasing use of the Internet and the advent of the World Wide Web have created a growing need for individuals who are familiar with the Web design principles coupled with Web page scripting skills. The World Wide Web has greatly impacted our society. It has become a new form of communication, a new way to purchase products and services, a new way to entertain, provide news, and learn valuable and sometimes valueless, information. As the web has matured from a "get rich quick" technology into a valuable new communications tool, it has fostered new career opportunities and challenges.
The Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the language used to describe the contents of a Web page. It defines the syntax and placement of special instructions called "tags" which describe the desired structure of the content to the browser. An HTML document contains text (content) and embedded tags, which provide the instructions to the browser on how to structure the document. One of the powerful features of HTML is the "hypertext link" that allows the HTML author to define pages to jump to (linking). This ability to jump to another page or to an entirely different Web site is unique to the Web based document.
HTML documents are simple ASCII text files. This means that a simple text editor such as "Simpletext" for Macintosh or "Notepad" for Windows could be used to create HTML documents. There are many basic HTML editors of which HTML editor for Windows and HTML editor for Macintosh are recommended.
WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) HTML editors are another type of editor. They are like word processors or page layout software for web documents. Their goal is to provide authors of web documents with a method of building pages without having to learn HTML. Examples are Dreamweaver, GoLive, and FrontPage. A question may arise as to why a person should learn HTML. This is because professionals need to understand the code behind the document so that they can learn the limitations as well as the possibilities of HTML. However, all WYSIWYG editors do not create a clean code.
The most common extension for files containing HTML is .html, however, older operating systems, such as DOS, limit file extensions to three letters. So .htm extension is still in use. Although perhaps less common now, the shorter form is still widely supported by current software.
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