CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION TO HTML
1.1 WHAT IS HTML?
HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. It is the most popular way of creating Web pages on the World Wide Web. HTML is not a programming language at all. It is just a markup language and much more easier to learn comparing to programming languages.
What do I actually mean by a markup language? If you used WordStar before, you should know that in order to make a word or a sentence to be in boldface, you format it as follows:
/BI want this text to be in bold/b
You use similar way to markup a sentence or a word in HTML too, however the tags used is a bit different:
<B>I want this text to be in bold</B>
Next question, if it is just a markup language, why do I still see pictures on a HTML document? HTML itself is just a markup language, but it has the ability to link images to be displayed on the browser. We will talk about how to do it when we look more details into it. Please do not feel down when you still cannot understand the explanation or the jargons used in here. We will go into more details later.
1.2 WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF HTML EXIST?
There are different versions of HTML existed. The first version is HTML 1.0, then follow by HTML 2.0, HTML 3.0, HTML 3.2 and finally HTML 4.0, which is the latest version as this text was created. The features of different versions of HTML are shown as below:
- This is the first generation of HTML. It has very limited features which greatly limited how you can design your Web page. Those designs using HTML 1.0 are mostly text and maybe with a image in the middle. This is consider extremely out-dated version of HTML.
- The second version(also known as the second generation) of HTML is HTML 2.0. This version of HTML is support by almost all browsers of today. HTML 2.0 allows you to put a background behind a page. It also allows you to arrange text in tables, or even offering an online order form. However, documents which are designed using HTML 2.0 are not as good as what many people are expecting.
- Although HTML 2.0 works very well, but HTML authors want more control over their HTML documents and more way to enchance the appearance of their Web pages. Thus a new HTML version is drafted. HTML 3.0 quickly become popular on the internet but not many browsers support it. Therefore, HTML authors found it inconvenience for them because they need to try to view their HTML pages using different browsers to find out how their HTML pages appear on other browsers. That is why HTML 3.0 is now an expired version of HTML.
- Word Wide Web Consortium drafted HTML 3.2 and recommended it in early 1996 and it is a official replacement for HTML 2.0 now. This version is also known as the third generation of HTML which are the mostly widely version of HTML used on the internet now. HTML 3.2 has many new features like creative layout, custom color, fast graphics, fonts and others. It makes your Web page display better in appearance and engaging than anything on paper.
- HTML 4.0 lets you have even greater control over your Web pages comparing to HTML 3.2. However, it is still not as widely supported as HTML 3.2 when this text was created. New features in HTML 4.0 are style sheet and dynamic HTML.
1.3 WHICH VERSION OF HTML ARE WE GOING TO LEARN?
Since HTML 4.0 is the latest version of HTML supported on the internet, therefore we will concentrates on HTML 4.0 in this text. Please note that not all features or tags in HTML 4.0 are new. Most of the features or tags will be from the old HTML standard.