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How Does HTML Work?
Hypertext Markup Language -- HTML -- is a streaming text markup language that uses tags to format text,
create hyperlinks to other places, and insert graphic images.
HTML files live on a web server. Typically the web server belongs to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or your company -- whoever is hosting your pages. The web server is hooked into the Internet and when people type in the URL of your page, they are actually calling the file from that web server.
When someone requests an HTML page, the web server sends one long
unbroken string of ASCII text across the Internet to the reader's computer. The reader's browser turns the long string of text into a viewable page.
The browser displays only your text and the tags that it can understand. Any
formatting, extra spaces, or unrecognizable characters that you put into your HTML file will be
completely ignored by the browser. It turns anything it doesn't understand into a single spaceband.
It is important to know that HTML is evolving. New additions to HTML are addressing some of the layout control issues and adding new features. For example:
Plug-ins are another way of adding additional functions to your pages. These applications let you incorporate additional features from other programs seamlessly within your HTML pages. Adobe's Acrobat, Macromedia's Shockware and Flash, Apple's QuickTime and QuickTime VR, and Real Audio's streaming audio player are all examples of ways you can extend your site beyond straight HTML to add graphic control, sound, video and other features -- but remember, not everyone on the web has or can use these plug-ins.
Before you starting worrying about CSS and plug-ins and any of the other newer features, get a good handle on the basic HTML tags. If you understand them well, it will be much easier to understand the potential of the web and all of its technologies.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) allow you to set specific presentation styles for your page.
- Dynamic HTML (DHTML) is a way of displaying the page dynamically, based on the reader's actions.
This section covers:
What is HTML?
How it Works