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HTML Overview

HTML--HyperText Markup Language--is the language of the World Wide Web. It is no more than ASCII text, so it can be created on a simple text editing such as Notepad on a PC or Simple Text on a Mac. When you save your file, you give it an *.htm or *.html extension and you've got yourself a Web page!

You may have heard of programs like Adobe PageMill or Microsoft FrontPage. These programs are sometimes called "authoring tools"-- they will create HTML for you. But we won't be covering them today. Today, we'll be learning to code basic HTML by hand. This is important to know, even if you use an authoring tool-- because sometimes authoring tools make mistakes!

One otherr comment: HTML is about content not layout. Controlling precisely the appearance of your web page is not the main objective of HTML. There are mechanisms for doing this (Called Cascading Style Sheets) but they are beyond the scope of this class.

Okay, we've talked about HTML. Now let's look at some. If you go to the Netscape menubar and click on View>Source, you can see the underlying code for the BCN Home Page.

As you can see, the text is surrounded by tags in between "greater than" and "less than" signs. Looking at the source code at various Web sites is a good way to learn about creating Web pages.

The web is a client-server system.

The computer you are usking is the client. Your browser runs on the client.The file you are getting, for example,

http://bcn.boulder.co.us/index.htm

lives on another computer called the server. The server sends information to the client who usually makes a local copy. The same computer can be client and server - that's what we'll be doing tonight also.

Jargon: URL - pronounced EARL or YEW ARE ELL - stands for Universal Resource Locator. This is the string http://.... It tells the client where to look for the server.

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