HTML. An introduction.

HTML stands for "Hypertext Markup Language". "Hypertext" is a term created by visionary Ted Nelson to describe non-linear writing in which you follow associative paths through a world of textual documents. Thus, HTML is the language used to describe linked text. In addition HTML has evolved into a multimedia presentation language supporting images, animations and sounds.

HTML documents make up most of the content in the world wide web, including the page you are now reading.

HTML is a simple language designed to describe text elements and how they should be aligned and relate with each other.

All HTML documents are plain text. Meaning that the document itself contains nothing other then unformatted alphanumeric characters.

HTML uses "tags" to define how text looks and acts. A tag is a set of text contained in brackets. An example of this would be "<B>Test</B>" this HTML text sets the BOLD attribute at the start of the word and unsets it at the end. Most tags have an on/off setting allowing you to define where the text effect starts and ends. When viewed in a web browser this text will look like this "Test". Note that the text within the "<" and ">" brackets is not displayed.

A more complex example would be….

<B>The <I>quick</B> brown</I> fox jumps over the <U>lazy dog</U>.

This would render in a web browser as….

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

Note how the <B> and <I> (bold and italic) tags overlap causing parts of the text contained in each to be rendered with a combined effect. You can combine several font and display tags to change the look of the text.