What is HTML?

HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language and is the standard language of the World-Wide Web. HTML files usually end with the suffix "html" and are in ASCII (plain text) format though the access protocol of WWW allows 8 bit transfer. HTML documents are composed of elements that start with a tag, followed by the content of the element, followed by the ending tag. The tags contain information about properties of the whole document, about the format of the document, and about hypertext links to other objects. Some elements have neither content nor ending tags. They are called empty. The format of non-empty elements is:

         <TAG> content </TAG>

          HTML is case-insensitive. "<TAG>" is equivalent to "<tag>" or "<TaG>". Spaces, tabs, and carriage returns are not 
          significant in HTML. WWW browser ignore any carriage return 
          and multiple spaces are collapsed into a single space unless 
          the <PRE> tag has previously been used (see below).
  
          Elements used in HTML include:


          <TITLE> text </TITLE>
               specifies the title of a document


          <Hn> text </Hn>
               specifies the nth level of heading (where n is a number 
               between 1 and 6)


          <P>
               specifies the end of a paragraph


          <UL> <LI> first item <LI> second item </UL>
               specifies an unnumbered list of two items


          <OL> <LI> first item <LI> second item </OL>
               specifies an numbered list of two items


          <PRE> text </PRE>
               specifies preformatted text
               (causes spaces, new lines, and tabs to be significant)

          <A HREF =URL of document to be linked"> linkname </A>
               specifies a link to a document, makes the "linkname" the 
               hyperlink to the document to be linked


          <IMG SRC = "filename.GIF">
               specifies an image to be included in the document
               (this is an HTML extension)

HTML documents can be created by any text editors, but if you are going to create a lot of WWW documents, then a HTML editor is recommended. An example of a simple HTML document has been provided in the previous part of this series of postings. You may want to modify this document. So, go ahead and open the document using a WWW browser. View the source code, make changes according to your preferences, save the changes and reload the document to make your changes effective (how to do this, depends on the browser software you have installed on your machine).