Short for HyperText Markup Language, is the authoring language used to create documents on the World Wide Web (www). Initially, HTML was designed to publish documents, much like one would publish a journal of articles. HTML defines the structure and layout of a Web document by using a variety of tags and attributes. A web browser can read HTML files and compose them into visible web pages. The browser transforms the tags into content by interpreting the tags and attributes to display the page.
HTML describes the structure of a website semantically along with cues for presentation, making it a markup language rather than a programming language. The first publicly available description of HTML was a document called “HTML Tags”, first mentioned on the Internet by Berners-Lee in late 1991 [1, 2]. HTML elements form the building blocks of all websites. HTML allows images and objects to be embedded and can be used to create interactive forms to post data back to the server.
It provides a means to create structured documents by denoting structural semantics for text such as headings, paragraphs, lists, links, quotes and other items. Figure 2 shows the primitive elements of an HTML page along with a few common tags.
The text between and describes the web page, and the text between and is the visible page content. The markup text ‘This is HANDS’ defines the browser page title that shows up in the tab. The tag
is for a paragraph and is displayed on the page. An online tool to share code examples and provide an easy starting point for students to practice is jsfiddler.net. The code in figure 2 has been placed in a fiddle for readers to run: http://jsfiddle.net/briancarter/fbqn0kou/. HTML documents imply a structure of nested HTML elements. These are indicated in the document by HTML tags, enclosed in angle brackets:
. In the example, the extent of an element is indicated by a pair of tags: a start tag
and an ending tag . The text content of the element, if any, is placed between these tags. Tags may also enclose additional tags, including a mixture of tags and text. An example is the bold tag which is included inside the paragraph tag
. This indicates further, nested, elements, as children of the parent element. A full tutorial on HTML is beyond the scope of this paper. A good reference is w3schools.com for additional tutorials and examples.