Writing a page for display on the WEB.

We write WEB pages using HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language).

Concept of a markup language - it allows the author to focus on content and structure rather than form. If you have used LaTeX you are familiar with this idea. For example, to indicate a major heading we use the <H1>...</H1> tag. We do not specify how the heading is rendered - that decision is taken by the device that renders the document. So HTML (in theory) allows us a device independent description of a document. This is useful because the document could be rendered through a text to speech engine just as well as a WEB browser.

HTML is continuously evolving to meet new requirements. There are many "fancy" things you can do with it. We are not going to deal with that stuff though.

Core elements of an HTML page.

The basic format of an HTML page is:


 <TITLE> Fire me up! </TITLE> 


Your text goes here.


The HTML tags are indicated inside the angle brackets. Typically they come in pairs, with the scope being closed by the forward slash.

There are many tweaks you can do to this. An example is specifying a background color via the BODY tag.

<BODY BGCOLOR="#ffffff">

The best way to learn these tweaks is to use the view source option from your browser, which allows you to see the raw HTML of the document you are viewing. Here's a link to a listing of the HTML tags The Bare Bones Guide to HTML.

Richard Waterman
Thu Jan 14 23:42:10 EST 1999