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HTML for Dummies Excerpts


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  • Chapter 1 - Welcome to the World Wide Web
  • Chapter 2 - Back to the First Strands: A Brief History of the Web
  • Chapter 3 - Under the Hood: How the Web Works
  • Chapter 4 - Getting Hyper
  • Chapter 5 - What's In a Page
  • Chapter 6 - What's a Markup Language?
  • Chapter 7 - Pigeonholing Page Contents: HTML Categories
  • Chapter 8 - Introducing The Unrepresentable: HTML Entities
  • Chapter 9 - Building Basic HTML Documents
  • Chapter 10 - Beyond Basics: Add a Little HTML Flair
  • Chapter 11 - Going High-Rise: Building Complex Pages
  • Chapter 12 - Strictly Pro Forma: Using Forms for Feedback
  • Chapter 13 - The Map's The Thing!
  • Chapter 14 - Stick Out Your Neck: HTML Extensions

  • LIST | FIRST EXCERPT | TOP OF PAGE

  • Chapter 15 - The Common Gateway Interface (CGI)
  • Chapter 16 - Help Them Find Their Way: Aids to Web Navigation
  • Chapter 17 - Testing, Testing, 1-2-3
  • Chapter 18 - It Doesn't Matter What YOU Think
  • Chapter 19 - So You've Got a Web, What Now?
  • Chapter 20 - If You Build It, Will They Come?
  • Chapter 21 - The More Things Change...
  • Chapter 22 - Picking the Right Platform
  • Chapter 23 - Using Unix Uniformly
  • Chapter 24 - More Macintosh Madness
  • Chapter 25 - Webbing Up Windows
  • Chapter 26 - The Top Ten Web Page Do's and Don'ts
  • Chapter 27 - Ten Design Desiderata
  • Chapter 28 - Decimating Web Bugs
  • Chapter 29 - Ten Ways to Decide to Build or Buy Your Web Services

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    Chapter 1: Welcome to the World Wide Web

    In order to understand HTML, you first have to understand the environment that it serves, and the world in which that environment operates. HTML is a text-based markup language that provides the underpinnings for one of the most exciting information search and navigation environments ever developed: This environment is called the World Wide Web (WWW or W3, for short), and represents a major step forward in making all kinds of information accessible to average folks like you and me.

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    Chapter 2: Back to the First Strands:
    A Brief History of the Web

    Tim Berners-Lee and his colleagues at CERN had no idea what they were starting when they first began hacking together their ideas for the Web. Nevertheless, they succeeded in starting something strange and wonderful that has taken the whole Internet community by storm. In this chapter, you'll learn more about the Web's origin and history, as you probe its original motivation, and the factors that have shaped its form and capabilities.

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    Chapter 3: Under the Hood: How the Web Works

    Now that you know what the Web is, where it came from, and just what a big deal it has turned into, it's time to start grappling with how it actually works. Despite the volume of information it connects, and the many different ways of presenting and delivering that information, there's a basic set of mechanisms that make the Web work. In this chapter you'll learn about the communications that underlie the Web, the roles that clients and servers play, and how you can use the Web to share information around the corner, or around the world!

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    Chapter 4: Getting Hyper

    The real secret behind the HyperText Markup Language is that there is no secret: Everything's out in the open in an HTML document, just waiting for the right interpretation. The beauty of HTML is that it is just a stream of plain characters, which makes any half-witted text editor a potential HTML generator. The challenge of HTML is that it is very sensitive to the order in which those characters occur, and the way that they get used, to produce the right results.

    Even though HTML can be very forgiving if certain elements are omitted or mis-stated, the best way to work within HTML is to understand and work within its structure. Because there are so many different browsers for Web pages, you'll want to get consistent appearance and behavior for everyone who reads your HTML document. The only way to make this happen is to know the rules, and use them to your readers' best advantage!

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    Chapter 5: What's In a Page

    The trick to understanding HTML lies in knowing how to separate the content from the controls. Content can be presented in a plain ASCII file with no tagging whatsoever. If you look at an HTML source file, you'll see some markup in the file that does't show up when your browser displays the page. While it may not show up on the screen, it is crucial to controlling how the Web page looks and acts.

    The really interesting parts of HTML are the combinations of form and content, like the commands used to entitle pages, or that control textual guideposts like headers, graphics, lists of elements, and more. Learning how to read and understand HTML depends on being able to separate the structure from the controls.

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    Chapter 6: What's a Markup Language?

    In this chapter, you'll finally see what HMTL looks like. You'll begin to appreciate what's involved in a markup language, and start to understand how to use HTML to create your own Web pages. Because this chapter is an overview, you won't be able to run right out and start building pages after you've read it, but you should have a pretty good idea of the pieces and parts that make HTML do its thing.

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    Chapter 7: Pigeonholing Page Contents:
    HTML Categories

    At last, you've arrived at your first real in-depth look at HTML in this book. In this chapter, we'll talk some more turkey about HTML syntax, to make sure you can keep up with all the gory details. We'll also establish some categories for what HTML can do and group the markup tags in meaningful categories to make them easier to learn and use. Finally the remainder of the chapter is a reference tool, where we desribe all the HTML tags in alphabetical order for easy access.

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    Chapter 8: Introducing The Unrepresentable:
    HTML Entities

    Now you've seen the panoply of HTML tags, and gone through a number of examples in Chapter 7 that included strange notations like "&lt;" or "&#176;". These odd locutions aren't as cryptic as they first appear -- they're simply a way to instruct the browser to look up these symbols as it renders a document, and replace them with equivalent characters. The symbol &lt; produces the less-than sign "<" on your computer screen, while the symbol &#176; produces the degree symbol "°".

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    Chapter 9: Building Basic HTML Documents

    Building your first Web page is exciting if you keep this thought firmly in mind: You can change anything on your Web page at any time. Good Web pages are always evolving. Nothing is cast in concrete change is just a keystroke away.

    Now that the pressure is off, you can start building your own simple but complete home page. Think of it as a prototype for future pages. Later you can add all sorts of bells and whistles to change it into any kind of page you want, be it for a business, an academic institution, or a governmental agency.

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    Chapter 10: Beyond Basics: Add a Little HTML Flair

    When you see a Web page with a layout that you especially like, view its source to see the formatting. You can use your browser's Save As feature to save the HTML source to your own hard disk for later study, or you can print it. At the same time, you can add the page to your bookmark file so you can find it again to look at its images. Some browsers let you save the images associated with a page to files on your hard disk. However, before you publish somebody else's work on your pages, be aware of copyright laws (if you're in doubt whether it's OK to reuse something, the safest course of action is: "Don't do it!").

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    Chapter 11: Going High-Rise: Building Complex Pages

    You're probably not satisfied with your nice, simple, single-screen home page. Because of all the wonderful stuff you've seen out there, you really want to make a Web of pages with all sorts of great material in them, right? That's pretty natural and it doesn't compromise the KISS principle either.

    If you recall, we suggested that you'd want to make more pages as you expanded your Web. But the more pages you add, the more difficulty your users will have in finding their way around. While you're growing your own Web your most important job is to make your users' journey through it as enjoyable as possible. In fact you've already learned the necessary methods and techniques in previous chapters. Now it's time to put them to use.

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    Chapter 12: Strictly Pro Forma:
    Using Forms for Feedback

    When all the pieces come together properly, it's easy to see how the Web brings people or organizations together. At first glance, the Web might look pretty much like a one-way street -- that is, an environment where WebMasters communicate aplenty with Web users, with not much interaction between the two. But it doesn't have to be that way.

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    Chapter 13: The Map's The Thing!

    You've already learned how to insert graphics into your HTML documents, using the <IMG> tag. You've even seen examples of using graphics as hypertext links within anchor tags (<A> <IMG SRC=...> </A>). In this chapter, you'll learn how to take the next logical step, and treat a graphic as a collection of selectable regions, each of which points to some kind of hypertext link or resource.


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    URL: http://www.lanw.com/html4dum/h4d1e/excerpts.htm
    Text - Copyright © 1995, Ed Tittel & Steve James.
    For Dummies, the Dummies Man logo and Dummies Press are trademarks or registered trademarks of Wiley Publishing, Inc. Used with Permission.
    Web Layout - Copyright © 1995, LANWrights
    Revised -- May, 2002 [MCB]