What is HTML?
HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. The word markup is usually used by the editors for making markings in manuscripts when they want to give them for a revision. HTML language also includes a set of markup symbols that gives instructions to the web browser how to display data or information on the web page. Each markup code is referred as an element. These elements are often referred as tags, in fact, HTML language is known as tag-based language.
HTML code ensures that the information on the web page is displayed as intended by the HTML programmer. The web browser interprets the commands given in the HTML and then displays information on the web page. Without HTML language browsers fail to understand the format of the information that needs to be displayed over the web page. All the web pages consist HTML code. To view the HTML code you have to keep the mouse pointer on the center of the web page and press right click, then you will be given options in that you have to select view source code. On clicking the source code of the web page will be displayed upon your screen.
Elements consist two matching tags and everything in between. For example, to represent a paragraph we use the element
which will be at the starting and at the end of the paragraph we use
. Similarly for inserting image we use an element and the closing element will be . Some tags are self-closing and do not contain any content.
Here is a simple example of how a complete HTML code looks like.
This is a Sample of an HTML page.
When a start tag or element contains additional information, this information is referred as attributes. Attributes is divided into two parts, (1) Attribute Name and (2) Attribute value. Some attributes have only one value and these attributes are referred as Boolean attributes. To specify a Boolean the programmer can leave attribute value as blank and specify attribute name.
Listed below are some examples of attributes:
Named character references
Name character references are used for print characters that have special meaning in HTML. For instance HTML language interprets less-than and greater-than symbols as tag delimiters. So if you want to give these symbols a special meaning then you can use Name Character References. This is very useful when you want to give special meaning to the symbols.
Listed below are few examples of named character references:
> denotes the greater-than sign (>)
< denotes the less-than sign (<)
& denotes the ampersand (&)
" denotes double quote (")
Though, there are many other entities available in the HTML language, but the listed above are the most used ones. These are important because by default they hold a different meaning in HTML language and also these are the entities which are most commonly used by the programmers to give an explicit meaning.
Comments and Doctype
For embedding the comments HTML uses a special mechanism which, does not display the message that is written in the HTML code. These comments are useful for the programmers, to easily understand the code. These type of mechanism is useful is useful when a group of programmers are working on the same project. With the help of these comments, other programmers or the people who are new to the project will get a complete understanding of the code. These comments are useful for future references, and if there are any changes or updates in particular block, then it can be easily identified with the help of these comments.
Below is the example of HTML comments:
HTML document must contain Doctype declaration. The declaration must be made in the very first line of the HTML document. You can observe these declarations in the top most section of the code. Another thing that you must remember is that Doctype is not a tag. Doctype tells the browser about the version of HTML the page is written in.
In the latest version of HTML which is HTML5, declaration is written as shown below:
The HTML languages consist of many more attributes and entities. If you are interested to know more about HTML language, it is advisable you refer to books to gain in-depth knowledge about the subject or attend training sessions.
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