The HTML Programming Language

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History| Significant Language Features| Areas of Application| Sample Programs|
Related Links| Printed References| Acknowledgements


HTML, which stands for HyperText Mark-Up Language, is the language for describing structured documents as well as the language used to create web pages in the Internet. The language is based on an existing, international formatting standard SGML, Standard Generalized Mark-Up Language, which is used for text processing. HTML is a simplified version of SGML.

Significant Language Features

HTML files are written in ACSII text, so the user can use any text editor to create his/her web page, though a browser of one sort or another is necessary to view the web page. HTML is case insensitive with its language commands. The characters within the document, however, are case sensitive. The language consists of various "tags" which are known as elements. These allow the browser to understand (and put into the desired/specified format) the layout, background, headings, titles, lists, text and/or graphics on the page. The elements are classified according to their function in the HTML document. There are head elements and body elements. The head elements identify properties of the entire document, while body elements actually mark text as content and show a change in the appearance in one way or another. Most elements have a beginning and an ending which encompass the text the user wishes to mark with the tag. All HTML documents must begin with the element and end with the element . Some of the other elements which may be used are tags to create lists--both ordered lists as well as unordered lists. The user may also create larger or smaller, bolder, italicized, or underlined text. Attributes may be used along with the elements. These perform functions such as placement of text, indication of the source files of images, and identification of links to the document or part of the document.

Areas of Application

HTML only has one area of application at this time and that is the development of web pages. However, not all browsers support all the tags in all versions of HTML. Because of this, it is wise not to design your web page for a specific browser, because what may look fantastic on your browser has no guarantee of looking great on someone else's browser.

Sample Programs

Related Links

Printed References

  1. Brown, Mark; Jung, John; Savola, Tom. (1995). Special Edition: Using HTML Second Edition. Que Publishing.
  2. December, John; Ginsberg, Mark. (1995). HTML and CGI. Sam's Publishing.
  3. Lemay, Laura. (1995). Teach Yourself Web Pulishing with HTML in a Week. Sam's Publishing.


I would like to thank the Internet for its vast information on HTML.
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Last modified: 01:30 PM on 11/25/1996
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