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HTML -- HyperTextMarkupLanguage


What is HTML?

It is the most commonly used language for webpages. (Another more complex one is Javascript.)

To create a simple page for use on the web, you do not need to know HTML.
You can create, say, a Word document, and save it as a web page.
Or you can use an HTML editor which will translate your text into HTML.
You can purchase an editor such as FrontPage or DreamWeaver.
Or you can use Netscape Composer which is included with the free Netscape browser.

Here, we like to use Netscape and Netscape Composer.

If it is not already on your computer, download and install Netscape -- this may take a while depending on your connection speed.
Click on Edit, Preferences, New Page Settings and put your name into the field Author; accept or modify other values.
We have a mini-manual for you -- see Using Netscape Composer

What does HTML code look like?

Let me create a new file in Composer and then look at the source code Composer creates for you:
I open Netscape, click on File, New, select Composer Page, type "Look at the source code"
then I click on View, HTML source
and I see the following bracketed code created by the editor:
<html>
<head>
<meta content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1"
http-equiv="content-type">
<title></title>
<meta content="Ursula Hoffmann" name="author">
</head>
<body style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: rgb(204, 204, 204);"
alink="#006600" link="#0000ee" vlink="#551a8b">
Look at the source code created<br>
</body>
</html>

The code is bracketed: here between <html> and </html> for start and end -- the difference is the / to indicate the closing bracket..

First nested bracketed code inside: <head> and </head> -- the character set I use on my computer, and my name as the author.

Second nested bracketed code inside, the 'body' of the document:
<body style selected and saved on the same New Page Settings screen as the author's name>
the text in the 'body'; here it is Look at the source created
<br> stands for line break when you press Enter to go to a new line
</body> to end the 'body' section

</html> to end page.


You do need to know a bit more about the tags or code for Blackboard:

for a formatted announcement or text in the textfield -- see
HTML basics
Materials for HTML in Blackboard from Prof. Robert Whittaker which include Very basic HTML, Blackboard's Basic HTML, as well as parts of some materials from the Web: Cheatsheet {simple} HTML, Barebones {complex} html, Internal Reference tag Blackboard Course
for adding an image to an announcement or textbox
for embedding a media clip in an HTML document as you create it in Netscape Composer

For primers, tutorials, a complete A-Z reference, see HTML help online
For unusual characters or symbols


Ursula Hoffmann, last revised December 2004