Introduction To HTML and URLs
Last Update: 20 February 2000
Home Site And Mirrors
This collection of pages explains how to use the different HTML
document description elements, or tags and how to use these
elements to write good, well designed HTML documents. This particular
page describes the overall content and organization of the material
presented here, reviews some related resources that may be of
interest, and describes the meanings of the navigational "buttons"
you use to navigate from page to page.
Feedback, comments and suggestions are encouraged, and should be sent to:
I apologize if I don't have a chance to answer -- I get a lot of mail,
and simply don't have time to answer all of it
1.1 My Books on XHTML, HTML, CSS, HTTP and CGI
If you find these documents useful, please have a look at my various
books on HTML publishing and design. The HTML 4.0
Sourcebook, published in late 1998, is a good overview of HTML, URLs,
HTTP and CGI programming. More recently, I have written
The XHTML 1.0 Language and Design Sourcebook, soon
to be followed by
The XHTML 1.0 Web Development Sourcebook,
These books cover, in depth and with many examples of Web design and code,
all aspects of Web page and Web application design, including HTML, XHTML,
CSS, HTTP, Internet Protocols, URLs, CGI, servlets, and more. Earlier
editions of my books were very favorably reviewed by Byte, Dr. Dobbs,
PC Magazine and others. So if you're looking for more, have a look and
see if these books provide what you're looking for!
1.2 Features Of This Collection
- Guidelines for writing good HTML
- Descriptions of all HTML elements, with guides
and examples to their use
- Review Changes between HTML Versions 2, 3.2 and 4.
- Information on changes due to the migration to
the current standard version, known as HTML 4
- Server (CGI) Scripts and Programs
- Discussion of the important server-side aspects,
such as executing CGI scripts/programs, using forms, etc.
- A list of URLs pointing to other information resources
related to HTML, URLs, and the World Wide
1.3 Other Resources
I also have a large collection of resources on other issues
related to web authoring. This includes a somewhat out-of-date
list of tools useful for creating and viewing HTML documents
(editors & translators), and also tools useful in maintaining
and managing HTTP servers. I also have a set of notes on
the HTTP protocol, and on CGI programming. Links to these
resources can be found at menu lists at the very top of this page.
1.4 How to Navigate Within these Documents
The collection has an overall Table of Contents, which
allows you to jump to documents through the collection "ToC"
page. Each page also has navigation anchors at the top and bottom of the
page, linking to important documents related to the page. These links
- ToC go to the Table of Contents
- Up go up one level (for example 3.4 to 3)
- Back go back one page (for example 3.2 to 3.1)
- Next go forward one page (for example 3.2 to 3.3)
- Index go to the keyword index
1.5 Organizational Outline
This document is organized into 9 main sections.
- Section 1 Introduction
- The Introduction -- What you are reading right now: a
brief introduction to the layout of these documents.
- Section 2
- An introduction to HTML -- describing the naming scheme
for HTML document formatting instructions (`elements'), the
basic structure of an HTML document and standard naming schemes
for files accessed as (or by) HTML documents.
- Section 3
- HEAD of a Document -- A description of the HEAD part of
an HTML document, and of the HTML `elements' valid in the HEAD.
- Section 4
- BODY of a Document --
A description of the BODY part of an HTML document - the BODY
contains the part of the document actually displayed by the `browser'
- and of the HTML `elements' valid in the BODY.
- Section 5
- Miscellaneous HTML -- A description of
miscellaneous things, such as how you put comments in HTML documents.
- Section 6
- HTML 3 -- Thinking of stepping up to HTML 3?
This section describes
what is really meant by HTML 3 (an experimental project) and
what can be expected to come out of it in the near future.
- Section 7
- Netscape/Microsoft HTML Extensions -- Netscape
and Microsoft have implemented several extensions to
HTML. This section describes these extensions, and how they can
be used safely with regular HTML.
- Section 8
- Uniform Resource Locators -- This section explains
what URLs are,
and how you create them.
- Section 9
- Interaction with the Server -- It is possible for a browser to
send information back to a hypertext document server for interpretation
by special server-side programs or scripts. This section describes
how this mechanism works, and gives several examples.
- Section 10
- Bibliography A list of important reference documents
on HTML and related
issues. This list also references information about HTML editors and
document translators, as well as information regarding different