document.write (''); 怡红院 HTML Basics

HTML

Hyper Text Markup Language - The language upon which all web pages are based. The language uses a series of "Tags" to represent the layout and construction of a page. There are two types of tags, ones which have a start and a finish, and those which work on their own. A tag is represented by two chevrons, <> enclosing some formatting information, for example, B represents Bold and has a start and finish, thus: <b>Bold text</b>
A horizontal rule however has no finish. It is simply written as: <hr>


These examples and this page refer to writing HTML using a plain text editor, such as notepad. There exist various programs which you use to write it all for you. If this is the case, try these links, otherwise read on if you are still curoius about it all... To look at a page, just right click on it (avoiding any pictures) and select View Source.

Macromedia Dreamweaver
Coffee Cup HTML Editor
Hotdog Pro
Search on Download.com
But don't stop there, there are hundreds. Some free sites offer easier solutions, try:
Tripod.com a free and easy place to keep your pages

There is a lot to know about HTML. It's easier nowadays to use an HTML editor, a program that will write it all for you. Complicated and intricate designs are much more easily done with such programs. There are a few things to know about HTML:

Your document should begin with <html> and end with </html>
ALL web pages must begin and end with these tags. Some browsers will work without these but it is not recommended as it will restrict who can see your page, to a handful of people.
Your main page text should begin with <body> and end with </body>
There are some cases where this does not apply, such as a frameset, but essentially where you are putting anything to the main screen, it should be between these tags. If it isn't, again it may not be seen.
You CANNOT use a normal chevron in your page source.
This is because HTML codes use these chevrons for layout and formatting tags. To get around this there are lots of "character codes". These are little codes to get around certain symbols which might be different for various reasons. The most common are these:

CodeSymbol
&lt;<
&gt;>
&amp;&
&pound;£
&nbsp;(space)


These are a few common ones. There are many others, there are even symbols where they aren't usually needed. The general form however is: &[name|abbreviation];. As with all rules there is an exception, and that is this format: &#[ASCII_Code];. This is used to specify a character by it's ASCII code.
HTML source code doesn't have to look pretty
Because of the way it works, HTML source code could be in one long line. The end of lines are reprensented by <br>, paragraphs created with <p> and </p> and multiple spaces are looked at and combined in to one. (One reason for the non-breaking space shown above, each will be shown. Very useful in an empty table cell too (to make sure Netscape doesn't just make it a blank hole!).

Well, believe it or not, you're probably ready to make your first web page. Needn't be anything difficult or complex. The best thing, is to surf the web, find something you like and try and copy it. Some things are harder than others, people will try to keep their wizzy stuff to themselves. They might also use other things too, such as Javascript, Java applets, maybe even VB Script. Here's a better example of a complete web page. Then, have a look around. This site is quite simple, have a look at the source, I'll try and make it as easy to read as possible.
Any comments or suggestions (or questions) email me: rathmeile@rathmeile.org