Hypertext Markup Language

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Hypertext Markup Language

[¦hī·pər‚tekst ′märk‚əp ‚laŋ·gwij]
(computer science)
The language used to specifically encode the content and format of a document and to link documents on the World Wide Web. Abbreviated HTML.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Hypertext Markup Language

(hypertext, World-Wide Web, standard)
(HTML) A hypertext document format used on the World-Wide Web. HTML is built on top of SGML. "Tags" are embedded in the text. A tag consists of a "<", a "directive" (in lower case), zero or more parameters and a ">". Matched pairs of directives, like "<title>" and "</title>" are used to delimit text which is to appear in a special place or style.

Links to other documents are in the form

<a href="http://machine.edu/subdir/file.html">foo</a>

where "<a>" and "</a>" delimit an "anchor", "href" introduces a hypertext reference, which is most often a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) (the string in double quotes in the example above). The link will be represented in the browser by the text "foo" (typically shown underlined and in a different colour).

A certain place within an HTML document can be marked with a named anchor, e.g.:

<a name="baz">

The "fragment identifier", "baz", can be used in an href by appending "#baz" to the document name.

Other common tags include <p> for a new paragraph, <b>..</b> for bold text, <ul> for an unnumbered list, <pre> for preformated text, <h1>, <h2> .. <h6> for headings.

HTML supports some standard SGML national characters and other non-ASCII characters through special escape sequences, e.g. "é" for a lower case 'e' with an acute accent. You can sometimes get away without the terminating semicolon but it's bad style.

Most systems will ignore the case of tags and attributes but lower case should be used for compatibility with XHTML.

The World-Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the international standards body for HTML.

Latest version: XHTML 1.0, as of 2000-09-10.


Character escape sequences.

See also weblint.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)


(HyperText Markup Language) The standard document format for Web pages, defined by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Every Web page contains HTML tags (codes) embedded in the text that define the page layout, fonts and hypertext links. The link contains the URL (address) of another Web page on that same server or any server worldwide, hence "World Wide" Web. The HTML tags also define the graphic elements on the page, each of which is a separate file on a local or remote server. See hypertext.

Since its inception by Tim Berners-Lee in the early 1990s, new versions of HTML have added features such as interactive forms, blinking text, custom backgrounds and tables of contents. To keep current, vendors have to update their Web browsers to accommodate the new tags; however, each new HTML version is backward compatible (mostly) with older versions.

HTML Itself "Is Not" a Programming Language
HTML was created as a markup language (the ML in HTML) to define how a Web page is formatted on screen. Although there are commands that accept user input and send it to the Web server, there is no "if this-do that" in HTML like there is in every programming language. In order to make Web pages behave like applications, JavaScript and PHP programming code are embedded within the HTML. There may be considerable processing at the server side as well. See JavaScript, PHP and Cascading Style Sheets.

HTML5 "Is" a Programming Language
Because version 5 of HTML formalized the use of JavaScript programming, HTML5 is considered a programming language; technically a Web application development language. Among other enhancements, HTML5 added support for audio and video, which otherwise required auxiliary software such as a media player and Flash (see HTML5). See HTML tag, XML, XHTML and SGML.

World Wide Web Linking
Web pages are accessed by their Web address, which is known as a "uniform resource locator" (URL). A website's home page is an HTML document, which contains links to other HTML documents that can be stored on the same server or on a Web server anywhere in the world.

Web Server Fundamentals
Web browsers communicate with Web servers via the TCP/IP protocol. The browser sends HTTP requests to the server, which responds with HTML pages and possibly additional programs in the form of ActiveX controls or Java applets. See HTTP.
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References in periodicals archive ?
What it is: XHTML, says W3C, "is a family of current and future document types and modules that reproduce, subset, and extend HTML 4 (the current standard for HyperText Markup Language)." I've seen it described as "HTML 5," but it's basically an application of XML (hang on ...
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The article describes the origins of HTML, the Hypertext Markup Language, currently the lingua franca of the Web that originated with SGML, the Standard Generalized Markup Language.
XHTML is the amalgamation of the well established languages XML (Extensible Markup Language) and HTML (HyperText Markup Language) and is plugged by the book to be the future (for now at least!) of web page creation.
This flexibility comes from Oracle's ability to support a wide variety of mark-up languages such as Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), Wireless Markup Language (WML) and VoxML, and protocols such as Wireless Application Protocol (WAP).
* World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) outlines the future course of web technologies such as hypertext markup language (HTML), dynamic HTML (DHTML), standard generalized markup language (SGML) and extensible markup language (XML).
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