Hello There, I want to apologise for the silence over that past few days. I couldn’t eek out time to write a manuscript. I’ve just been very busy. I’m pretty sure that many of you are wondering “when do we get to see some hardcore material?”. Well, all I can say is stay tuned. :-). Ok with that being said, I personally have decided to take another approach. Instead of pre-typing a post (after careful thought of course), I’ve decided to just type the post straight away. More like freestyle on the M-I-C. Ya Feel me?
I will start to take this broad topic by breaking it into small easy-to-understand bits and then give you links to appropriate materials. This the first in a long series of posts on how to create websites. So… Let’s get started.
What is HTML?
To fully understand this, let’s go back to the beginning of the web. Once upon a time at an organisation called CERN (which actually stands for European Organization for Nuclear Research. weird huh), They had a challenge where lots of Physicists around the world had articles, data, information on vast numbers of topics all in different formats which required different software to view.
So it occurred to the a man named Tim Berners-Lee to come up with a way to standardize this information so that it can be easily retrieved by any computer that has the client software. So he set out to develop the engine of the world wide web. He designed everything. From transfer protocol (HTTP) to language (HTML), Web browser, Web Editor, Web Server, File Transfer Protocol (FTP).. Pretty much everything it took to get the web up and running. Ok, my geek sense just tingled. Let me break it down in a way that’s even easier to understand.
Let’s say I am in Lagos (At the moment, I am actually.. Laughing) and I wanted to send a message to my friend John in Benin. First of all, I would write a letter right? That letter (web page) would have to be written in English (HTML) in order for John to understand what I am saying right? And then I would take the letter to take the letter to a post office. Which essentially is a “protocol” or standard way to send letters right? Then I would write something on the envelope (HTTP Response Header) like “Gist of the Week” and the give it to the Post man who would send the information to John. In the case of the world-wide-web, I would be a Web-server and John would be a client/browser. Do you now get it?
So in web-design your job is simply to create Letters written in English for John (or any other sane person) to understand. But remember that people have different levels of perception. This means that the same letter may be interpreted differently by different people. However, the basic idea behind the letter will be the same.
So, HTML which stands for Hyper-Text Mark-up Language is simply a language in which web pages are written so that they can be understood by browsers.
Practice: Open any site of your choice, right-click anywhere on the page and click “View Source” (Actual phrase might differ from browser to browser) and then you can see the underlying HTML that generates that page.