Introduction to HTML and HTML5

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language and is one of the most important elements in the internet technology. HTML is used to define the structure and content of a webpage. The browser e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome interprets the HTML code and presents the webpage to the user. This article provides an introduction to HTML and the new HTML5 language.

Before we dive into HTML, it is key to understand the roles of HTML and CSS (Cascading Style Sheet). HTML is the language used to describe the structure and content of a webpage. It is not used to describe how the webpage looks. The presentation aspect of a webpage is described by CSS. This separation of content and presentation is a vital concept in good web design. We will discuss CSS in more detail in another blog article.

HTML is a language of tags and attributes. For example, the following line describes a hyperlink to our web hosting website:

<a href=”http://www.camhosting.com.hk/”>Web Hosting</a>

<a> is the anchor tag. Inside the <a> tag, there is an attribute called “href”. By assigning the URL to the “href” attribute, the <a> tag carries a link to our web hosting website. The browser interprets this line of code and generates a link. By clicking on the word “Web Hosting”, the browser will go to the URL of the “href” attribute”.

HTML is simple to learn and use. It is only a matter of writing tags to mark different areas of the webpage content and associating tags with attributes. To learn HTML, one must first learn the tags and their attributes. Another key part to learning HTML is the good practice of the writing HTML code. It is important to write code in good standard for cross-browsers compatibility and maintenance.

HTML5 is the latest version of the HTML language. At the time of writing, it is supported by Firefox 3.6, Google Chrome, Apple Safari 5, Android and iPhone browsers. The next release of Internet Explorer (IE9) will also include support for HTML5.

HTML5 has added many new features to the language. This includes new tags and attributes for website structure, text content description, Forms 2.0, video & audio support and many other APIs. HTML5 adds more features to webpages and simplifies web development. There will still be a transition period for people to convert to browsers which support HTML5. Therefore, it is important to continue to write codes that are compatible with the current browsers. After that period, HTML5 will be the major language on the internet.

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