Category Archives: Web Basics

CSS Meetup at The Hive on June 16, 2014 in Rock Hill, SC

New Book, What’s HTML? Learn it in 4 hours

My first book, “What’s HTML” is now available on Kindle and Amazon in paperback form. This book is designed to be a quick way to learn HTML and HTML5.  It should also serve as a reference for you to look back on for refreshers and information on tags that are commonly used. This is a great resource for students and professionals that need a quick reference or wish to learn the basics of HTML quickly.

As a computer science professor, I’ve taught thousands of students HTML over the past ten years.  I wrote this book to help teach others HTML in a simple easy to read format.

Paperback edition

Kindle edition

What's HTML

“What’s HTML”

So What’s HTML?

HTML is a markup language. An HTML file is really just a special type of text file.  As we stated earlier, it can be edited in any standard text editor. By now, you probably remember that HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language, but what does that mean exactly?  Let’s break it down:

  • Hyper is the opposite of linear. Old-fashioned computer programs were pretty much linear which means that they went in order. But with a “hyper” language, like HTML, the code can all be ran at once, instead of going in order.
  • Text is just words, written in plain English.
  • Markup refers to the tags that are applied to the text to change its appearance. For instance, “marking up” your text with <b> before it and </b> after it make the text in bold.
  • Language is just that. HTML is a programming language that is interpreted by web browsers.

A Very Brief History of the Internet

The Internet was created in part as an experiment by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) for the US Department of Defense (DoD).  The first Internet was known as ARPANET and computers were connected together of existing phone lines. By the end of 1969 4 “host” computers were connected. By 1973, ARPANET had 2 international computers, one in London and one in Norway. In 1977 the first email application was created.  In 1984 DNS (Domain Name System) was created.  This was significant because it allowed users to connect to a computer using a friendly name, like, instead of an IP address. In 1990 the first web server was born.

Tim Berners-Lee, a British research scientist, invented a more efficient way of sharing information between computers.  The way he connected these documents together (today known as “linking”) was revolutionary.  He created the web.  While at CERN he created the standards for HTTP, URI, and HTML.  Today we’ll be learning HTML, but just for reference: HTTP stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol; URI stands for Uniform Resource Identifiers; and HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language.