Sams Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML and XHTML in 21 Days, Third Editionby Laura Lemay, Laura Sams Lemay, Rafe Colburn, Denise Tyler, Rafe Colburn
Sams Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML & XHTML in 21 Days, Third Edition is a new edition of the best-selling Laura Lemay book that started the whole HTML/Web publishing phenomenon. The entire book has been revised and refined to freshen up its appearance and to bring it up to date with current Web publishing practices and technologies. Yet the book's original style, off-beat humor, and popular learning techniques will be retained and developed. This edition of the book includes coverage of the latest developments in HTML and Web publishing, including the effects of XHTML 1.0 and 1.1 on Web publishing practices, the new generation of browsers from Microsoft and Netscape, improvements and changes in Web publishing tools, and developments in Web scripting and programming.
Read an Excerpt
Day 1: The World of the World Wide WebA journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and here you are at Day 1 of a journey that will show you how to write, design, and publish pages on the World Wide Web. Before beginning the actual journey, however, you should start simple, with the basics. You'll learn the following:
- What the World Wide Web is, and why it's really cool
- Web browsers: what they do, and a couple of popular ones from which to choose
- What a Web server is, and why you need one
- Some information about uniform resource locators (URLs)
What Is the World Wide Web?I have a friend who likes to describe things using many meaningful words strung together in a chain so that it takes several minutes to sort out what he's just said.
If I were he, I'd describe the World Wide Web as a global, interactive, dynamic, cross-platform, distributed, graphical hypertext information system that runs over the Internet. Whew! Unless you understand each of these words and how they fit together, this description isn't going to make much sense. (My friend often doesn't make much sense, either.)
So let's look at all these words and see what they mean in the context of how you'll be using the Web as a publishing medium.
The Web Is a Hypertext Information SystemIf you've used any sort of basic online help system, you're already familiar with the primary concept behind the World Wide Web: hypertext.
The idea behind hypertext is that instead of reading text in a rigid, linear structure (such as a book), you can skip easily from one point to another. You can get more information, go back, jump to other topics, and navigate through the text based on what interests you at the time.
Hypertext enables you to read and navigate text and visual information in a nonlinear way, based on what you want to know next.
Online help systems, such as Windows Help on PCs or Apple Help on the Macintosh, use hypertext to present information. To get more information on a topic, you just click that topic. The topic might be a link that takes you to a new screen (or window or dialog box) that contains the new information. Perhaps you'll find links on words or phrases that take you to still other screens, and links on those screens that take you even farther away from your original topic. Figure 1.1 shows a simple diagram of how this kind of system works....
...Imagine that your online help system is linked to another online help system on another application related to yours; for example, your drawing program's help is linked to your word processor's help. Your word processor's help is then linked to an encyclopedia, where you can look up any other concepts that you don't understand. The encyclopedia is hooked into a global index of magazine articles that enables you to get the most recent information on the topics the encyclopedia covers. The article index also then is linked to information about the writers of those articles and some pictures of their children (see Figure 1.2)....
...If you had all these interlinked help systems available with every program you bought, you would rapidly run out of disk space. You also might question whether you needed all this information when all you wanted to know was how to do one simple task. All this information could be expensive, too.
However, if the information didn't take up much disk space, it were freely available, and you could get it reasonably quickly any time you wanted, the system would be more interesting. In fact, the information system might very well end up being more interesting than the software you bought in the first place.
That's just what the World Wide Web is: more information than you could ever digest in That's just ... linked together in various ways, out there on the net, available for you to...
Meet the Author
Laura Lemay is a technical writer, author, Web addict, and motorcycle enthusiast. One of the world's most popular authors on Web development topics, she is the author of Sams Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML, Sams Teach Yourself Java in 21 Days, and Sams Teach Yourself Perl in 21 Days. You can visit her home page at lne/lemay/.
Rafe Colburn is a Web application developer and author living in North Carolina. His previous books include Sams Teach Yourself CGI in 24 Hours and Special Edition Using SQL. If you'd like to read more of his writings, check out his home page at rc3/.
Denise Tyler is a freelance author, graphic artist, animator, and Web designer who resides in Madison, Wisconsin. She is the author of Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft FrontPage 2000 in 21 Days, and co-author of How to Use Macromedia Flash 5.
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