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Web Design Fundamentals is a survey of Web design and development techniques and technologies, fundamental concepts, terms, and best practices involved in professional web design. Instructor James Williamson examines popular web development tools, server-side software solutions, content management solutions, and cloud-based software, providing a high-level overview of the world of Web publishing.
HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language and is the standard markup language for web pages. I've also found it to be the number one source of apprehension for new web designers, specifically those of you who have backgrounds in visual design. I can't tell you how many of my students have asked me if there is a way to design web pages without having to learn HTML. Hey! I can sympathize. Looking at HTML code for the first time can seem kind of daunting to any new designer. However, I would like to stress that HTML itself is actually very simple.
As a markup language, HTML contains tags, which are used to identify the elements of a document and provide structure. Here for example, I've identified this is a paragraph by surrounding it with an opening and a closing paragraph tag. So learning HTML is basically learning the syntax of the language, the elements supported and the basic structure of HTML documents. Hopefully, in the course of this movie, I'll be able to inform you about what HTML is and the history of its development and ease any concerns that you might have about your ability to learn and write HTML yourself.
Although, this might surprise some people, the Internet was functioning for years before the creation of HTML. HTML specifications were first drafted and used in early to mid 90s. The HTML 2.0 specification was released in 1995 and marked the first release of the language as a standard. The first releases of HTML were fairly basic and lacked many of the structural elements that we have today. During the 3.0 release, browsers began to implement their own proprietary tags that were not part of the official HTML specifications.
This created many problems for web designers and developers in trying to create consistent sites and threatened the stability of the HTML standards. Thankfully, the HTML 4.0 release stabilized the language and was released in an environment that was increasingly more supportive of Web Standards. Modern browsers were quick to adopt HTML 4.0 and it became the recognized standard for years and in many ways, still is. In 2000, the W3C, or World Wide Web Consortium, the governing body that issues standards for web technology, released the XHTML 1.0 specification in hopes that it would replace HTML 4.0 as the standard.
XHTML was meant to move the language to a more structured XML-based approach. Although, embraced by designers for its stricter rules, and move towards pure structural markup, it wasn't a dramatic departure from HTML 4.0. To keep up with the changing nature of the web, work on XHTML 2.0 began with a focus on becoming a semantic, or think structural, language only. Because XHTML 2.0 broke with the previous practice of being backwards compatible, designers and developers were slow to back the working drafts and after years of work, the W3C finally ended the Working Groups Charter in 2009, effectively ending XHTML 2.0 before any browser supported it.
So, does that leave us stuck with HTML 4.0 and XHML 1.0 to work with? Absolutely not. In a true display of the open nature of web development, a group of developers and designers, unhappy with the direction XHTML 2.0 had taken, got together and formed the awkwardly named Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group or WHATWG to continue the development of HTML. Their efforts were eventually recognized by the W3C, which adopted the work under the name HTML 5. Since the XHTML 2.0 charter had expired, HTML 5 is considered to be the new standard of HTML.
Although browser support for HTML 5, at the time of this recording, is minimal, it is expected to be supported by all major browsers in the future. HTML 5 retains the backwards compatibility of previous versions while adding new structural tags and support for APIs to allow elements to be edited, dragged and dropped, and facilitate communication from within the HTML document without needing outside scripting. It remains to be seen how much of this functionality will be implemented inside browsers.
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