Introduction to HTML:
"The Language of the
World Wide Web"

Go to the Galveston Bay Project to see the full version of this lesson

So what is this thing called the Internet? It is really less confusing than you might think. A network is a collection of computers that are connected together in a way that allows them to share information. The Internet is a network of these networks. It allows users on one network to share information with users on another network that may be in the same city or on another continent.

How does the Internet work (in English please)? These networks that form the Internet are connected together with routers that allow data to pass from network to network. Every computer on the Internet has a numerical address (IP address). So all that is needed to send or retrieve information across the Net is the "to" address and a "from" address. There are rules that govern how the information travels between addresses. These rules are called protocols. The Internet Protocol (IP) is a set of rules that takes care of interpreting the "to" and "from" addresses so that the routers that receive the called for information know what to do with it when it arrives. The router determines if the information has reached its destination or if it must be sent on to another router.

Does it make julienne fries? What you can do on the Internet is limited only by your knowledge and what the computer that is your point of contact with the Internet is able to do. The most common Internet applications are telnet, ftp, e-mail, and the World Wide Web (WWW).

Aren't the WWW and Internet the same thing? It is the WWW that has been getting all the attention lately. It can be thought of as a subset of the Internet. It is a protocol that allows the transfer of text, images, sound, and video files from one computer to another. The protocol is called HyperText Transfer Protocol. These files are embedded in Web pages which are themselves text files. The WWW is a collection of these thousands or perhaps millions of Web pages. A Web page is written in a special format that conforms to the HyperText Markup Language or HTML.

HTML consists of a set of tags that are translated by your Web browser (Netscape, Mosaic, MS Explorer, Lynx, etc.) and define the "look" of the Web page. As you will see below, HTML is easy to learn and even fun.


Every Web page has the same basic form:

<html>
<head>
<title> . . . . . </title>
</head>
<body>
.
.
.
.
</body>
</html>


For example:

<html>
<head>
<title> This is an HTML Example </title>
</head>
<body> From Einstein's book Relativity: In your schooldays most of you who read this book made acquaintance with the noble building of Euclid's geometry, and you remember-perhaps with more respect than love-the magnificent structure, on the lofty staircase of which you were chased about for uncounted hours by conscientious teachers.
</body>
</html>

produces the following Web page:


Add a few more tags for italics, to display some words in bold, paragraph breaks, and horizontal rules:

<html>
<head>
<title> This is an HTML Example </title>
</head>
<body>
<hr>
<p>
<b>From Einstein's book <i>Relativity </i></b>:
<p> In your schooldays most of you who read this book made acquaintance with the noble building of Euclid's geometry, and you remember-perhaps with more respect than love-the magnificent structure, on the lofty staircase of which you were chased about for uncounted hours by conscientious teachers.
<p>
<hr>
</body>
</html>

produces the following Web page:


Choose a background color, add an image that is centered on the page:

<html>
<head>
<title> This is an HTML Example </title>
</head>
<body bgcolor="#00FFFF">
<hr>
<p>
<b>From Einstein's book <i>Relativity </i></b>:
<p> In your schooldays most of you who read this book made acquaintance with the noble building of Euclid's geometry, and you remember-perhaps with more respect than love-the magnificent structure, on the lofty staircase of which you were chased about for uncounted hours by conscientious teachers.
<p>
<center>
<img src="person.gif">
</center>
<hr>
</body>
</html>

produces the following Web page:


And finally, add a HyperText link to another Web page:

<html>
<head>
<title> This is an HTML Example </title>
</head>
<body bgcolor="#00FFFF">
<hr>
<p>
<b>From Einstein's book <i>Relativity </i></b>:
<p> In your schooldays most of you who read this book made acquaintance with the noble building of Euclid's geometry, and you remember-perhaps with more respect than love-the magnificent structure, on the lofty staircase of which you were chased about for uncounted hours by conscientious teachers.
<p>
<center>
<img src="person.gif">
</center>
<hr>
<a href="index.html">BACK TO THE MAIN PAGE</a> </body>
</html>

produces the following Web page:


BACK TO THE MAIN PAGE