Ask anyone who invented the Internet, and they will likely look at you and shake their head in confusion, even though most people couldn't live without it for a day. Of course, if you asked Al Gore, he would say he did. But the people who really invented the Internet are also important for another, related reason.
The folks who invented the Internet, if you could really give that credit to two people, were the same ones who created HTML, which began as a Hypertext system for CERN researchers proposed by Tim Berners-Lee. Why he has that hyphen in his last name, I don't know. In 1990 he and a CERN data systems engineer by the name of Robert Cailliau (who had also bid on a hypertextual system for CERN) got together and created the World Wide Web. The first actual document on HTML was published by Berners-Lee and was titled HTML Tags. And the rest was history.
There isn't really all that much you need to know or have in order to learn HTML. A simple Notepad file will work just fine. You don't need to know any other languages, though it certainly doesn't hurt. And knowing how to turn on your computer, of course, is a must.
So let's get started...
To start, let's take a peek at some simple HTML code:
<title> Website of the Future World Leader </title>
Welcome to my vainglorious new website! <b><i>MUAHAHA</i></b>
The above code works in the following manner: the first tag you see is <html>. This tag tells the browser that the type of document is an HTML document, and to treat it as such. If you go all the way to the end of the document you will see a closing tag </html>. This tells the browser that it has reached the end of the HTML document.
The next tag you see is the <head> tag, which alerts the browser that this is the header section. It is closed off by the </head> tag, which of course alerts the browser that the header section is finished. If you write anything in between these two tags, it will be placed in the header section. Note that header tags are not shown in a browser window. We will discuss this in more detail later on.
Next is the <title> tag. Any text placed between the <title> and </title> tags goes into the caption section of your browser (the top left hand corner of the blue bar).
Next we see the <body> tag. Anything you put between the <body> and </body> tags will be shown in your Internet browser.
Lastly, you will note that I added some tags: the <b>, </b>, <i>, </i> tags. These are the bold and italic flags, and are used to give the text they surround (in this case the MUAHAHAH) bold and italic properties. So when this text is seen in the browser it will read:
Welcome to my vainglorious new website! MUAHAHA
Notice that the text outside of the bold and italic tags is not affected.
You will also notice that every tag <> has a closing tag </>. This isn't the case 100% of the time, but like 99% of the time it holds true. If you forget the opening or closing tags, it can have a serious effect on your web page.
The things that surround a tag (<>) are called angle brackets. The first tag is an open tag <> and the last tag is a close tag </>. Anything that appears in-between these two tags is called element content. And lastly, this statement: <i>Hello Nerd<i/> is called an HTML element.