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Common HTML terms

This page defines common terms used in HTML.

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Alt text
Text description of a graphic that appears before the graphic is loaded into the browser. After an image has been downloaded on the browser, the alt text may briefly appear over the graphic as you rollover the mouse over the graphic.
Anchor <a>
The anchor tag is used to define a hypertext link.
Angle brackets
less than (<) and greater than (>) symbols used to surround an element to create a tag.
Attribute
A property of an HTML element used to provide additional instructions to a given HTML tag. The attribute is specified in the start of HTML tag.
Broken links
Broken links are those links that do not work because the destination has been deleted or the path has been changed.
Browser
A program used to access and display HTML documents. Common examples: Internet Explorer, Netscape, and Mozilla Firefox.
CGI (Common Gateway Interface)
A programming standard that defines how programs communicate with each other and with the web server. Generally, a CGI-complaint program is called a script.
Clickable map
Another name for an imagemap.
Closing tag
An HTML instruction that tells the browser to turn off a specific feature of an opening tag.
Comments
Information added to the code for future reference. The information may include a brief explanation for what a complex code does. Comments are ignored by the browsers and they are visible in the source code. HTML comments start with <!-- and end with -->.
Deprecated element
An element that will be obsolete in the future is referred to as deprecated. The element can be used today, however, it needs to be removed sometime in the future to avoid a situation where newer browsers would ignore that element.
Document content
Parts (such as text and graphics) of a web document that you want the user to see.
Document Type Definition (DTD)
A specification for a mark-up language.
Domain name
The alphabetic name for a computer host mapped to a computer's numeric IP (Internet Protocol) address.
Elements
An element in HTML refers to a tag (such as <head>, <body>, and <p>) or element of structure of a document(such as body, title, and paragraph).
Entities
Entities are those characters that do not appear on the keyboard (i.e., ™ ©, ®, etc.) or characters that have special meaning in HTML (i.e., <, >, &, etc.).
Form
A mechanism that enables a user to supply input to the web page author.
Footer text
The text that is not specifically related to the content of the webpage and that appears on every webpage is referred to as footer text. The most notable example of footer text is the copyright statements at the bottom of webpages.
Frames
HTML supports frames to divide a web page into independent and scrollable sections. Having two frames on a web page is like loading three separate pages in the browser. A common use for frames is to place the navigation on the left, and content on the right.
Frames (used at the top of a web page to specify HTML version)
A frames document type definition indicates that the document uses frames and it also supports deprecated elements. This is the most flexible document type definition.
FTP
FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. FTP is a robust method for transferring files between computers using TCP/IP. TCP stands for Transmission Control Protocol and IP stands for Internet Protocol. TCP is responsible for transporting data and IP is responsible for making sure data goes to the correct address.
GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)
A file format (commonly used for web pages) used for storing image files.
Hotspot
A defined area on an image that acts as a hyperlink.
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)
A web scripting language used for creating web page documents.
HTML converter
A software that converts text to HTML code.
HTML editor
A software that inserts HTML code as you work to create an HTML file.
Hypermedia
Hypertext that may include multimedia like text, images, sound, and video.
Imagemap
A graphic that has clickable areas (or hotspots) defined to allow a user to move to another URL.
Inline
Elements those that are supported directly by HTML are known as inline. Also, another characteristic of inline element is that their output can be seen or heard without the user taking any additional action (such as clicking, and installing of a plug-in) because the output is directly placed on the webpage. Inline elements include, for instance, animated graphics, graphics, and sound.
JPEG or JPG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
A common cross-platform image format that is used on the web.
Line break
Line break simply refers to stop of the current line and continuation to the next line. In HTML documents, the <br> tag is used to end a line.
Link
A hypertext link used to connect one document with another document or file.
Mirror site
A mirror site is a copy of a publicly available website.
Nesting/nested tags
Nesting occurs when you place tags within other tags. Anytime you create an HTML document, you will end-up using nested tags. For example, the <title>, and <body>, tags are nested inside the root <html> tag. The <body> tag is likely to also nest inside of itself other tags.
Navigating
The act of observing the content of web for some purpose.
Obsoleted element
An element that won't necessarily work in the future versions of browsers. Any obsolete element that you may be using in your website should be removed; otherwise, newer browsers would ignore that element.
Opening tag
An HTML instruction that tells the browser to turn on the feature and apply it to the document content that follows.
Out-of-line
Out-of-line refers to those elements that require the user to take some additional action to see or hear the output of the element. The additional action could consist of clicking or installing of a plug-in. Examples of out-of-line elements include video, 3-D models, animations, etc.
Pixel
A collection of dots that make up a monitor's display. On color monitors, a pixel contains three dots: red, green, and blue. On monochrome monitors, a pixel contains only one dot.
Robot
A software that automatically explores the web.
Server
A software application that serves requests initiated by client programs.
Strict (used at the top of a web page to specify HTML version)
The strict version indicates that the web document does not use frames or any deprecated elements. If a web document is based on a strict definition, it must have clean HTML (meaning all opened tags must be closed, attribute values surrounded by double quotation marks, etc.).
Style sheet
A style sheet includes styling syntax (rules) that dictates how your web page will look. Style sheets are very useful as they help web developers create uniform (or consistent) presentation of web pages.
Syntax
Syntax basically refers to the rules a computer language uses to perform a task. Without syntax, a computer language would not be functional or useful at all. HTML syntax dictates what and how a web page will display.
Syntax error
A syntax error basically refers to a situation in which the rules (or a rule) of the computer language are (is) broken. In HTML, depending on the syntax error you produce, the web page may look completely different than what you had intended.
Tags
The HTML code that controls the appearance of an HTML document's content.
Transitional (used at the top of a web page to specify HTML version)
A document defined as transitional may include deprecated elements and all the new HTML elements. However, the document cannot contain frames.
Uploading
Think of uploading as just opposite of downloading. While uploading simply means moving/sending files to the server, downloading means getting/receiving files from the server.
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
An organization consisting of representatives from member companies and responsible for making rules for the World Wide Web.