Every Web developer has to know the building blocks of the Web:
- HTML 4.01
- The use of CSS (style sheets)
- XML and XSLT
- Client side scripting
- Server side scripting
- Managing data with SQL
- The future of the Web
HTML is the language of the Web, and every Web developer should have a basic
understanding of it.
HTML 4.01 is an important Web standard. and
very different from HTML 3.2.
When tags like <font> and color attributes were added to HTML 3.2, it started a
developer's nightmare. Development of
where font information must be added to every single Web page is a long and expensive pain.
With HTML 4.01 all formatting can be moved out of the HTML document and into a
separate style sheet.
HTML 4.01 is also important because XHTML 1.0 (the latest HTML standard) is
HTML 4.01 "reformulated" as an XML application. Using HTML 4.01 in
your pages makes the future upgrade from HTML to XHTML a very simple process.
Make sure you use the latest HTML 4.01 standard.
Study our Complete
HTML 4.01 reference.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
Styles define how HTML elements are displayed, just like the font tag in
HTML 3.2. Styles are normally saved in files external to HTML documents.
External style sheets enable you to change the appearance and layout of all the
pages in your Web, just by editing a single CSS document. If you have ever tried
changing something like the font or color of all the headings in all your Web
pages, you will understand how CSS can save you a lot of work.
Make sure you study our CSS tutorial.
XHTML - The Future of HTML
XHTML stands for Extensible HyperText Markup Language.
XHTML 1.0 is now the latest HTML standard from W3C. It became an official Recommendation
January 26, 2000. A W3C Recommendation means that the specification is stable
and that the specification is now a Web standard.
XHTML is a reformulation of HTML 4.01 in XML and can be put to immediate use
with existing browsers by following a few simple guidelines.
To prepare for the future: Read how this site was
converted to XHTML.
XML - A Tool for Describing Data
The Extensible Markup Language (XML) is NOT a replacement for HTML. In
future Web development, XML will be used to describe and carry the
data, while HTML will be used to display the data.
Our best description of XML is as a cross-platform, software- and hardware-independent tool for
storing and transmitting information.
We believe that XML is as important to the Web
as HTML was to the foundation of the Web and that XML will be the most
common tool for all data manipulation and data transmission.
Make sure you study our XML tutorial.
XSLT - A Tool for Transforming Data
XSLT (Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations) is a language for
Future Web sites will have to deliver data in different formats, to
different browsers, and to other Web servers. To transform XML data into different
formats, XSLT is the new W3C standard.
XSLT can transform an XML file into a format that is recognizable to a
browser. One such format is HTML. Another format is WML - the mark-up language
used in many handheld devices.
XSLT can also add elements, remove, rearrange and sort elements, test and make
decisions about which elements to display, and a lot more.
Make sure you study our XSLT tutorial.
Client-side scripting is about "programming" the behavior of an Internet
browser. To be able to deliver more dynamic web site content, you should teach yourself
very simple syntax! Almost anyone can put small "snippets" of code into their
statement like this: document.write("<h1>" + name + "</h1>") can write a
variable text into an HTML page.
when something happens, like when a page has finished loading or when a user
clicks on an HTML element.
and change the content of an HTML element.
to validate form data before it is submitted to a server, this will save the
server from extra processing.
Server-side scripting is about "programming" an Internet server. To be able to deliver
more dynamic web site content, you should teach yourself
server-side scripting. With server-side scripting, you can:
- Dynamically edit, change, or add any content of a Web page
- Respond to user queries or data submitted from HTML forms
- Access any data or databases and return the results to a browser
- Access any files or XML data and return the results to a browser
- Transform XML data to HTML data and return the results to a browser
- Customize a Web page to make it more useful for individual users
- Provide security and access control to different Web pages
- Tailor your output to different types of browsers
- Minimize the network traffic
At W3Schools we demonstrate server-side scripting by using Active Server Pages
(ASP) and PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP).
Make sure you study our ASP tutorial or our
Managing Data with SQL
The Structured Query Language (SQL) is the common standard for accessing databases such as
SQL Server, Oracle, Sybase, and Access.
Knowledge of SQL is invaluable for anyone wanting to store or retrieve data
from a database.
Any webmaster should know that SQL is the true engine for interacting with databases
on the Web.
Make sure you study our SQL tutorial.
What Will the Future Bring?
One important thing to know is that the functionality of Web
Sites will change very drastically. We will see a huge shift
from sites displaying "static content" to data driven sites
delivering "dynamic content".
We will also see a lot of new browsers, like the browsers
found in mobile devices, and we will see a lot more use of XML
to communicate data between servers, and between servers and browsers.
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