HTML and CSS Reference
In-Depth Information
Chapter 2
Evolution of Advertising Technology
Now that you have a strong understanding of the campaign process, it's time to understand what the technologies and
businesses are that drive us to where we are today. The industry, as discussed in the previous chapter, is constantly
going through rapid changes, and as an HTML5 designer and developer, it's important for you to understand all of
this. Advances in technology, improvements in processes, and gains in overall efficiency appear with predictable
regularity. With new browsers being developed, technical specifications being written, and new plug-ins being
deployed at a dashing pace, there's never a shortage of important aspects to consider.
For starters, let's discuss the foundation of the preceding and current Web, how content is rendered to the screen
by means of varying technologies, and improvements seen nowadays that would have been unthinkable years back.
Let's also take a look at the beginnings and transitions from HTML to the Flash platform and at the business behind
the technologies used on the Web, as well as dive into where the new hotness that is HTML5—and look at it all from
an advertiser's perspective.
This chapter will discuss how HTML5 was brought onto the scene, what it aimed to accomplish, and how one
influential pioneer rushed it onto the mainstream market. At this chapter's close, there'll be a terminology review
to go through some terms that may be unfamiliar. Finally, there'll be a summary of what has been learned thus far
as we head into the core of this topic and learn still more about how advertising is developed and designed with the
emerging web standards: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
Early Web and HTML
First, as clichéd as it sounds, let's take a trip down memory lane and discuss the foundation of the World Wide Web.
It was the 1990s—the era of Pearl Jam, jean jackets, and, what's more important, the early Web. It all began with an
MIT grad and computer scientist by the name of Tim Berners-Lee, who created the World Wide Web specification
and proposed hypertext markup language (HTML) as the structural language that all browsers would eventually
comprehend to render elements to the screen. The World Wide Web Consortium, or W3C, states that
HTML is the language for describing the structure of Web pages.
In addition to the HTML building blocks, style and function are also needed. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
maintains the style, and JavaScript is the language that controls the logic and functionality (also known as the
“behavior” within the page) of the web content the user sees. There is also the Document Object Model (DOM),
which is an object hierarchy for reading and editing objects in the browser stack. For those who are serious about web
development, DOM, a huge topic on its own, is well worth understanding.
Hindsight reveals that the early Web was patchy. Browsers were primitive by design, and trying to figure out the
market share of the installed user base was a big challenge. This made web development on browsers a total mess;
each had its own limitations and code base under the hood. Think of it in the context of television sets, with the TV
as your browser; depending on the set's manufacturer—Sony, LG, Samsung, whatever—the program being watched
would need to take into consideration all of the different TVs and adapt accordingly. This sounds totally unrealistic
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