HTML and CSS Reference
made up of individuals and organizations interested in supporting and defining the
languages and protocols that make up the Web (HTTP, HTML, XHTML, and so
on). It also provides products (browsers, servers, and so on) that are freely avail-
able to anyone who wants to use them. The W3 Consortium is the closest anyone
gets to setting the standards for and enforcing rules about the World Wide Web.
You can visit the Consortium's home page at http://www.w3.org/.
The second group of organizations that influences the Web is the browser develop-
ers themselves, most notably Microsoft and the Mozilla Foundation. The competi-
tion to be the most popular and technically advanced browser on the Web can be
fierce. Although both organizations claim to support and adhere to the guidelines
proposed by the W3C, both also include their own new features in new versions of
their software—features that sometimes conflict with each other and with the work
the W3C is doing.
Things still change pretty rapidly on the Web. The popular browsers are finally
converging to support many of the standards defined by the W3C, so writing to
those standards will work most of the time. I talk about the exceptions throughout
Q I've heard that the Web changes so fast that it's almost impossible to stay cur-
rent. Is this topic doomed to be out-of-date the day it's published?
A Although it's true that things do change on the Web, the vast majority of the infor-
mation in this topic can serve you well far into the future. HTML is as stable now
as it has ever been, and when you learn the core technologies of Hypertext Markup
other things at your leisure.
1. What's a URL?
2. What's required to publish documents on the Web?
1. A URL, or uniform resource locator, is an address that points to a specific docu-
ment or bit of information on the Internet.
2. You need access to a web server. Web servers, which are programs that serve up
documents over the Web, reply to web browser requests for files and send the
requested pages to many different types of browsers. They also manage form input
and handle database integration.