HTML and CSS Reference
Authoring web pages is diferent in many respects from using word process-
ing programs. A web page has no ixed size. It can be as long as it needs to be
without page breaks. he default browser behavior is to word-wrap text to it
the available width of a containing element or, in the trivial case, to it within
the margins of the display window. If there is more content than its in the
window, the browser enables scrolling to accommodate the length. Further-
more, the properties of pages elements can change in response to user actions,
and a web author's preferences can be overridden by the reader.
In desktop publishing, the focus is on the printed page. Authors and editors
specify the document's layout, typography, colors, and other properties and
have complete control over the document's inal appearance. Web authors and
developers, on the other hand, relinquish some measure of this control so that
their content can be consumed on a wide variety of devices. For example, an
author might design a web page so that it is pleasing when viewed in a modern
browser such as Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Google Chrome, running
on a typical desktop computer with a standard color monitor. However, the
readers of that page might include people on the go using cell phones or people
with visual impairments using text-to-speech readers. A new class of tablet
devices from companies such as Apple and Google is changing how people use
the Web, and website authors must increasingly take this into account.
Moreover, we are long past the days when a web developer had to consider
only how a page looked to able-bodied people. Today, it is critical that a web
page makes good reading for search robots. In addition, it must be able to be
read and worked on by editing applications and content-management systems.
Creating a web page is the process of inserting HTML markup tags into the
content that describe the elements of the page semantically. Web authors have
a wide range of tools for editing HTML, ranging from simple text editors to
powerful integrated development environments. Because HTML has elements
to deine input forms, it is not very diicult to write web pages that create and
modify other web pages. Web pages displayed in HTML5 browsers can be
editable and even self-modifying.
Web pages are living documents that require ongoing care and mainte-
nance. Web spaces in particular tend to grow like weeds. Existing pages are
cloned and adapted to new uses continually. Unlike desktop publishing pages,
which are inished works rushed out the door to meet a deadline, web pages
are perpetually “under construction,” and the tools to work on them keep get-
You will learn that when it comes to coding web pages, there are oten sev-
eral ways to accomplish the same thing and that every rule has an exception.