HTML and CSS Reference
In-Depth Information
2.9. Lists, Searchable Documents, and Forms
Thought we'd exhausted text elements? Headers, paragraphs, and line
breaks are just the rudimentary text-organizational elements of a doc-
ument. The languages also provide several advanced text-based struc-
tures, including three types of lists, "searchable" documents, and forms.
Searchable documents and forms go beyond text formatting, too; they
are a way to interact with your readers. Forms let users enter text and
click checkboxes and radio buttons to select particular items and then
send that information back to the server. A special server application
then processes the form's information and responds accordingly; for ex-
ample, filling a product order or collecting data for a user survey. [*]
[*] The server-side programming required for processing forms is beyond the scope of this topic. We
give some basic guidelines in the appropriate chapters, but please consult the server documentation
and your server administrator for details.
The syntax for these special features and their various attributes can
get rather complicated; they're not quick-start grist. We'll mention them
here, but we urge you to read on for details in later chapters.
2.9.1. Unordered, Ordered, and Definition Lists
The three types of lists match those we are most familiar with: un-
ordered, ordered, and definition lists. An unordered listone in which the
order of items is not important, such as a laundry or grocery listgets
bounded by <ul> and </ul> tags. Each item in the list, usually a word or
short phrase, is marked by the <li> (list-item) tag and, particularly with
XHTML, the </li> end tag. When rendered, the list item typically appears
indented from the left margin, preceded by a bullet symbol. [ <ul>, 7.1.1 ]
[ <li>, 7.3 ]
Ordered lists, bounded by the <ol> and </ol> tags, are identical in format
to unordered ones, including the <li> tag (and </li> end tag with XHTML)
for marking list items. However, the order of items is importantas in
equipment assembly steps, for instance. The browser accordingly dis-
 
 
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