HTML and CSS Reference
In-Depth Information
Chapter 3. Anatomy of an HTML Document
Most HTML and XHTML documents are very simple, and writing one
shouldn't intimidate even the most timid of computer users. First, al-
though you might use a fancy WYSIWYG editor to help you compose it,
a document is ultimately stored, distributed, and read by a browser as
a simple text file. [*] That's why even the poorest user with a barebones
text editor can compose the most elaborate of web pages. (Accomplished
webmasters often elicit the admiration of "newbies" by composing as-
tonishingly cool pages using the crudest text editor on a cheap laptop
computer and performing in odd places, such as on a bus or in the bath-
room.) Authors should, however, keep several of the popular browsers
on hand, including recent versions of each, and alternate among them to
view new documents under construction. Remember, browsers differ in
how they display a page, not all browsers implement all of the language
standards, and some have their own special extensions.
[*] Informally, both the text and the markup tags are ASCII characters. Technically, unless you specify
otherwise, text and tags are made up of 8-bit characters as defined in the standard ISO-8859-1 Latin
character set. The HTML/XHTML standards support alternative character encodings, including Arabic
and Cyrillic. See Appendix F for details.
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