A Short Introduction to the

Interesting WWW Links

by Heikki Kantola

Chapter Ia: HTML

Hypertext Markup Language (in its many variants and bastardizations) is the code used to construct all the WWW pages (including this one).

If you're unsure which HTML features your browser supports check the HTML test set, Form Test or BrowserCaps.


I personally favour using Emacs with HTML-helper-mode or PSGML to edit HTML although others may prefer some other HTML editors, of which some claim to be WYSIWYG and often create barfed up HTML, which doesn't follow any standard and therefor won't pass any validator. Or alternatively you could also use one of the numerous filters or converters to create HTML

For information about good authoring styles, take for a example look at:

And for even more hints about WWW development, following sites give good starting points:

There's also couple humorous HTML authoring guides...


HTML 2.0
The only HTML that has yet been made into RFC, no fancy stuff.
HTML 3.0
Now expired Internet draft, which introduced all kinda neat things like tables, math and style sheets.
HTML 3.2 "Wilbur"
W3C's previous version of HTML, representation of common practice around 1996 (eg. tables, applets, text effects). Somewhat limited compared to HTML 3.0 draft.
HTML 4.01
W3C's latest version of HTML featuring style sheets, scripting, frames (YUCK!), object embedding and improved internatinazation and accessibility.
HTML as XML document type. W3C recommendation.
ISO/IEC 15445:2000/DCOR 1:2001(E)
Very strict HTML version based on HTML 4.01. There's also User's Guide available for it.
Standardized General Markup Language (SGML)
HTML is a SGML document type.
Extensible Markup Language (XML)
XML is intended to be a standard to make it easy and straightforward to use SGML on the Web: easy to define document types, easy to author and manage SGML-defined documents, and easy to transmit and share them across the Web.
Not really part of HTML itself nor a just one standard, but a nice method to control how browsers (provided they support stylesheets) should render the pages.

HTML Validators and checkers

Better check whether your HTML code is valid! Here's some tools for that, for even more, see Web Design Group's validator and checker listing.

  1. W3C HTML Validation Service
    like it's apparent predecessor, Kinder, Gentler HTML Validator, W3C validator checks your documents against one of the several DTDs based on the <!DOCTYPE>-declaration in the beginning of the document (or HTML 2.0 if none specified) and optionally also with Weblint.
  2. WDG HTML Validator
    SGML-based HTML validator with improved charset encodings checking and file upload.
  3. HTML validating from University of Oulu [FI]
    checks the documents against either HTML 2, 3.2 or 4.0 DTD.
  4. LeHTori [FI]
    is SGML/HTML validator with helpful error messages in Finnish.
  5. Doctor HTML
    analyzes structure, spelling (very roughly, US-English only), images and hyperlinks of your document.
  6. Weblint
    is a HTML checker written in Perl. Can be also used via several WWW gateways
  7. HTMLChek
    is a HTML 2.0/3.0 checker available either as Perl or AWK program.
  8. Bobby
    tests your documents for features which may results problems with certain browsers.
  9. HTML::Validator
    is a SGML-based HTML validator Perl module. Requires nsgmls from the SP toolkit.

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Heikki Kantola <Heikki.Kantola@IKI.FI>

Last modified: Tue Dec 18 23:42:14 EET 2001