HTML For Humans - 1 - Intro To HTML

A Little Bit About HTML

Let's start by talking a little bit about what HTML is. HTML, or Hyper Text Markup Language, is the backbone of the modern web. Every webpage out there has a little bit of HTML in it at least. HTML is the content portion of the webpage. This gets the information up on the screen for the user. All browsers have a rendering engine built in for HMTL by default. This means that as long as you have a browser installed on your computer, you can start writing HTML without installing anything else. Before we do that, though, let's learn a little bit more about the history of HTML. How did it come to be?

History

Oh man, I'm trying to learn to code and you want me to read about history?

If that is what you're thinking, feel free to click here to go to the next lesson. This one is completely optional! Before you do though, it very well might come up on Thursday night trivia...

To talk about the history of HTML, we have to start back pretty much before the internet was invented. According to this article from History.com, the internet was created in the late 1960s. Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf then developed the Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol. TCP is a "handshake" that happens between the computers to communicate with each other. IP is a protocol or a set of rules that computers connecting have to follow. This involves addresses or IP addresses. You may have seen these before. We will talk about IP addresses later. We might get into TCP, but that will be a long way down the road.

So although Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf were really smart guys, neither of them invented HTML. We're getting to that part now. When TCP/IP came out, there was an issue with it. None of the computer addresses were human-readable. It was all a set of numbers. Can you imagine typing in 8.8.4.4 in the address bar if you're trying to get to Google? That's a pain. Tim Berners-Lee, a British scientist working at CERN (the particle accelerator folks) thought that too. He came up with the World Wide Web. Now, this is an important distinction, because he didn't exactly invent the internet, he invented the ability to look up the domain instead of the IP. He also had a vision of working on a system for research papers that every paper could link to another paper with the click of a button. Sounds a lot like our internet, right? (Except with research papers, not pictures of cats.) This was the dawn of HTML. HTML went through a couple of iterations. Now, this is interesting but you're here to learn to code. Let's wrap this lesson up and head to our first HTML page. I'll try and throw a couple more history tidbits in there occasionally but they will usually be quick like this one.

So... let's talk about editing code.

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Photo Credit: Florian Olivo on Unsplash

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