Web-related technologies:

  • Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)
  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
  • JavaScript and DOM scripting
  • Server-side programming and database management.

What is Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)

HTML is not a programming language; it is a markup language. which means it’s a system for identifying and describing the varied components of a document like headings, paragraphs, and lists.

The markup indicates the document’s underlying structure (you can think of it as a detailed, machine-readable outline). You don’t need programming skills—only
patience and common sense—to write HTML.

What is Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).

While HTML is used to describe the content in a web page, it is Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) that describe how that content should look. In the web design biz, the way the page looks is known as its presentation.

That means fonts, colors, background images, line spacing, page layout, and so on…
all controlled with CSS. With the newest version (CSS3), you can even add special effects and basic animation to your page.

CSS also provides methods for controlling how documents will be presented in contexts other than the traditional desktop browser, such as in print and or on devices with small screen widths.

It also has rules for specifying the non visual presentation of documents, such as how they will sound when read by a screen reader (although those are not well supported). Style sheets are also a great tool for automating production because you can change the way an element looks across all the pages in your site by editing a single style sheet document.

Style sheets are supported to some degree by all modern browsers. Although it is possible to publish web pages using HTML alone, you’ll probably want to take on style sheets so you’re not stuck with the browser’s default styles. If you’re looking into designing websites professionally, proficiency at style sheets is mandatory.

What is JavaScript/DOM scripting

JavaScript is a scripting language that is used to add interactivity and behaviors to web pages, including these (just to name a few):

  • Checking form entries for valid entries.
  • Swapping out styles for an element or an entire site.
  • Making the browser remember information about the user for the next time she visits.
  • Building interface widgets, such as expanding menus.

JavaScript is used to manipulate the elements on the web page, the styles applied to them, or even the browser itself. There are other web scripting languages, but JavaScript (also called ECMAScript) is the standard and most ubiquitous.

You may also hear the term DOM scripting used in relation to JavaScript. DOM stands for Document Object Model, and it refers to the standardized list of web page elements that can be accessed and manipulated using JavaScript (or another scripting language).

DOM scripting is an updated term for what used to be referred to as DHTML (Dynamic HTML), now considered an obsolete approach.

What is Server-side programming

Some simple websites are collections of static HTML documents and image files, but most commercial sites have more advanced functionality such as forms handling, dynamically generated pages, shopping carts, content management systems, databases, and so on.

These functions are handled by web applications running on the server. There are a number of programming languages and frameworks (listed in parentheses) that are used to create web applications, including:

  • PHP (CakePHP, CodeIngniter, Drupal)
  • Python (Django, TurboGears)
  • Ruby (Ruby on Rails, Sinatra)
  • JavaScript (Node.js, Rhino, SpiderMonkey)
  • Java (Grails, Google Web Toolkit, JavaServer Faces)
  • ASP.Net (DotNetNuke, ASP.Net MVC)

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