Maddog's HTML for Real People Introduction

Copyright 1997 ...[ view copyright info ]...
[INDEX] Intro - Introduction to HTML Self-Paced Course

This course is for Real People, like you and I, who weren't born with a silver mouse in our hand, and who have little time to devote to becoming the next "wizard of web programming".

Just about everybody who can surf the World Wide Web (i.e., the Internet), has both the tools and the skills to build their own web page. Contrary to popular belief (and contrary to what the big software companies would have you think), a beautiful web page can be built with nothing more than the text editor that came with your computer, and your own two pointy little typing fingers. Most of the web pages at our site http://www.io.com/~maddog/ were built using a simple text editor, on a 386SX computer, and using dubious brain-power.

The lessons will be presented sequentially, beginning with the simplest techniques for building text-only web pages, and proceeding to the fanciest, using tables. Each lesson should not take more than 10-15 minutes to complete, and most can be done in much less time. We'll stop short of discussing forms, server-side scripts, and animations in any detail, although we will present a very brief overview of those features. There are several chapters, logically arranged, and several lessons in each chapter. At the end of each chapter is a practice exercise, and an example solution, and you are free to skip the exercises if you wish.

The student is free to progress from the Introduction, lesson by lesson, until the skill level desired has been acquired. To progress to the next step, just click the "NEXT" button at the bottom of the lesson page. To review the previous lesson, just click the "PREVIOUS" button. To return to the current chapter's top page, click on the "CHAPTER" button.

If you wish to skip lessons that you are already proficient in, click the "NEXT" button at the bottom of the page, or the "skip this lesson" text at the top of the lesson. If you wish to locate a specific lesson, click on the "INDEX" button at the top or bottom of any page.

Should you discover this tutorial really isn't your cup of tea, try looking -here- for resources more to your liking.

While you are welcome to print one hardcopy of these documents for your own personal use, you may NOT copy them for any other purpose, either in electronic or hardcopy form. Please honor the provisions of our copyright declaration, which can be viewed --here-- or via a link near the top of each lesson's web page. By the way, we don't claim to copyright HTML, only our presentation of it. We truly hope that you find this course easy, useful, and stimulating, while respecting our creative efforts in putting it together. If you want to write your own course, take the knowledge gained from this and other sources, and put it in your own words, using your own unique creative talents.

I've discovered that most people authoring HTML fall into two groups: those who take it very seriously (the clinical computer types), and those who really don't care at all about the details (and use word processor-to-HTML converters). The first group will tend to glare a scance evil eye at this tutorial, because I leave out obscure HTML tags and don't tell about every possible syntax or style error an author might make, and I ignore the most advanced features (which may not be available on all browsers). We're very grateful to the first group, because they are the driving force behind the continued improvement of HTML as a document-markup language. But that's not where we are. The second group post their web pages, get some good feedback, but get lots of e-mail complaining that their pages look strange, or can't be read, or don't fit the display, or otherwise don't look like the author intended.

Somewhere in the middle are us Real People. We don't want to get spun up on needless details about the HTML language, because we aren't perfectionists, and we surely aren't computer nerds (though, frankly, we're working on it). But we would like to be sure that we're building a good solid web page (simple though it may be), and if we run into problems, we would like to have just enough background to stand a good chance of solving them. This "middle ground" is the fallow earth where we plant this tutorial.

If you notice that we've failed to include some crucial bit of HTML-ese, or if you discover a blatant error glaring at you, please e-mail me so that others will not be led down the wayward path. If you have problems loading the web pages, please let me know that also, so that we can get that resolved as quickly as possible.

Finally, thanks for giving us the opportunity to touch your life in some way. We believe the Internet and the World Wide Web offer one of the most remarkable creative opportunities to occur in the history of technology, whereby we - Real People can connect honestly, and enrich all our lives.


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