Monday, June 09, 2014

Information on Designing Website : Web Publishing Languages

In learning about designing a website, we need to have plenty of conversations about things like coding and markup languages. When you sit down to design a brochure or a business card, you would likely use a page layout program to do so. Because the program does so much of the work for you, there’s very little ‘heavy
lifting’ involved. While it’s true there are now some pretty significant web publishing tools that require little coding, it’s not necessarily always that simple.

To help us understand, let’s look back at the history of web publishing. As we learned previously, the first popular graphical web browser was Mosaic, which was launched in the early 1990s by NCSA. Before that could happen, Tim Berners-Lee had to spend lots of sleepless nights working on an easy way to publish content on the new World Wide Web. There were plenty of ways to publish content on a single computer,
but the question revolved around a way to do it efficiently and effectively on a global scale. He decided to use the framework of one of the popular desktop publishing modules: SGML. In fact, he picked up the concept of pairs of tags (used to tell when to start doing something, and then when to stop doing it), as well as specific tags for features like titles, paragraphs, headings, and lists. For example, in the following code, the opening tag (<p>) instructs the browser to start a new paragraph, while the closing tag (</p>) tells where to stop that paragraph.

<p>This is a paragraph of text.</p>

These plain text tags were great, but there were two key pieces missing: links and images. Because of his academic and research background, Berners-Lee networked with and sought feedback from as many programmers as possible to come up with the tags for links and images, among others. He encouraged the sort of collaboration that would lead to the open source nature of much of the internet that we enjoy today.
Indeed, in those first few years, HTML went through so many iterations so quickly, that Tim and many others recognized the need for a set of universal standards. 

In 1994, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) was formed to fill that gap. With representatives from companies, institutions, and organizations throughout the world, the W3C maintains the web publishing standards for the global internet.
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