Beginning with HTML

My experience with coding is quite limited. I took one computer science course and was required to learn Scheme, an obsolete programming language (in the family of Lisp) but apparently not completely wiped out from academia. According to Wikipedia, the Scheme Steering Committee once called Scheme “the world’s most unportable programming language” (see Scheme: Programming Language). Later in one of my cognitive science courses, I learned some coding in MatLab, a language that is math-based and used pretty much only in the research world for numerical computing. Needless to say, I now remember nearly zip of the two programming languages.

Picking up this third language, I am finding HTML to be a pretty straight-forward. It is easy to grasp so far. Here are some notes from the first chapter of Principles of Web Design by Joel Sklar (5th edition):

The newest rendition of HTML is now HTML5 (moving on from HTML 4.01). There are new elements in this version and new conventions of naming the sections of a web page. For example, <header> versus <div id=”header”>. In a nutshell, the elements are simplified in a neat and intuitive manner. The use of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is also a new method of efficient coding. Now you can do style enhancements and control these elements at one chunk of the code rather than go through your whole website HTML code to look for where the elements are applicable.¬†

A big rule in programming – create syntactically correct code! Code should be easy-to-read and easy-to-reuse by fellow programmers.

  • Documents must be well-formed
  • All tags must be properly nested and closed with the correct order
  • Use lowercase for element names
  • Empty elements are marked with a closing slash (even for those elements that do not require a closing, like <br>
  • Attribute values must be contained in quotation marks

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