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HyperText Markup Language

HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language, is the primary markup language used for creating web pages. It is largely presentational in nature, although it has a cousin (XHTML, or Extensible Hypertext Markup Language) that is intended to be more meaningful.

An HTML document is a text file broken down into two basic sections:

  1. HEAD
  2. BODY

Both are contained within an HTML element. The latest version of HTML is HTML 4.01, and here is a simple example:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"
    <title>DreamHost Wiki: A very basic HTML page</title>
    <h1>A very basic HTML page</h1>
    <p>This is a very basic example of a web page created in HTML 4.01.</p>

Note that the document consists of a series of nested containers, called elements, that are made up of start and end tags. It is now recommended that the tags are written in lowercase, to allow for easy conversion to XHTML (where lowercase is required).

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See also