Big Web Five, No. 1: HTML…

HTML is where it all started, and where it all ends. There is no web page without HTML (or some variant of it, such as XHTML). Flash designers may disagree, but that clever Flash movie still needs wrapping in an HTML document to display in a browser. HTML code is the bread and butter of web developers, and I love it.

There’s not much to say, really. I’m not going to get in to the whole XHTML or just plain ‘ol HTML thing because, frankly, I don’t understand it. All I will say is that anyone who says they are a web developer, but does not have a very good grasp of HTML is kidding themselves.

Everything we do as web developers has to have its output in HTML (yes, I know, a generalisation), but, of course, that HTML can be generated by anything you want, and manipulated however you want … and that’s where the magical combination of your web server, server-side scripting language, CSS and JavaScript come in.

So you can use your web server and server-side scripting language to create pretty much whatever you want – lists from databases, output of remote XML files, the latest comments made on a forum. However the important thing is that, no matter how you generate it, your HTML code must be semantic and valid.

I realise I’ve not said much in this post, but it’s important to understand just how important HTML is, and thank the efforts of the many developers who have brought us this fantastic language.