HTML has been the standard coding language of web content since the earliest days of the World Wide Web. Its enduring popularity stems from its openness (the ability to see and edit a web page’s source HTML code is only a mouse click away), its compatibility (it can be read in any web browser and thus is viewable on virtually every computer in the world), and its ease of use (all you would need is a simple text editing program to create the most sophisticated HTML document ever written).

Another advantage of HTML is that it works nicely with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). Style sheets allow you to customize the formatting of HTML code, so that you can use the same HTML code for different purposes. For example, one style sheet could format an HTML version of the Ten Commandments in 10-point Verdana bold font justified right, while another style sheet could format it in 18-point Courier italic, centered and blinking (ick).

Although many are frustrated with some of HTML’s limitations (particularly its use of fixed tags and attributes) and have developed alternate coding languages for use in web pages (notably XML – Extensible Markup Language), HTML remains the workhorse code format for the web and has a very secure future.

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