1.2 The big three: HTML5, CSS and JavaScript

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The Web: vague but exciting!

Twenty eight years ago today, a proposal was sent internally at CERN outlying a universal linked information system. Dubbed ‘Information Management: A proposal’, pictured below, the proposal was created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and was sent to his boss Mike Sendall, who described it as ‘vague but exciting’.

Tim Berners-Lee original proposal for the Web

Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s vision for universality enabled the development of a high-level network of content that allows any document to link to any other documents.

The World Wide Web was initially created to make it easier to share research papers. It is a system of interlinked ‘hypertext’ documents that are accessed via the Internet; in essence, an information space. While he did not invent hypertext systems, Berners-Lee proposed using them ‘to link and access information of various kinds as a web of nodes in which the user can browse at will.’

His breakthrough was to link hypertext to the Internet and he used three technologies to do this:

  • HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is the foundation of data communication for the Web.
  • HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the main mark-up language for creating Web pages and information that can be displayed on a Web browser.
  • Web addresses or a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) are used to reference a Web page.

In the following pages, we present HTML through what is usually called the big 3 (HTML5, CSS and JavaScript), the hypertext concept and the browser, an application program that provides a way to look at and interact with all the information on the World Wide Web.

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