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Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML 3.2 in 14 Days


teach yourself

         WEB Publishing

                    with HTML

                                                               in 14 days

by Laura Lemay

C  O  N  T  E  N  T  S


Chapter 1  The World of the World Wide Web

Chapter 2  Get Organized

Chapter 3  Begin with the Basics

Chapter 4  All About Links

Chapter 5  More Text Formatting with HTML

Chapter 6  HTML Assistants: Editors and Converters

Chapter 7  Using Images, Color, and Backgrounds

Chapter 8  Creating Images for the Web

Chapter 9  External Files, Multimedia, and Animation

Chapter 10  Sound and Video Files

Chapter 11  Writing and Designing Web Pages: Dos and Don'ts

Chapter 12  Examples of Good and Bad Web Design

Chapter 13  Tables

Chapter 14  Frames and Linked Windows

Chapter 15  Putting It All Online

Chapter 16  Setting Up Your Own Web Server

Chapter 17  Image Maps

Chapter 18  Basic Forms

Chapter 19  Beginning CGI Scripting

Chapter 20  Useful Forms and Scripts

Chapter 21  Real-Life Informational Presentations

Chapter 22  Real-Life Interactive Presentations

Chapter 23  Creating JavaScript Scripts

Chapter 24  Working with JavaScript

Chapter 25  Using Java

Chapter 26  Plug-ins and Embedded Objects

Chapter 27  Web Server Hints, Tricks, and Tips

Chapter 28  Web Server Security and Access Control

Chapter 29  Testing, Revising, and Maintaining Web Presentations

Chapter 30  Managing Larger Presentations and Sites

Appendix A  Sources for Further Information

Appendix B  HTML Language Reference

Appendix C  Cross-Browser Comparison of HTML

Appendix D  Colors by Name and Hexadecimal Value

Appendix E  MIME Types and File Extensions

Appendix F  JavaScript Language Reference

Appendix G  Java Language Reference

Appendix H  ActiveX and Visual Basic Script Language Reference


Copyright © 1996 by Publishing


All rights reserved. No part of this book shall be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the publisher. No patent liability is assumed with respect to the use of the

information contained herein. Although every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this book, the publisher and author assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. Neither is any liability assumed for damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein. For information, address Publishing, 201 W. 103rd St., Indianapolis, IN 46290.

International Standard Book Number: 1-57521-096-7

HTML conversion by :
    M/s. LeafWriters (India) Pvt. Ltd.
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All terms mentioned in this book that are known to be trademarks or service marks have been appropriately capitalized. Publishing cannot attest to the accuracy of this information. Use of a term in this book should not be regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark or service mark.

President, Sams Publishing Richard K. Swadley
Publishing Manager Mark Taber
Managing Editor Cindy Morrow
Marketing Manager John Pierce
Assistant Marketing Manager Kristina Perry

Acquisitions and Development Editor Fran Hatton Software Development Specialist Merle Newlon
Production Editor Kristi Hart Technical Reviewers Angela Allen, Edward Bates, Pam Shephard
Editorial Coordinator Bill Whitmer Technical Edit Coordinators Lynette Quinn, Lorraine Schaffer
FormatterFrank Sinclair Editorial Assistants Carol Ackerman, Andi Richter, Rhonda Tinch-Mize
Cover Designer Tim Amrhein Book Designer Gary Adair
Copy Writer Peter Fuller Production Supervisor Brad Chinn
ProductionStephen Adams, Carol Bowers, Michael Brumitt, Charlotte Clapp, Michael Dietsch, Jason Hand, Daniel Harris, Clint Lahnen, Steph Mineart, Ryan Oldfather, Dana Rhodes, Bobbi Satterfield, Ian Smith, Laura A. Smith, Mark Walchle, Jeff Yesh
IndexerCarol Sheehan


To Sams and publishing for letting me write the kind of HTML book I wanted
to see.

To the Coca-Cola Company, for creating Diet Coke and selling so much of it to me.

To all the folks on the comp.infosystems.www newsgroups, the www-talk mailing list, and the Web conference on the WELL, for answering questions and putting up with my late-night rants.

To innumerable people who helped me with the writing of this book, including Lance Norskog, Ken Tidwell, Steve Krause, Tony Barreca, CJ Silverio, Peter Harrison, Bill Whedon, Jim Graham, Jim Race, Mark Meadows, and many others I'm sure I've forgotten.

And finally, to Eric Murray, the other half of, for moral support when I was convinced I couldn't possibly finish writing any of this book on time, for setting up all my UNIX and networking equipment and keeping it running, and for writing a whole lot of Perl code on very short notice (I need a form that calculates the exact weight of the person who submits it based on the phase of the moon, the current gross national debt, and what that person ate for dinner. You can do that in Perl, can't you?). Most of the programs in this book are his work, and as such he deserves a good portion of the credit. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

About the Author

Laura Lemay

Laura Lemay is a technical writer and confirmed Web addict. Between spending 12 hours a day in front of a computer and consuming enormous amounts of Diet Coke, she sometimes manages to write a book. She is the author of Teach Yourself Web Publishing in a Week and Teach Yourself Java in a Week, and specializes in just about anything related to Web page writing, design, programming, and Web-related publications systems. Her goal for the remainder of the year is to try to get one of her motorcycles to actually run.

You can visit her home page at


So you've browsed the Web for a while, and you've seen the sort of stuff that people are putting up on the Net. And you're noticing that more and more stuff is going up all the time, and that more and more people are becoming interested in it. "I want to do that," you think. "How can I do that?" If you have the time and you know where to look, you could find out everything you need to know from the information out on the Web. It's all there, it's all available, and it's all free. Or, you could read this book instead. Here, in one volume that you can keep by your desk to read, reference, and squish spiders with, is nearly all the information you need to create your own Web pages-everything from how to write them, to how to link them together, to how to set up your own Web server and use it to manage forms, and to create special programs to process them.

But wait, there's more. This book goes beyond the scope of other books on how to create Web pages, which just teach you the basic technical details such as how to produce a boldface word. In this book, you'll learn why you should be producing a particular effect and when you should use it, as well as how. In addition, this book provides hints, suggestions, and examples of how to structure your overall presentation, not just the words within each page. This book won't just teach you how to create a Web presentation-it'll teach you how to create a good Web presentation.

Also, unlike many other books on this subject, this book doesn't focus on any one computer system. Regardless of whether you're using a pc running Windows, a Macintosh, or some dialect of UNIX (or any other computer system), many of the concepts in this book will be valuable to you, and you'll be able to apply them to your Web pages regardless of your platform of choice.

Sound good? Glad you think so. I thought it was a good idea when I wrote it, and I hope you get as much out of this book reading it as I did writing it.

Who Should Read This Book

Is this book for you? That depends:

What This Book Contains

This book is intended to be read and absorbed over the course of two weeks (although it may take you more or less time depending on how much you can absorb in a day). On each day you'll read two chapters, which describe one or two concepts related to Web presentation design.

Day 1  Getting Started: The World Wide Web and You

You get a general overview of the World Wide Web and what you can do with it, and then come up with a plan for your Web presentation.

Day 2  Creating Simple Web Pages

You learn about the HTML language and how to write simple documents and link them together using hypertext links.

Day 3  Doing More with HTML

You do more text formatting with HTML, including working with text alignment, rule lines, and character formatting. You'll also get an overview of the various HTML editors available to help you write HTML.

Day 4  Images and Backgrounds

Today covers everything you ever wanted to know about images, backgrounds, and using color on the Web.

Day 5  Multimedia on the Web: Animation, Sound, Video, and Other Files

You learn all about adding multimedia capabilities to your Web presentations: using images, sounds, and video to enhance your material.

Day 6  Designing Effective Web Pages

You get some hints for creating a well-constructed Web presentation, and you explore some examples of Web presentations to get an idea of what sort of work you can do.

Day 7  Advanced HTML Features: Tables and Frames

You learn about some of the advanced features of HTML available in Netscape and other browsers: tables and frames.

Day 8  Going Live on the Web

Starting Week 2, you learn how to put your presentation up on the Web, including how to set up a Web server and advertise the work you've done.

Day 9  Creating Interactive Pages

Today covers adding interactive forms and image maps to your Web page, including the new client-side image map tags.

Day 10  All About CGI Programming

Today introduces you to CGI programming; in the first half you learn all about writing CGI scripts and programs, and in the second half you work through a number of examples.

Day 11  Interactive Examples

Today contains nothing but lots of examples-both informational and interactive-for you to look at and explore.

Day 12  JavaScript

You explore JavaScript, a new language available in Netscape to add new features to and interactivity to your Web pages.

Day 13  Java, Plug-ins, and Embedded Objects

Today covers more Netscape enhancements: the use of Java applets inside Web pages, and including other embedded objects through the use of plug-ins.

Day 14  Doing More with Your Server

You learn lots of new tricks for using your server, including using server-includes, security, and authentication.

Bonus Day  Creating Professional Sites

And finally, just when you thought you were done, there's a Bonus Day that covers some extra information for testing and maintaining your Web presentation and for managing really large presentations.

Several chapters in this book have been adapted from Wes Tatters' Teach Yourself Netscape Web Publishing in a Week. Chapters 21, 22, 23, and 24, all contain material that has been updated, revised, and added to specifically for this book and the HTML Web publishing environment.
Appendixes B, C, and H were contributed by Stephen Le Hunte, and Appendix F was adapted from Arman Danesh's Teach Yourself Java Script in a Week.

What You Need Before You Start

There are seemingly hundreds of books on the market about how to get connected to the Internet, and lots of books about how to use the World Wide Web. This book isn't one of them. I'm assuming that if you're reading this book, you already have a working connection to the Internet, that you have a World Wide Web browser such as Netscape, Mosaic, or Lynx available to you, and that you've used it at least a couple of times. You should also have at least a passing acquaintance with some other portions of the Internet such as electronic mail, Gopher, and Usenet news, because I may refer to them in general terms in this book. Although you won't need to explicitly use them to work through the content in this book, some parts of the Web may refer to these other concepts.

In other words, you need to have used the Web in order to provide content for the Web. If you have this one simple qualification, then read on!

Conventions Used in This Book

This book uses special typefaces and other graphical elements to highlight different types of information.

Special Elements

Four types of "boxed" elements present pertinent information that relates to the topic being discussed: Note, Tip, Warning, and New Term. Each item has a special icon associated with it.

Notes highlight special details about the current topic.

It's a good idea to read the tips because they present shortcuts or trouble-saving ideas for performing specific tasks.

Don't skip the warnings. They supply you with information to help you avoid making decisions or performing actions that can cause trouble for you.

New Term
Whenever I introduce a new term, I set it off in a box like this one and define it for you. I use italic for new terms.

HTML Input and Output Examples

Throughout the book, I present exercises and examples of HTML input and output. Here are the input and out icons.

An input icon identifies HTML code that you can type in yourself.

An output icon indicates what the HTML input produces in a browser such as Netscape or Lynx.

Special Fonts

Several items are presented in a monospace font, which can be plain or italic. Here's what each one means:

plain mono Applied to commands, filenames, file extensions, directory names, Internet addresses, URLs, and HTML input.For example, HTML tags such as <TABLE> and <P> appear in this font.
mono italic Applied to placeholders, which are generic items for which something specific is substituted as part of a command or as part of computer output. For instance, the term represented by filename would be the real name of the file, such as myfile.txt.

Teach Yourself Web Publishing: The CD-ROM and the Web Site

In the back of this book, you'll find a CD-ROM disc. This disc contains many of the examples you'll find in this book, images and icons you can use in your own Web pages, and programs to make your Web development easier. Throughout this book I'll be pointing out tools from the CD that you can use, using the icon that appears next to the following paragraph.

An icon like this indicates something on the CD that you can use.

In addition to the CD you get when you buy this book, there is also a Web site. This site contains updated information about where to find tools and hints and source code for many Web tools you might be interested in incorporating into your own presentations. The site is at it out!