- So what does a web browser (client software) do with a file it
receives from a web server (server software)? Does it just display it
to the human user as is?
- The answer is yes and no. Actually, in some cases, the web browser
will display a document exactly the way it receives it from the web
server. For example, if the document requested is an image, the web
browser will display it directly. Similarly, plain text files will be
displayed just as they are sent.
- However, if the document is an HTML document, the web browser will
"interpret" the HTML and display it according to the instructions
contained within the HTML code.
- Well, what is HTML code and why must it be interpreted?
- HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) is a very simple
language used to "describe" the logical struture of a document.
|Is HTML a Programming Language?
Actually, though HTML is often called a programming language it is really
not. Programming languages are 'Turing-complete', or
'computable'. That is, programming languages can be used to
compute something such as the square root of pi or some other
such task. Typically programming languages use conditional
branches and loops and operate on data contained in abstract
data structures. HTML is much easier than all of that. HTML is
simply a 'markup language' used to define a logical structure
rather than compute anything. It is sort've a semantic issue,
but it is one which you should officially be aware of.
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