Basic html

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This is not an HTML tutorial, but has pointers to places that might help out and a list of tags most used in REALLY simple web pages.

Consult the experts: The W3C

The World Wide Web Consortium creates and maintains specifications for web technologies, including HTML and XHTML. They are the place to go for the authoritative way it's supposed to be done. They have a Getting Started with HTML document that should help (and covers actually more than you need to know for our purposes).

If you're curious and want to delve deeper, the XHTML 1.0 Specification might be interesting for some geeks out there who wanna learn the reasoning behind stuff.

Some quick tags

<html> </html>        It's HTML, right?
<head> </head>        This holds information like the title
<title> </title>      Your document needs a title

<body> </body>        This holds the stuff that displays in the browser
<h1> </h1>            Heading 1; a big title. We pretty much just use H1
<p> </p>              These hold paragraphs
<ul> </ul>            Start and end a bulleted (unordered) list

<li> </li>            Start and end a list item within that list
<a href=""> </a>      It's the hyperlinks that make it HTML!
<em> </em>            For emphasis
<strong> </strong>    For stronger emphasis

<code> </code>        Prints the segment in monospace; for something that says "type this"
<pre> </pre>          Monospaced font, preformatted; preserves whitespace, like this table
<small> </small>      This is mostly just used for the small print at the bottom
<br />                Note no end tag: a line break is not a container

<!-- -->              Comments only visible within the source code (for other maintainers)

Editing HTML

A text editor or text-based HTML editor, like bluefish, will be your tool. Find whichever one you're most comfortable with and wield it well.

Using tidy

man tidy

will help you decipher what

tidy -cim yourfilename

will do. This is a good tool for finding those mistyped tags that might make your beautifully written documentation show up all wrong. It also makes the indentation consistent.