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HTML is the lingua franca of the web. It’s a simple, universal mark-up language that allows web publishers to create complex pages of text and images that can be viewed by anyone else on the web, regardless of what kind of computer or browser is being used.
Despite what you might have heard, you don’t need any special software to create an HTML page; all you need is a word processor (such as SimpleText, BBEdit, or Microsoft Word) and a working knowledge of HTML. And lucky for all of us, basic HTML is dead easy.
It’s All About the Tags
HTML is just a series of tags that are integrated into a text document. They’re a lot like stage directions — silently telling the browser what to do, and what props to use.
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Have you ever seen an advertisement that implored you to “Call now!”? Of course you have. Call to action is a term for the copy in an ad that implores the viewer to do something specific in response to the advertisement. “Click here” and its variants are the most popular calls to action in online advertising.
How a web page “degrades” refers to how it will be displayed by older or less popular browsers.
A filter is a program that receives a specified kind of data, then manipulates and outputs the results.
Your word processor’s find and replace function is a good example of a filter.