What is DHTML? - By: Jim Pretin
If you are creating a web site for the first time, then you probably have some knowledge of the HTML programming language. It is a fairly simple language to learn, and most beginning web designers are usually self-taught when it comes to using it for creating a simple web page. HTML provides the style, structure, and formatting for a web site.
However, HTML does not actually do anything. It is a static programming language. It does not process anything or make your site interactive, it just sits there and tells the browser how the site should look. So, other programming languages have been created to improve site design and make sites more interactive for the user.
Now we will examine each of the components of DHTML individually so that we can understand how this technology works. First, let us begin with the HTML. HTML is the principal language that is used to create web pages. It has been in use since the internet was first founded. To create a DHTML page, HTML 4.0 is used so that the structure of the page can be separated from the content through the use of the second component, style sheets.
Cascading style sheets specify how elements of a page are to be displayed. A cascading style sheet is normally an external file saved with a .css file extension and is uploaded with the rest of your web pages. This .css file specifies a layout for a webpage given certain tags and attributes. Then, all the programmer has to do is reference that .css file in the code for the webpage he or she is developing and just layout the webpage properly, and the .css file will automatically format all of the tags and attributes as specified. Specific styles can be applied to everything from paragraphs to email forms and much more.
Now that you have some background on what DHTML is, you should enroll in some courses at a local computer programming institute if you have never studied it or its component parts before. You can also try accessing some online tutorials to learn the basics. Though there are certain drawbacks associated with using it because it is interpreted differently by each browser, you should still become familiar with DHTML and know how to use its different versions so that you can create dynamic web pages. The ability to design interactive web sites is a valuable skill for all web designers to have.
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Jim Pretin is the owner of http://www.forms4free.com, a service that helps programmers make email forms.