WORLD WIDE WEB: A system of hyperlinked HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) documents.


The World Wide Web was developed in the early 1990s as a multi-media way of accessing files on the Internet.  Two important innovations played key roles in making the Internet easier to use and more accessible – HYPERTEXT and GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACES (GUIs).


HYPERTEXT – this is a system in which text on one page links to text on other pages.


HYPERTEXT SERVER is a computer that stores files written in the HTML and lets other computers connect to it and read those files.


HTML is a language that includes a set of codes (or tags) attached to text. These codes describe the relationships among text elements.  HTML includes tags that indicate which text is part of a header element, which text is part of a paragraph element, and which text is part of a numbered list element.


A HYPERLINK points to another location in the same or another HTML document.


Most people use a Web Browser such as NETSCAPE NAVIGATOR or INTERNET EXPLORER.  A Web browser is software that lets users read HTML documents and move from one document to another by clicking on the hypertext links. Once you connect to the Internet, you can use a Web browser to move from an HTML document on one computer to an HTML document on any other computer on the Internet.


An HTML document differs from a word-processing document because it does not specify HOW a particular text element will appear. Each program that reads an HTML document recognizes the heading tag and displays the text in whatever manner that program normally displays headers.


It’s the browser that enables us to view pictures on the Internet. A Web browser presents an HTML document in an easy-to-read format in its graphical user interface. A GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACE (GUI) is a way of presenting output to users that uses pictures, icons, and other graphical elements instead of just text. 


In 1993 the first GUI program that could read HTML (Mosaic) was written. This was the first browser and it enabled navigation from page to page on computers anywhere on the internet.



The World Wide Web is a section of the Internet through which you can send e-mails, hear music, and watch animations. It is a giant Disneyland – without Walt Disney’s protection.


Anyone can use, or misuse, the Web. They can publish information and swear to its validity and truth.


The concept of the word “infinity” has always intrigued me – something without a beginning or an end. The Internet, and therefore, the Web is similar to an infinite spider-web. It has no beginning and no end.


The word metamorphic is also descriptive of the Web. It grows, and grows without any controls or rules.


There is no government, corporation or organization that controls what is put on the Web. Granted there are “cyber-cops” and some organizations that attempt to censor certain materials – but, unfortunately there is no actual Higher Authority. The Internet’s structure and lack of control has become mind-boggling. 


What this means to you is that when you locate what you feel is a “terrific” site, with earth-shattering information – take a deep breath – and think about what you are reading, and try to analyze where the information is actually coming from.


If you look, you find hints – such as: a “designed by” or year, or corporation’s name at the bottom of the page. Reread the page to see if what you are reading is really informative or is an advertisement – is it advocating a certain political, religious, or legal position?


Just as you would not go to a magazine stand and believe the news-worthiness of every flashing headline – don’t be naive when reading a Web page – even if it has beautiful graphics – it still may not be giving to the whole truth.


Later in the course, we will conduct some exercises where we will evaluate some Web pages, but, for now – let’s talk about just finding the pages you will need for your class project. – REMEMBER – finding is not evaluating!!!


The number of WEB SITES (computers connected to the Internet that store HTML documents) has grown even more rapidly than the Internet itself to nearly 8 million sites. Each Web Site might have hundreds, or even thousands, of individual Web pages. The amount of information on the Web is astounding. The door to all that information is through your BROWSER.




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