Hypertext vs. HTML

Difference Between Hypertext And HTML

Hypertext is a multimedia technique that allows a computer user to jump quickly from place to place in a document, or from one document to other, related documents in a collection. It allows the person to view data in a nonsequential, nonlinear manner. It is particularly useful for navigating reference works, such as encyclopedias, which, unlike novels, are not read from beginning to end. Say, for example, that a person is viewing an article on baseball in a computerized sports encyclopedia. Within the article are highlighted words and phrases, such as “Polo Grounds,” “Willie Mays,” and “World Series.” By pointing to one of these with the cursor and then clicking on it, the person can skip directly to information on that subject. From there, he or she can choose to jump back to the previous data or can click on to a new highlighted term.

The connection between one document and another is called a link. Hypertext links also can be used to connect to maps, photographs, and other features of software. Links are the main method of navigation on the World Wide Web, wherein most documents are created in Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). Search engines provide lists of links from which users can select a destination. Links enable users to navigate efficiently through the various pages of a Web site, and to download information in different formats—such as audio or video files. HyperCard, introduced by Apple Computer, Inc., in 1987, was the first popular hypertext authoring system.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is a collection of codes or tags used to create hypertext documents displayed on the World Wide Web, where they can be interpreted by Web browsers. Each element of an HTML document—including text, multimedia, and links to other documents—is marked up, or “tagged,” either manually or through the use of a Web-page authoring program. HTML tags have various attributes that are used to describe how the elements of a Web page should be displayed. Examples of attributes include text font and size; image size and placement within a document; and the address of the Web page that a browser should display when a hyperlink is clicked. HTML documents were initially created in simple text-editing programs. The introduction of Web-page authoring tools have made it possible to automate HTML coding and to create Web pages without knowledge of HTML.

HTML is a subset of SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language), an earlier system developed by the International Standardization Organization to enable publishers to describe an electronic document’s form and structure for use in multiple applications. Several other subsets and extensions of SGML have been developed. One example is XML (Extensible Markup Language), which allows users to tag and describe the component portions of a document, thereby facilitating the indexing and reuse of the document’s contents.


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