A website is basically just a text file that is read by and displayed in a browser. Although websites can be very large and complex, they are comprised of three pieces of code:
HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language, and it defines the content, layout, and structure of web pages.
A Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) defines the appearance of HTML elements. CSS controls:
If you're not familiar with programming, it's basically the process of writing a series of instructions for a computer to carry out.
Computers don't understand our language; they only speak binary (0s and 1s). So when we want to tell a computer to do something, we have to speak to it in a way that it can understand.
Fortunately, we don't have to write instructions in binary (although at one time this was true). A programming language is an intermediary between binary and English. This allows us to use words and symbols we understand. This is a form of abstraction (hiding complexities behind the scenes).
There are many kinds of programming languages, each with its own syntax (keywords, symbols, and rules). Each language includes or emphasizes a certain set of features, which defines its paradigm (style).
Here are a few examples of programming paradigms:
Although we won't be covering all of them in detail, the process of programming could be described in five steps:
Programming has traditionally been done on a computer using an integrated development environment (IDE), which is a special program for writing code. The code is then compiled into an executable file and usually runs on only one type of machine (PC, iPhone, BlackBerry).
During this tutorial our "environment" will be a text editor, and our "compiler" will be a web browser.
Before proceeding to the next lesson, it's a good idea to make sure you have have a modern browser like Firefox or Google Chrome installed, as well as a good text editor such as Notepad++ or Sublime Text.