Me, programs, examinations and coursework.

Written by Alex:

You see HTML referenced everywhere; it’s practically on every single corner of anything Internet related. On websites, on posting services (like WordPress), even in a tonne of reference books.

English: The XHTML source for Wikipedia.

What HTML/XHTML looks like. Image via Wikipedia.

HTML, in short, is the language of webpages. It is a standardised computing language that all web browsers understand, and is one of the backbones that allow webpages to be displayed similarly across different browsers and operating systems. (There’s also CSS, but that’s for another time.)

Español: Tim Berners-Lee En el Foro de la Gobe...

Tim Berners-Lee. Image via Wikipedia.

HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language, was invented by the physicist Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the World Wide Web. Later on, when the internet became more accessible, it got messed up in the so-called browser wars. It became standardised by W3C and has evolved into its current state, HTML 5.

There’s also XHTML. XHTML stands for eXtensible Hyper Text Markup Language, and it’s basically a cross between XML and HTML. For most users, it’s okay to regard XHTML as a more powerful, but more picky version of HTML.

Okay, so that’s a history lesson over, now what does this have to do with anything Adrian’s doing?

The reason lies in the help systems. While he’d originally planned to write the help files on my awesome Mac OS X powered built-in help, it turns out that the developers back at Apple Inc. have decided that the help system can only be called on by applications. This is fine for most cases, but because he’s programming an application but a workbook in Excel, he’s not allowed to call on it to help.

Unfortunately, I can’t change my own code.

The result is to abandon the idea of using the help systems, and instead write a complicated manual. But that won’t do for him; he’s way too picky for that. Way to concentrated to even allow a long, wordy, pointless manual. So he’s decided to write it in XHTML and CSS, then upload it to a remote server and reference it from his workbook there.

It’s a great idea and it can definitely work, way over having to override Mac OS X permissions or tampering with system files. It’s a win-win situation; well, I win, anyway. And he gets to show off his XHTML and CSS coding skills.

Shh! He’s still coding, so I’ll slowly slip away and post this now.

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