Hypertext Markup Language, a standardized system for tagging text files to achieve font, color, graphic, and hyperlink effects on World Wide Web pages.
HTML is written in the form of HTML elements consisting of tags enclosed in angle brackets (like <html>), within the web page content. HTML tags most commonly come in pairs like <h1> and </h1>, although some tags represent empty elements and so are unpaired, for example <img>. The first tag in a pair is the start tag, and the second tag is the end tag (they are also called opening tags and closing tags). In between these tags web designers can add text, further tags, comments and other types of text-based content.
The purpose of a web browser is to read HTML documents and compose them into visible or audible web pages. The browser does not display the HTML tags, but uses the tags to interpret the content of the page.
Web browsers can also refer to Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to define the look and layout of text and other material. The W3C, maintainer of both the HTML and the CSS standards, encourages the use of CSS over explicit presentational HTML.
ASP.NET is a unified Web development model that includes the services necessary for you to build enterprise-class Web applications with a minimum of coding. ASP.NET is part of the .NET Framework, and when coding ASP.NET applications you have access to classes in the .NET Framework. You can code your applications in any language compatible with the common language runtime (CLR), including Microsoft Visual Basic and C#. These languages enable you to develop ASP.NET applications that benefit from the common language runtime, type safety, inheritance, and so on.
If you want to try ASP.NET, you can install Visual Web Developer Express using the Microsoft Web Platform Installer, which is a free tool that makes it simple to download, install, and service components of the Microsoft Web Platform. These components include Visual Web Developer Express, Internet Information Services (IIS), SQL Server Express, and the .NET Framework. All of these are tools that you use to create ASP.NET Web applications. You can also use the Microsoft Web Platform Installer to install open-source ASP.NET and PHP Web applications.
PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML.
Instead of lots of commands to output HTML (as seen in C or Perl), PHP pages contain HTML with embedded code that does "something" (in this case, output "Hi, I'm a PHP script!"). The PHP code is enclosed in special start and end processing instructions
?> that allow you to jump into and out of "PHP mode."
The best things in using PHP are that it is extremely simple for a newcomer, but offers many advanced features for a professional programmer. Don't be afraid reading the long list of PHP's features. You can jump in, in a short time, and start writing simple scripts in a few hours.
Although PHP's development is focused on server-side scripting, you can do much more with it. Read on, and see more in the What can PHP do? section, or go right to the introductory tutorial if you are only interested in web programming.