What Is Web Programming | Part 1

What Is Web Programming | Part 1

What Is Web Programming?

Web programming can take many forms: from simple static page to page with dynamic connection to a database. We will outline here a brief overview of different technologies available in the programming client side or server side.

The basics of web page – The markup languages:


Every web page includes a basic HTML or XHTML. It is a markup language that essentially defines the structure of the website (titles, tables, paragraphs, etc.).

It is a language for creating hyperlinks, ie links from one document to another or from one location of a document to another location in the same document.

Initially this language did not define the page structure but soon were added tag (or tags) that took care of formatting the document (bold, italic, choosing a font, etc.).

Since version 4, the associated HTML CSS (Cascading Style Sheets – Style sheets cascade) are styles that are in charge of formatting the page.

XHTML is an evolution of HTML based on XML.

The limitations of HTML

A web page created in HTML is totally static and offers no possibility of interaction with the visitor. Each page must be created in advance and must be manually updated.

Concerning the dynamic aspect, only two HTML tags (and <marquee> <blink> but not compatible with all web browsers) and some features of CSS allow at this stage to create some momentum in the page (eg change color when an overview).

About the interactivity, the HTML will only create the layout of a form of interaction with the visitor. It will define the parameters of an action and return the form data to a ‘system’ that will manage them but does not define the action itself.


HTML is cross-platform. All web browsers recognize the basic HTML, and some tags are only suitable for some browsers (like the tag <marquee> which is interpreted as scrolling text in Internet Explorer. GSCs, even if they are standardized by W3C, are not recognized in the same way by different browsers.


HTML has the advantage of being easy to implement and requires no technical skills very extensive. In addition, these pages are treated very lightweight and fast by the server.

The XML (eXtended Markup Language)

The XML markup language may also serve as the basis for a web page. The XML file will contain the content of the webpage. This file will be linked to an XSL (XML Style Sheets) which will format the XML data file.

Most of the time, the website will not be based on a native XML file but it will be generated dynamically by a web programming languages below.

Inserting objects

A first technique for rendering a web page more dynamic is to insert objects. The objects will be inserted into the page using HTML tags to <object>, <img> <applet> or <script>.


Images are the type of objects that are integrated into the web page. The images are static, except the animated gifs.


As far as we are limited to standard file formats for web (. Gif,. Jpg or. Jpg and. Png) images are without doubt one of the objects most multi-platform web: the majority of web browsers know how to display images.


The images become digital media very “public” and are fairly easy to implement in a website.


The integration of multimedia content (audio or video) will also enable ‘dynamic’ site but this kind of file is often very heavy to download.


Media files like sound and video does not play in standard web browsers and therefore, they require the installation of a plug-in to be played.


The sound file or video product’s placement in the HTML web page is not complex.


As was reported, the media files are often heavy and therefore slow to download. They will therefore greatly reduce the performance (load time) of the webpage.

Flash Animation

Flash (Adobe Systems – Macromedia) is a program that lets you create animations in a vector format owner relatively light. The program generates a file with the extension .fla is the working file and will be ‘compiled’ into a file with the extension .Swf. Swift is another program that generates .swf files outside the sphere Macromedia.

In a webpage, a Flash file (with extension .swf) can be integrated as part of the page (advertising, menus, etc.) or the entire page can be flash, but there will always an HTML template.

Flash can create quality animations, allows some interaction with the user through the programming language ActionScript (ECMAScript derivative such as JavaScript). The latest versions of Flash also allow interfacing with a database.


Using Flash in a web page requires installing the plug-in “Flash Player” which is not available for all systems.


Creating a Flash animation technology is complete in itself. The complexity will depend on the outcome but a good result can already be obtained without much difficulty. Once the file .swf created, integration into an HTML page does not pose too many problems.


A Flash page is heavier than a HTML page that contains only HTML code but is much lighter than most media files.


With Flash, you can create anything. But we will emphasize dynamic interfaces (travel images, small animations). As part of a page, Flash will be found frequently in creating banners and small games.