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Web Developer Resource Index: Markup Languages

Markup Languages are used to layout the structure and add content to a document. The most common example of this is HTML, used to publish hypertext documents on the WWW.

In the bad old days before CSS, documents where often polluted with all sorts of presentational markup as well. Thankfully those days are over.

The term “markup” comes from the printing and publishing industry, in which editors made special notes on manuscripts. These instructions were applied during the typesetting process before a book was printed.

<p name="value"> Now days markup "tags," like the ones enclosing this example paragraph, are embedded in the source code of the document and your browser renders the page instead. The one above is referred to as the "start" tag and the one below the "end" tag. This text is the paragraph content and the entire construct is referred to as an element. Tags delimit the content and the start tag may have zero or more name="value" attributes. Elements that have no content or closing tag are referred to as empty elements and in XHTML you must "self-close" such tags like this: <br />. </p>

Most wikis, and many blogs, offer simplified markup languages that are written, and are readable, in plain text. The source is then translated into HTML or XHTML which a browser can render. This is similar in concept to templating engines, that allow you to intermix plain text with variable expansion and other features. I'm doing the same thing here, only my system is a little unporthodox.

Updated: Thursday, November 13th, 2008 @ 2:01 PM EST

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Last updated: Thursday, November 13th, 2008 @ 2:01 PM EST [2008-11-13T19:01:21Z]   home

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