This document is intended for people who have an idea of what the World Wide Web is and who produce, or intend to produce, information onto the Web. That is, this is for you if you have surfed on the Web and wish to produce Web pages. If HTML is something entirely new to you, you may need to study some introductory texts (e.g. those mentioned in this document) before you can really benefit from this document.
No specific previous knowledge is required for learning HTML. Some very basic acquaintance with computers and the WWW is assumed, though. If you can write a text file on a computer, you can easily learn to create HTML documents
In particular, HTML authoring is not programming, and HTML is not a programming language. In HTML, you basically markup (annotate) the structure of a document, by indicating which texts constitute headings, or are to be emphasized, or form lists, or refer (link) to other documents, etc.
If you know French, German, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish better than English and if you find some sentences in this document difficult to understand, you might use the AltaVista Translation Service, if you are working online. Depending on your Web browser, you might even be able to follow the link above so that the translation service opens in a new window, then just use cut & paste to get translations. (You could then leave the new window on the screen for later use.) You may wish to test the translation service, also called "Babelfish", using the following form:
Provide either plain text or the address (URL) of a Web page to translate:
There's another online automatic translation service, which supports a larger number of languages, by Systran.
Please notice that automatic translation doesn't generally translate technical Web-related terms well, at present. Therefore, you may need to consult some specialized dictionary of Internet terms.
On the other hand, this document tries to define the technical terms it uses or to provide links to definitions. If you find terms which are unknown to you and not defined here, please consult e.g. the Terms section of HTML 2.0 specification or some of the general Internet glossaries. (The most authoritative Internet glossary is probably RFC 1983.) Last but not least, there is a very good page about Internet glossaries at WebReference.