(Please forgive me, but the posting and examples to follow rely heavily on Windows and Internet Explorer. (You can substitute Apple and Linux applications for most.)

Your web browser is a very powerful tool. It enables you to view many different types of files from within the framework of the browser.

For an example:

You can go to www.weuntangle.com/index.html and view my home page. This is expected, as it is a web page after all.

Now go here: www.weuntangle.com/examples/test.xls you will find that as long as you have Excel installed on your computer and are using Internet Explorer, you will be able to view this document “In Browser”

Your browser is capable of some terrific things. But it’s most primitive function is to show web pages, with all their links and pictures. Here is your most basic of web pages:

<html>
<head> </head>
<body> </body>
</html>

This bit of HTML scripting is very simple. Here are the components:

<html> </html>

This “tag” tells your browser that it is displaying an “html” document.

<head></head>

This tag is where bits of scripting and other tags go that pertain to background information for the browser. For instance you can place a <title> </title> tag in the <head> section and put a title at the top of the browser window.

<body> </body>

This section is where all the content of your page goes.
Now, the fun part. Open “Notepad” and type whatever comes to mind, once completed, save the document on your desk top. Name it “mypage.txt”

Close Notepad and return to you desk top. You should see you new document sitting there. If your desktop looks like mine, you may need to hunt for it.

Now that you see it, double click on it to open it again. What application is used? Notepad of course. Now close Notepad again. This time right click on mypage.txt and select rename on the menu that appears. In the box below your file rename it mypage.htm and hit enter. Windows will try to cover it’s backside by warning you that you could make this file unusable by doing this, but it’s ok. Click “Yes” and lets move on with our experiment.

With that done you should see the Icon that represents your file change to look like your default browser’s icon – that’s what we want, give it the old double click and watch what happens….

WOW! You just created a web page (OK an extremely mal-formed web page.) and without the taggings and sections we looked at earlier. This is because windows has associated the .htm (and .html) extensions to your browser and your browser is so nice that it is going to try and display the file no matter what. Remember that .xls file you opened earlier? Try this:

www.weuntangle.com/examples/test.htm (with Firefox it may complain before opening it)

Ugh! What a mess. What you just open is actually the Excel spreadsheet renamed with the .htm extension, but your browser tried very hard to display the file, simply because you told it to.

We are going to use the browsers ability to render pages to our advantage. The browser is very forgiving when it comes to webpage content, so it will try to render whatever is passed to it if it is named with an .htm or .html extension.

All this being said, Please take the time to learn html (or better yet xhtml) it will serve you well as you take on this serverless intranet project with me.

Note: you may belong to a company that has also locked down the types of files you can attach to emails. If this is the case you can sometimes rename your html and javascript files something like this:

Html file name:
mypage.htm

Renamed for emailing:
mypage.txt

When you later detach the file you will need to change the name back so you can use it.

Next up Javascript 101

One comment on “The Serverless Intranet and HTML

  1. Spyware Help on said:

    Just wanted to tell you thank you! for all the great info found on your blog, even helped me with my work recently :) keep it up!

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