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e – Commerce :

Information Publishing Technology

Web Information Publishing:


Platform Transparency:


The browser software, used for accessing the web, offers the same interface irrespective of whether it is running on the Windows, X-Windows or Macintosh platform.

Even the data residing on variety of server platforms is available to users through the same look-and-feel interface.

Distribution Transparency:


The web is a distributed information system. The information stored at variety of geographically dispersed server platforms is available to the web users on a single interface window.

A page displayed on a browser screen may contain text coming from a IBM server in New York, an image from Windows NT servers located in Delhi, and a background audio clip from a Linux server in Lucknow.

Web Information Publishing:


Information Type Transparency:


The web offers seamless integration of the multiple types of information content. The text, graphics, sound, video and various other data formats can be integrated and displayed uniformly through the browser interface.

It can integrate variety of information content stored on distant servers through the hypertext mechanism.



The information browsing on the web is based on selecting and clicking on links. The clicking on links retrieves and offers additional information on screen.

In addition, it also supports forms with input windows, radio buttons, options lists, checkboxes for submitting the data. The web servers can collect the input information from users through the form mechanism and add it to a database, update the database, or provide a customized information depending upon the inputs.

Web Information Publishing:




Browsers retrieve information stored on sites and through web servers and display it on the screen. If the information is updated at the server site, the latest version is made available.

The web publishing does not incur any cost of reproducing the copies. Any one accessing it reads the latest version.

Graphical and Navigational:


Web based systems are capable of integrating and displaying graphics, text and other multimedia formats in color on a same page.

The web has made it possible to browse the multimedia information on the same page. Also, the hyper linking mechanism has reduced the task of navigating through the information to point and click. A user can jump from pages stored on a server to another servers just by clicking on links.

Web Browsers

A software client that interacts with HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) Server to retrieve the requested HTML documents.

It retrieves the HTML documents and renders them on the screen by invoking appropriate inbuilt tools and helper applications.

It accepts the URL of requested resource and parses it to determine the HTTP server to contact and name of document to request.

National Super Computer Applications Center (NCSA) developed Mosaic was the first popular Web browser

Netscape ( is another Web browser

The Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (Web Browser) is avaialble at:

Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML)

A Subset of Standard Generalized Markup Language (ISO 8879)

HTML is a document formatting Language

Formatting instruction called Tags are enclosed in < and > symbols. e.g., <code> and </code>

For a particular markup “bold” <bold> denotes the beginning of tag and </bold> denotes matching end- of-tag.

An HTML document is plain-text document consisting of regular text and information and markup tags.

A complete HTML document has two structured parts – Head and Body.

The head portion contains information regarding the document such as title, author and other meta-tags.

The body portion is displayed in the main window of the browser.

Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML)

<HTML> </HTML> define a HTML document.

<head> and </head> define the header section

<body> and </body> define the body section.

The body may contain several level of heading tags, they describe the size of character display relative to each other. These are denoted by

<h1> </h1>, <h2> </h2>

<h6> </h6>

The <h1> being the highest level heading and <h6> the smallest level heading.

Each tag may have several attributes. For example, <body> tag has attribute bgcolor which defines the background color of the windows main body on the browser.

<body bgcolor=“red”>; the browser will display the background red color for the main window of the browser for this document.

Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML)

We present some commonly used HTML tags. Roughly, the tags in HTML can be classified as follows:

Text Formatting Tags

Block Structuring Tags

List Tags

Image Tag

Anchor Tag ( for Hyper Linking)

Form Tags

HTML: List Tags -Example

HTML: List Tags -Example

HTML: Image Tag -Example

HTML: Image Tag -Example

HTML: Anchor Tag

The hyper linking of two documents in HTML is accomplished through the anchor tag.

The anchor tag pair <A>

</A> creates a link from

The A tag has several attributes, two important attributes used for linking purposes are name and href.

The href attribute is used for specifying a name or an URL of the document that this link points to (referenced document).

The name attribute is used for defining the anchor point that can be referred by the href tag.

Dynamic HTML

The standard HTML is a static language with a scant concern for the layout and style of the rendered document and does provide in-built features for dynamically updating the content, change the appearance, hide, or animate the content.

The dynamic HTML (DHTML) provides capability to change the HTML page even after the browser has reduced it.

For example, an image rendered on screen may change to an alternate image on moving the mouse over it or the header of an important text may scrolls horizontally over the screen.

The DHTML by itself is not a tagging language or a technology like JavaScript or a plug-in, it’s a concept.

The concept of DHTML is achieved by marrying the HTML, Cascading Style Sheets, Scripting Language (JavaScript) and the Document Object Model together.

The scripting languages provide ability to add event driven programming on the browser. The language such as JavaScript can be embedded in the HTML code with <script> </script> tag-pair.

Dynamic HTML

DHTML is an extension of HTML tags, when used with JavaScript or ActiveX and style sheets, allows the designer control over the appearance and position of page elements (objects)

DHTML also allows for interactive pages that can be dynamically modified without interacting with the server

Leading visual DHTML Tools include:

NetObject’s Fusion Macromedia’s Dreamweaver

Virtual Reality Modeling Language, pronounced vermal or by its initials, originally—before 1995—known as the Virtual Reality Markup Language) is a standard file format for representing 3- dimensional (3D) interactive vector graphics, designed particularly with the World Wide Web in mind.

Multimedia Content: VRML

VRML is a Web-based language for describing 3D virtual worlds

Tools support the complexity of VRML development and model editing

Leading VRML Editors:

Cosmo Software’s Cosmo Worlds

Platinum Technology’s VRCreator

Ligos Technology’s V-Realm Builder