Week 1 – Lecture 3 : How the Internet (and Web) Works

I have curated a series of videos and definitions for you to watch and read before Monday’s class. The videos delve into explaining How the Internet (and Web) Works. There will be some overlap and even some contradictions, which we will discuss on Monday, but the styles and divergence of each video provide a comprehensive overview into a complex topic that we use daily.  The first video from Naked Science Scrapbook can get a little technical, but remain calm and hear it out!

The definitions briefly introduce HTML and CSS, which are the two languages we will use to build your websites. We have already gotten our feet wet with HTML; CSS is still to come. We will discuss these languages and how they fit together in more detail in an upcoming lecture.

Videos in suggested viewing order:

  1. How Does the Internet Work?

    by Naked Science Scrapbook (5m 32s) on YouTube

  2. An Internet Primer: Not a Series of Tubes

    by Don’t Fear the Internet (4m 57s) hosted on their website or Vimeo.com

  3. Who Invented the Internet?

    by In a Nutshell (formerly Kurzgesagt) (6m 32s) hosted on their website or Youtube

  4. Web Basics

    from Udacity’s Web Development Course (0m 52s) hosted on their website or on <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBI9kXzMHS0>YouTube. You can also check out Udacity’s website, which has more videos about Web Development in general, but this is not required for class.

The Two Definitions

You heard me talk about the difference between style and content, and you will hear it in one or two of the videos above — plus I will repeat it all throughout the quarter. This is because the difference between style (CSS) and content (HTML) is very important, even if it isn’t clear why yet. Here are some good definitions and descriptions of the two languages to keep in mind, courtesy of jQuery

HTML is for Content

HTML is a markup language used to define and describe content. Whether it be a blog post, a search engine result, or an e-commerce site, the core content of a web page is written in HTML. A semantic markup, HTML is used to describe content in universal terms (headers, paragraphs, images, etc.)

CSS is for Presentation

CSS is a supplemental language that applies style to HTML documents. CSS is all about making content look better by defining fonts, colors, and other visual aesthetics. The power of CSS comes from the fact that styling is not intermingled with content. This means you can apply different styles to the same piece of content, which is critical when building responsive websites that look good across a range of devices.

One More Thing

One criticism of the aforementioned is an incredible lack of any mention to kittens (aside from In a Nutshell/Kurzgesagt). Please don’t be bummed by this omission and check out the following video to cheer you up: Bonus Video for Fun (4m 02s)

Have a good weekend and, as always, contact me if you have questions about the lecture, assignments, video access, or anything else I can help you with!

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