This essay has a total of 2644 words and 10 pages.
Introduction When the Internet and World Wide Web were first created, they were designed a research tools and for the distribution of information through information systems networks. But as the use of the Web has become increasingly more complex, the focus on Web pages and their design has initiated a number of major changes. Initially, static Web pages were common, but the focus in recent years has been on the development of dynamic Web pages which are linked to databases and allow for the integration of information on a number of different levels. Web sites have progressed to a new level of sophistication, especially in terms of their capacity to track and store usage patterns and allow for the utilization of this information in the development of target advertising and focusing for both the Web page and subsequent connected databases (Tebbe N23). The development of dynamic Web sites requires strong tools and correlated databases that can retain the information that is gathered through this tracking process, and in order to become truly dynamic, Web sites must also be able to provide a company with the most up-to-date information or data that is both clear and graphically appealing (Tebbe N23). It is not surprising that many of the major industry developers have focused on ways to develop better and more interactive Web pages, and Microsoft and Netscape, for example, have focused on the development of enhanced version of HTML as a means of supporting the development of dynamic Web sites without requiring that developers have significant expertise in composing ActiveX and Java applets (Dobson 23). These forms of dynamic HTML, also known as DHTML, have been recognized as a means of maintaining standard uniformity through out the development process (Dobson 23). Over the past 3 years, the World Wide Web Consortium has been working on the preliminary specifications for critical aspects of the Document Object Model that would provide a standard for how scripts and programs are dynamically updated and how access to documents can be achieved (Dobson 23). These underpinnings of the development of dynamic Web pages underscore some of the industry issues, but do not reflect the impetus from which these Web pages came into focus. In order to understand the foundations for their development and their current significance, it is necessary to consider the progression from static Web pages to dynamic Web pages and then evaluate both the program elements and the implementation in order to gain a complete picture of the primary components of this industry directive. The Progression from Static Web Pages Less than a decade ago, when interest in the World Wide Web began to develop, Web sites were primarily static, and individuals had access through a direct choice of that site in order to view the information the site contained. Some developers recall the days when individuals would spend hours on what has been described as a "mental treasure hunt" searching for the best Web sites and then trading the information with others (Tebbe N23). Web sites, though active, were rarely interactive, and without an external "linked" capacity, they failed to provide support for further searches and limited the movement on the Web. The impetus for changing the static Web site came as a result of pressure to pay for site management, the pursuit of a justification for advertising costs that are Web-based, and the desire to build some profits into the nature of Web interactions, elements that could not inherently stem from the once-passive pages (Tebbe N23). The need for Web pages that could "reach out and touch us" was a fundamental component of the changing face of the World Wide Web, and developers have recognized the benefits of the more aggressive Web-based elements that have redefined the way that businesses, developers and individuals perceive the Web (Tebbe N23). At the onset of the pursuit of dynamic Web pages, developers recognized the problems in getting "brochureware" up and running, but this issue was before the development of site management tools, HTML editors and the clear differentiation between the static Web site or HTML and the emerging dynamic site information (Tebbe N23). Early in the process, developers recognized that sites needed to generate targeted material to remind the person accessing he site about their use of the Web and a level of reasoning for its application, an element necessary to inspire individuals to come back and revisit the site (Tebbe N23). Essential to the success of the dynamic Web site is that people will not only return to the site and access new ads and changed information, but will also visit the referenced Web sites (Tebbe N23). It was evident that the early static Web sites provided little support for either complex information transferal or for the use of the Web page by a business to access customer data, including access trends. But the emerging dynamic Web pages were developed not only for this premise, but also to correlate database information that is separate from customer data, but still constantly changes, including Web sites designed to promote up-to-date information about stock performance or about weather conditions. Both of these examples demonstrates how a Web sites might be used in a variety of active and interactive functions. Dynamic Web Pages Though the Internet's roots are clearly based in plain text-based documents, the components of this foundation are clearly moving out of view. Initially, the development of a Web page always required the use of a program that created a plain text version and obscure Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) codes, rather than the creation of a graphics and formatted text, and so the pages could be viewed as they would appear in a Web browser like Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer (Mendelson 100). Over the last few years, the development of a number of advanced programs to support the creation of more complex Web sites has enhanced the process of dynamic site development (Mendelson 100). Today's more advanced programs...show your pages almost exactly as they appear in your browser. In the same vein, the HTML editor you used a year ago created separate pages. But today's best HTML editors build complete, interlinked Web sites and can upload them to remote Web servers when users are ready to present their pages to the world (Mendelson 100). Over just a few years, the development of HTML editing software, for example, evolved in much the same way that word processing software evolved a decade ago, as code-based HTML editors have fallen by the wayside to more complex graphics-based editors and developers recognized that users prefer to use the more modern, visual and didactic edits, even though the text-only product is still utilized by individuals pursuing Webmasters who have a desire for control in every aspect of their files (Mendelson 100). At the same time, the new graphics-based editors have also come into focus as a significant element of this transformation, but "users may have to enter obscure filenames and other strings to use advanced features like Java applets, ActiveX controls, and scripting" (Mendelson 100). Generally speaking, most of the new HTML editors make it easy for individuals to create pages that have complex formatting and imported graphics, though recognizable benefits can be gained from converting graphics files from formats not supported by most browsers, like TIFF and .BMP, into Web-standard formats like .GIF and JPEG (Mendelson 101). "Any HTML editor can create hyperlinks between a current page and other pages on the same site or a remote server, but only some programs...will verify that your link points to a page that actually exists" (Mendelson 101). In addition, a number of these programs also create and manage Web sites in addition to creating individual pages, and packages have been designed by manufacturers to support the capacity to build interconnected pages that use the same graphics and de
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