Web Authoring Tools

Web authoring tools are software packages that can be used to create Web pages with multimedia content and link individual Web pages together to form a Web site. Some of the Web authoring tools allow users to create Web pages that include animations and interactive components.

A Web authoring tool often includes a Web page editor that has the following functionalities.

• With a Web page editor, users can create Web pages without getting into the details about HTML.

• Most of the Web page editors support “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) editing.

• Some of the Web page editors provide a built-in spell check.

• Web page editors allow users to create links and clickable images.

• Users can create online forms and reports with a Web page editor.

• Users of Web page editors can convert images from one type to another type.

Web authoring tools allow the users to specify where to store Web pages on a server and how to connect to a database which stores data used by a Web site. To improve productivity, some Web authoring tools provide templates for some special purpose Web pages such as Web forms for online registration.

Web Browsers 

A Web browser installed on a client computer system can be considered a graphical interface to the Internet. Through a browser, students can log on to an e-learning server, access course content, download course materials, submit homework, take online examinations, and check grades. In a Web browser, when a student enters an URL address containing the server name and the Web page file name, a name server on the network converts the server name into the IP address which is used to connect the server. The communication of a Web browser and a Web server is through a network protocol called Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which is a set of rules for file transmission on the Internet. The request for the Web page is carried by HTTP and sent to the server. Based on the request, the server finds the Web page file and returns the content to the browser by using HTTP.

Once the browser receives the content, it will read the HTML tags and format the page onto the student’s screen and launch the programs that plays the audio and video attached with the Web page file. Browsers can also be used to run plug-ins, JavaScript, and ActiveX files that can be used to enhance the e-learning experience. Most of the Web browsers are free. Students can download them from the Internet and install them on their computers. If a specific Web browser is required, students should know that before the class starts.

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