HTML, the language used for the description of pages on the World Wide Web, is a flexible and useful content markup language. As a tool for the construction of the dymanic pages that we've come to expect of better web sites, however, it demonstrates a number of failings. This is not a fault of the language, as this dynamic behavior is outside the scope of what the language is designed to do. This limit does, however, affect how pages are being created today.
At the moment, to achieve the dynamic and interactive pages that we want, programs must be written. These programs either process the responses from HTML forms, dynamically generate HTML pages, or combine both of these activities. The programs are called CGI programs, where the name CGI (which stands for Common Gateway Interface) is the name of the mechanism through which web servers and these programs communicate.
In many ways, this is a very good solution. HTML is used to markup content, and programs provide the dynamic behaviors. Unfortunately, this has a very significant cost: for each new "dynamic behavior", (or dynamic page), a new program must be written. Because this program is written in some programming language (C, C++, Perl, or one of several other programming languages used for constructing CGI programs), this increases the skills necessary for the creation of web pages. In addition, this means that two interdependent entities must be created for each page.
Finally, it is often the case that the HTML author and the CGI programmer are two different individuals. This means that the construction of these entities involves additional communication, and the potential for miscommunication.
All of these have the effect of increasing the cost of developing web pages.
TAG Online Inc., a company with experience both in software development and web presence authoring, has developed a solution to this problem. This solution is an extension to the standard HTML language, called TAG Xtender.
TAG Xtender, in a nutshell, adds programming features to the HTML language. Conventional programming constructs, such as loops, variables, arithmatic and conditional operations, persistent data, and communication features are added to the language with a set of new HTML-like tags.
Processed at the Web Server, TAG Xtender requires no changes to browsers, and fully supports any and all HTML browsers, from graphic browsers such as Mosaic and Netscape to text based browsers such as Lynx.
Last updated on 3/6/01