Making a Multimedia Website

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Fact file5.3 Scripting


HTML script was originally developed purely as a way of laying out text and images very simply. It produces very static pages with no real interaction. Web designers, however,  soon demanded more from their pages a display of static information and they began to incorporate small pieces of code written in programming languages to their webpages. Newer browsers were able to run this code and produce more dynamic webpages. This technique is known as scripting, while the fragments of code are called scripts.

One of the most common languages used to create dynamic webpages is JavaScript. Small fragments of JavaScript code can be placed into the html of a webpage to insert the current date and time onto a page, or to select and display a random image or one appropriate to the time of day.

For example; using JavaScript today's date is :

JavaScript can even create animations that follow your mouse pointer around. These scripts can be written from scratch if you understand the language. They can also be downloaded from third-party websites and then copied and pasted into your own webpage.

script exampleIf you obtain these for free from the internet, the script usually contains hidden information about the source of the script, as shown in this screenshot.

You should always keep this information within the script to give the author credit. You should also make a note of it in your sources log document.

Other languages can be used to produce very dynamic websites that draw their information from databases. Common examples would be either PHP (PHP Hypertext PreProcessor) or ASP (Active Server Pages). These require special software to be installed on the web server that is hosting the website. Most webhosts install it as standard.

Sometimes, these scripts are stored as separate files on the web server. In this case, the web page calls up and runs the file each time a user does something such as submit a form or click on a banner advert. These are often called CGI scripts (Common Gateway Interface) and they are usually stored in a folder on the server called /cgi-bin. Again, CGI scripts can be written from scratch if you understand the language, or downloaded from third-party websites and then copied into your own webpage.


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