Summary – 4. Working with Links

Summary – 4. Working with Links

Links are probably the single most important “thing” about the web. Links have changed what we teach and learn and also how we learn. Just “google” that. Yes, it is way too easy to start with something interesting and then find links to even more really interesting information – all kinds of stuff you didn’t know that you needed to know…

Congratulations to everyone for getting your Voyager account, file transfer and page view to work. This is the basic process for everything you access on the web. Now imagine having to do this for every one of the billions of pages on the web. That’s what has been done. Much of this is “hidden” by programs that simplify the process for the web developer, but it happens every time someone adds or updates a web page. For CIS89A, we used to have to do this from Day 1 of the course. That was before Thimble.

Basic HTML, Comments

All coding assignments must include all the page basics and comments. Points will be deducted if these aren’t present. For example, title is a basic page element. Replace the default Thimble title with your own title.

We have covered the basics of HTML. Now you are expected to provide well formed HTML code. Your coding submissions must demonstrate understanding of the appropriate information in the page sections, the use external style sheets, and comments for documenting your code.

External style sheet .css file required

Cascading Style Sheets is an essential component of the course, the textbook, Thimble and a requirement of assignments. You are required to include and use a .css file for all the CIS89A assignments. You can use both internal and external styling if you wish. Each assignment is graded based on what is in the .html file and one linked .css file provided. Most students are providing assignment styling information in a .css file. This requirement will be clarified and repeated.

head, body

Reminder – the head section element is reserved for information for the browser. It should not include any page display information. The “top” of your page is at the top of the body section. If you are including an anchor link, it goes after the body element tag.

name, id

Name and id are different, but for the purposes of this introduction to basic HTML, they can be used interchangeably. For the anchor link, Willard uses name.


By visited styling, I mean that you must include a specific definition for a visited link – Willard p.151. This is a specific coded replacement of the “default link colors”.


Comments should be used to help the reader (and the developer) understand what you are doing generally. Point out features that will appear in the page display, and any unusual coding you are providing. Blank lines help. Anyone who knows any HTML will look for a close tag and a blank line after the close tag would be helpful.

ftp: link

FTP and Downloadable files. Willard p.146 . Although it isn’t used much anymore, an HTML link to an FTP server file for download is an example of how versatile the web and web browsers can be.

Having gone through all the hassle of creating your Voyager account, downloading, installing and getting an FTP client to work, you can understand why a simple link from a web page to access a downloadable file would be nice to have.

For security reasons, it is difficult to find a simple example for students to include in their code. Rather than make it up, the one in the book was a reasonable alternative. Apparently even that has been compromised.

HTML5 – The download attribute specifies that the target will be downloaded when a user clicks on the hyperlink. See w3schools for browsers that support this attribute.

Most actual downloads are handled through programming in PHP or other server-side processing for additional security and validation – beyond the scope of this course.

Voyager assignment

This assignment is always a struggle for many people. When everyone is in the DeAnza lab using the same software on the same computers, there are still snags.

Using FTP and an Linux server are still pretty common, so if you are interested in more than just casual web development, you need to figure this out and do it at least once.

Create a really simple HTML file – just main elements in a simple text file. Save the text file as index.html. Use this file for testing your Voyager setup and transfer.

NOTE: Make sure the File protocol is “SFTP””’ otherwise you will not be able to connect to the server.

When you get an HTML file into your public_html directory on Voyager and you can access it from your browser, you have completed the assignment.


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