What is DHTML

Posted on 2003-11-11
Last Modified: 2013-11-19
1 What is DHTML, dynamicHTML?
2 Is it a whole new language with its own syntax?
3 Is there much to it if you know HTML and ASP?
Question by:DamienL
LVL 31

Expert Comment

ID: 9726442
Here's a good overview for you:
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 9726597
1. DHTML is dynamic hypertext markup language, a combination of resources using HTML, javascript, CSS (cascading style sheets), and other technologies to make a web page more "dynamic" (interactive).
2. It is not a new language, rather it is the cobined use of several technologies.
3. If you know HTML you should be able to learn to implement DHTML.

Here is a nice definition and tutorial:

Expert Comment

ID: 9727947
DHTML means dynamica html lol and here's a tutorial page



hope they help

Expert Comment

ID: 9728796
1. dynamic html is anything having to do with html + css/javascript to make things happen.
2. no, but it could seem like it was.
3. if you know html and asp you'll be fine.

and example of dhtml could be...

a {color: green}
a:hover {color: blue}
<a href="#" onclick="'');">Google</a>

Expert Comment

ID: 9743534
DHTML is dynamic HTML that is write !   :-)

It combines HTML with JS / VB (JavaScript / VB Script ) and CSS (cascading style sheets) .

Why it was build ?

It was build a long time before the name actualyy comes familiar to all programers bacause they all use HTML , CSS and JS so they just came to a name ... there are other names like XHTML , SHTML and other which are unfamiliar to me ...

ASP (active server pages) is a powerful well growing language which is good at many ways !

You can feel well of combinig these languages HTML ,ASP adn JS or VB which you must already know if you are an ASP programer ... but the stupiest thing about ASP is that it is from MS which you must know is very closed   :-(
I am familiar to ASP but I do not use it any more because of these facts !
I will not tell you about MS weekness but I want just to add that Microsoft is more than over for me ... they losse because of open source programming , projects like Linux and other ...
They close themselfs more and more like in the VPC ! It don't runs Linux , BSD , Solaris ... other OS .. only WIN !!!
You can think about that ! Try PHP , JSP , CGI (Perl) ... they are much mre powerful and in future you will understand that perl is good to be known becuse of Linux (Unix) ...

So I think I jump off the theme ! Sorry !!

Regards !

                      ---- HUMAN KNOWLEDGE BELONGS TO THE WORLD ----

                    ----- BG open source programers -----
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Expert Comment

ID: 9766667
DHTML stands for dynamic HTML.
It is NOT a new language containing new syntax but it is a combination of 3 language.

1) HTML - use to construct the page; tell the browser what to display. But it is not dynamic (i.e. it won't respond to you in anyways - apart from when u click on a hyperlink).

2) CSS - it is not exactly a new language. It is a "STYLE". It makes it easier for the website designers to maintain their pages. I don't want to get into technical details but basically if you define "desiredfont" (it could be any words) to be some text that has font-size of 10px and a font-color of blue, and u write "abcdefg" and call it "desiredfont", "abcdefg" will have a size of 10px, and a color of blue. "desirefont" can be used as many times as you want.

3) JavaScript - It is the language that makes your webpage "dynamic". In most cases, it is used with CSS. For example, one of the functions that CSS has is to hide things (e.g. a table). Suppose u want the table to disappear when the visitor put the mouse pointer over the table. U cant do that with pure HTML or CSS (using pure CSS, u can only hide the table when the page loads, not when one puts the mouse pointer over the table). It can be done with JavaScript - it enables u to make a dynamic webpage.

Overall, The above 3 languages are used together very often. And so for some reasons, people call the combination of the 3 languages DHTML.

Expert Comment

ID: 9766731

It is not enough to only know HTML and ASP. ASP does not allow stuff like a pop-down menu.u need to learn javascript as well

ASP is what is known as a server-side language. The server processes the ASP code and send the result to the client (to the web browsers) in the form of HTML.

ASP allows the programmers more control. e.g. if u use javascript to display a time, this time is based on the clock on the client's computer. If a person from the USA and a person from the UK view the page at the same time, the time displayed on the page is different (coz UK time is different from USA time).

Another powerful ASP function is the use of databases. For example, u want to make a guestbook. The messages are saved in a database, which is in the server. ASP code is then writen to retrieve the messages from the database and the resulting HTML code is sent to the the client side.

Expert Comment

ID: 9780988
Heh !
ASP is a server side lang. but you can't write things in ASP if you don't know JS or VB script ... so this is absolutely unnecessry to say ... I think that my comment was clearly enough . The man have to decide what is going to learn ...
I prefer Java (because I know the language and know his strong pts) or Perl (because it is more and more used in Linux(UNIX) OSs and it is very good oponent for JSP ... so JSP is a oponent of CGI but doesn't matter) or PHP even it is allso a good  lang. (because of open source maybe)

Regards !

Expert Comment

ID: 9784463
DHTML is a marketing term for HTML+JavaScript+CSS.

JavaScript is used to manipulate the CSS properties of HTML elements.
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Accepted Solution

Zontar earned 75 total points
ID: 9802443
> 1 What is DHTML, dynamicHTML?

> DHTML is a marketing term for HTML+JavaScript+CSS.

I mostly agree with this sentiment. I've never cared much for the term "Dynamic HTML". I prefer to think of "Dynamic HTML" as DOM (Document Object Model) scripting.

> 2 Is it a whole new language with its own syntax?

Not exactly. DOM uses existing languages, such as JavaScript and VBScript. (I also do some server-side DOM programming in PHP and Python, but this has nothing to do with Web browsers. But DOM can be used for processing XML on the server, and I tend to prefer it to either SAX or XSLT... but I'm getting off topic, aren't I?) DOM is a set of programming interfaces/objects. It's a way of modelling markup documents so that one can program them directly, rather than putting together long strings of HTML.

It's true that probably the most common use of DOM is to change their appearance of page elements, like showing/hiding parts of pages. -- But -- There is MUCH more involved than the scripting of styles. DOM also provides ways to manupulate the structure and content of markup documents. It is possible to create new elements, remove old ones, reorganise and change the attributes of existing ones. One example would be a form + table with several inputs in each row, scripted in such a way that when the user tabs into or clicks in the last input of the last row, a new row of inputs is created. (Actually, it would be more expedient to make a copy of the last row and then append the copy to the page, but that's the general idea.) This is not the same as changing the the visibility or display styles of elements -- this is the creation of brand-new elements that didn't exist before. In fact, using DOM, you can build complete Web pages from nothing but:

  <!-- script code goes here... -->

*Everything* else -- elements, styles, etc., can be created using script code and the DOM.

DOM also provides ways to handle user-initiated events in markup documents.

There are several W3C DOM specifications, including:

**DOM Core -- applies to all markup documents: not just HTML/XHTML but to XML, SVG, XUL, MathML, XForms, etc., as well. Allows you to access elements in a markup document (such as a Web page written in HTML) as object and collecitons of objects.

**HTML DOM -- provides interfaces specific to working with HTML/XHTML documents. For example, HTML DOM has addRow() and addCell() methods for working with HTML tables, which are not present in XML and other markup languages.

**CSS DOM -- for working with styles and stylesheets -- not just inline styles but also for manipulating stylesheets. Using CSS DOM, one can lterally rewrite style rules on the fly. For example, say you have a large number of elements with class="myClass". Using CSS DOM, rather than changing the class attributes of all these elements to point to a different class name, you can change the definition of the style itself.

**DOM Events -- Specifies ways of handling events, so that you can do things like assign multiple event handler functions to a single event, assign a global event handler for monitoring all click events in a page and then determining what function to call based on the element that was clicked, etc. Of course you can also remove event handlers as well.

See -->>

> 3 Is there much to it if you know HTML and ASP?

"Dynamic HTML" has nothing to do with serverside programming, which just spits out markup; from the viewpoint of the Web browser, HTML from a .asp page is no different than HTML from a .html page. There is no interaction with the user in real time, only request/response. User clicks a link or pushes a button, request is sent to server, server returns more static HTML. The object model in ASP totally unrelated to the object models used in clientside programming. It is a completely different environment with different rules; and applications written in this environment have completely different functionality and objectives.

If you program ASP with VBScript, you can also do DOM programming with VBScript in MSIE -- however, other browsers don't support clientside VBScript, so you really should use JavaScript. Besides, JavaScript is a MUCH better programming language! :^) (Seriously, it is much more powerful, flexible, and object-oriented than VBScript is. I prefer it for ASP programming as well.)

I would recommend you download a copy of Mozilla ( and check out the Mozilla and Netscape developer documentation. Then learn where MSIE's DOM implementation comes up short (and it does). However, MSIE5.0/5.5/6.0 does support a large portion of the DOM standard, as does Opera6/7, so writing cross-browser scripts is not so difficult as it used to be when dinosaurs (NS4/MSIE4) roamed the earth.

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