HTML 4.0!

     Please note: The New Commands is not in full use across all browsers yet. The Internet Explorer 4.0 (or better) browser will support some of the New Commands listed below. Netscape Navigator has not yet supported all of the New Commands.
     There are four sections below: New Commands, New Sub-Commands, Deprecated Commands, and Dead Commands.

New Commands

     The following 22 commands are "new" and will be incorporated into HTML 4.0:

The Command What It Does
<ABBR> This indicates an abbreviated form of a word. Example code:

<ABBR TITLE="National Football League">NFL</ABBR>

The TITLE command produces a rollover title like the ALT command does on pictures.
<ACRONYM> This works the same way as above except it denotes a acronym. Example:

<ACRONYM TITLE="Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus>SCUBA</ACRONYM>
<BDO> This is difficult to explain. Text goes left to right and sometimes right to left. The BDO command denotes to the computer to leave the text in the direction it is currently in. If you write in Hebrew, a language written right to left, using the BDO will ensure that other elements such as spell checkers and such won't be incorporated that will flip text around. It is most often used in the PRE tags. Example:

<BDO DIR="LTR">hello</BDO>

LTR means "left to right". Guess what "right to left" is represented by. Yup, RTL.

<BUTTON> This will become standard code for creating link buttons, like in a guestbook form. Example:

<BUTTON name="submit" value="submit" type="submit"></BUTTON>

What's more, this format will easily allow for an image to be placed on the button.

<COLGROUP> This command allows for an entire column of data in a table to be affected by one command rather than using a separate command for each cell. Example:

<DEL> Surrounding something with this command will provide a strikethrough over what it deleted. Example:
Version <DEL>3</DEL><INS>4</INS>

Now you have a jump on what the new command INS does. You'll get to it an a couple.
<FIELDSET> This allows people to group controls on a page together, like grouping buttons that affect a certain JavaScript so there won't be any interaction between other scripts on the same page or sections of a guestbook. It works in tandem with the LEGEND command below. An example will be waiting there.
<FRAME> This works the same way as the FRAME command we have today except it has been delegated new powers to denote specific traits to each frame cell. It allows for manu more abilities with Style Sheets. The reason this is listed is that it will be a specific subset of commands for use with SGML format styles.
<FRAMESET> Ditto this one, except this deals with larger sections of frame pages. For instance, you have a page with four frame cells. You want only the ones on the left to have green borders. You use this command to set aside those two vertical frames and assign traits to just that section. The reason this is listed is that it will be a specific subset of commands for use with SGML format styles.
<IFRAME> This again works much the same way as the In-Line frames we currently use. Again, the reason this is listed is that it will be a specific subset of commands for use with SGML format styles.
<INS> You saw how this works above. It sets something aside as having been added or "inserted" at a later time. It is denoted by an underline.
<LABEL> This command attaches a label to form commands. Example:

<LABEL for="email">Email Address</LABEL>
<INPUT type="text" name="email_address" id="email">

<LEGEND> Now, we get to the example denoted above from the command FIELDSET. FIELDSET groups form items together. LEGEND denotes those sections. Example:

<LEGEND>Personal Information</LEGEND>
Name: [Input Text Box]
EMAIL: [Input Text Box]
AGE: [Input Text Box]

It keeps it all straight for the computer.

<NOFRAMES> This denotes text content that displays if the user does not have frame capabilities. It's been around for a while, but now is officially being brought into the fold.
<NOSCRIPT> Ditto above.
<OBJECT> This command will become a replacement command for IMG, ISMAP, APPLET, SCRIPT, and myriad other "objects" that appear on the page. This one command will represent that something is going to be placed on the page. The computer then decides what kind of object it is due to its extension. Example:

<OBJECT data="image.gif" type="image/gif"></OBJECT>

<OBJECT classid="applet.class"></OBJECT>

<OBJECT data="movie.avi" type="application/avi"></OBJECT>
<OPTGROUP> How this will be handled is still a little fuzzy, but it appears that this will allow for multiple groups of information inside Pull-Down menus -- much like the menus produced by the W95 "Start" button.
<PARAM> This command will be used with applets to set parameters. It's already in use, but is now being brought into the fold.
<SPAN> Think of the SPAN element in terms of it's being an equal to the <DIV> command. It denotes a certain division of the page or span of text that can then be altered to your heart's content. Example:

<SPAN CLASS="green">This would be green text</SPAN>
<TBODY> This command will surround a block of table cells so that you can affect just that section. Keep reading...
<TFOOT> This will allow you to place a footer below each TBODY section of a table. Notice all the commands are TR rather than TD. Here's an example for both TBODY and TFOOT:

<TBODY bgcolor="--">
<TR> text
<TR> text
<TFOOT><TR>The above cells...</TFOOT>

<THREAD> This is header information for a group of cells -- used exactly the same way as the TFOOT above -- except above the group of cells are set apart by the TBODY command. Like so:

<THREAD><TR> The following cells...</THREAD>
<TBODY bgcolor="--">
<TR> text
<TR> text
<TFOOT><TR>The above cells...</TFOOT>

<Q> The difference between the Q command and the BLOCKQUOTE command is that the Q command is much easier to write. Use them exactly the same way.

Some New Sub-Commands

     In my opinion, this is where HTML shines: The sub-commands. The sub-commands allow a simple table cell to have color and size. They allow an image to have text and set sizes. The sub-commands are where true HTML usage shines. And there are a few new ones to be concerned with in HTML 4.0. Here you go....

The Sub-Command What It Does
<CLASS> This is already in use in Explorer versions 3 and 4. First you set up a class with Style Sheet commands. (See my tutorial on Classes and IDs for how to do it). Then you call for the style sheet using the class command. Example:

<SPAN CLASS="purple">Affected text</SPAN>
<DIR> This was touched on above in the BDO command. The DIR sub-command denotes whether the text is to be read LTR (Left to Right) or RTL (Right to Left).
<ID> The ID can be used in the same manner as the CLASS sub-command above; however, in HTML 4.0 it is also being used to denote sections of the acts like a Page Jump.

<A HREF="#sectionone-id">Jump to Section One</A>

The command above will jump to this:

<SPAN ID="sectionone">section One

This method is a little better than the page jump because it jumps to a section of text rather than just to a point on the page.
<LANG> This is clever, because it helps the search engines understand different languages as being different languages rather than just misspelled English. First, an Example:

<SPAN LANG="es">Hola! Como esta?</SPAN>

Those of you who remember your high school Spanish know that phrase above loosely translates to "Hi, how ya doin'?"

Now, contrary to what you might be thinking, the LANG sub-command does not translate. You must still write the text in the native tongue. The LANG command just allows the search engines to recognize that section as Spanish text.

In case you're wondering, here are some other codes: ar (Arabic), de (German), el (Greek), fr (French), he (Hebrew), hi (Hindi), ja (Japanese), it (Italian), nl (Dutch), pt (Portuguese), ur (Urdu), ru (Russian), sa (Sanskrit), zh (Chinese).

Yes, there is also a code set aside if you wish to denote a language that doesn't really exist, like Pig-Latin or Klingon. Follow the same format as above except add x- before the name, like so: LANG="x-ubbee dubbie". The "x" means it's an experimental language.

<TITLE> This title command works the same way as the ALT command in an IMG command. It allows you to place a title onto just about anything so that when the mouse remains stationary for a second, a text box pops up. Example:

<SPAN TITLE="National Football League">NFL</SPAN>
Try It: NFL

Now, every time someone places their mouse on that set of initials, the box will pop up saying "National Football League." It can be very helpful.

Deprecated Elements

     These are commands that are still good, but there are better ways of getting the effect.

The Command Use This Instead
<BASEFONT> Style Sheet Commands
<CENTER> The ALIGN="center" sub-command or Style Sheet Commands
<DIR> Create lists through the <UL> command
<FONT> Style Sheet Commands
<ISINDEX> Create various <INPUT> commands to create the text box ISINDEX creates
<MENU> Create lists through the <UL> command
<S> Create strike-through text using Style Sheet Commands
<STRIKE> Create strike-through text using Style Sheet Commands
<U> Create underlined text using Style Sheet Commands

Dead Elements

     In with the good, out with the bad. These three puppies are gone for good.

~~R.I.P~~ Now What?
<LISTING> Use <PRE> instead
<PLAINTEXT> Use <PRE> instead
<XMP> Use <PRE> instead