Dynamic HTML

Dynamic HTML, or DHTML, is a collection of technologies used together to create interactive and animated websites[1] by using a combination of a static markup language (such as HTML), a client-side scripting language (such as JavaScript), a presentation definition language (such as CSS), and the Document Object Model (DOM).[2] The application of DHTML was introduced by Microsoft with the release of Internet Explorer 4 in 1997. Today, references to unobtrusive JavaScript coding (DOM Scripting) have replaced the usage of the term DHTML.

DHTML allows scripting languages to change variables in a web page's definition language, which in turn affects the look and function of otherwise "static" HTML page content, after the page has been fully loaded and during the viewing process. Thus the dynamic characteristic of DHTML is the way it functions while a page is viewed, not in its ability to generate a unique page with each page load.

By contrast, a dynamic web page is a broader concept, covering any web page generated differently for each user, load occurrence, or specific variable values. This includes pages created by client-side scripting, and ones created by server-side scripting (such as PHP, Python, JSP or ASP.NET) where the web server generates content before sending it to the client.

DHTML is differentiated from Ajax by the fact that a DHTML page is still request/reload-based. With DHTML, there may not be any interaction between the client and server after the page is loaded; all processing happens in JavaScript on the client side. By contrast, an Ajax page uses features of DHTML to initiate a request (or 'subrequest') to the server to perform additional actions. For example, if there are multiple tabs on a page, pure DHTML approach would load the contents of all tabs and then dynamically display only the one that is active, while AJAX could load each tab only when it is really needed.

  1. ^ "W3C Document Object Model". www.w3.org. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Web Style Sheets". www.w3.org. Retrieved 7 April 2018.

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