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HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, 6th Edition by Bill Kennedy, Chuck Musciano

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Lists, Searchable Documents, and Forms

Thought we’d exhausted text elements? Headers, paragraphs, and line breaks are just the rudimentary text-organizational elements of a document. The languages also provide several advanced text-based structures, including three types of lists, “searchable” documents, and forms. Searchable documents and forms go beyond text formatting, too; they are a way to interact with your readers. Forms let users enter text and click checkboxes and radio buttons to select particular items and then send that information back to the server. A special server application then processes the form’s information and responds accordingly; for example, filling a product order or collecting data for a user survey.[*]

The syntax for these special features and their various attributes can get rather complicated; they’re not quick-start grist. We’ll mention them here, but we urge you to read on for details in later chapters.

Unordered, Ordered, and Definition Lists

The three types of lists match those we are most familiar with: unordered, ordered, and definition lists. An unordered list—one in which the order of items is not important, such as a laundry or grocery list—gets bounded by <ul> and </ul> tags. Each item in the list, usually a word or short phrase, is marked by the <li> (list-item) tag and, particularly with XHTML, the </li> end tag. When rendered, the list item typically appears indented from the left margin, preceded by a bullet symbol. [<ul>, 7.1.1 ...

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