Whenever anyone starts out trying to learn (or teach) a programming (or scripting, or markup) language, they always start with the same thing "Hello World". In fact, if you use a development program like Eclipse, it starts every Android app as a "Hello Android!" app as your starting point. The problem with the Hello World! tutorial is that it doesn't really teach you much in term of web development.
When you are learning a complex, compiled language (like Java) the Hello World! tutorial will teach you how to create object classes, populate a variable, instantiate that class, output text, save a project and compile an application; that's a very important foundation to have. With web development there is just not that much boilerplate work going on. Let me give you an example. Take a blank text document and type in:
Then save that document with three different file names:
Each of those three files will work to display "Hello World!" to the user. (assuming that your web server is setup to handle the different languages, any web server should be able to do HTML, but servers typically will only do either ASP (windows) or PHP (linux), but some can do both).
As you can see, typing "Hello World!" into a text file and saving it with the right filename doesn't really teach you very much, but it does highlight one important part of web development. Most of the files that run the webpages you know and love are just plain text files that happen to be saved with a different file extension to tell the server how to interpret that file. So for the most part, you can actually write an entire website in something as simple as Notepad and then just upload those files to a web server. Now you might eventually want to use a more robust web development program that will do somethings automatically for you and make your life easier, but I can't count the number of times I have made minor changes to a website by downloading a file and editing one line with Notepad.
Of course some of you may think I'm cheating because I'm not using any HTML, ASP or PHP code in my example, but if all you want is to display the text "Hello World!" then that is all you need, why complicate your code if you don't have to. Unfortunately, I just can't bear to leave it at that, so I will be adding some real Hello World examples in the next few days.
While I'm thinking about it, I wanted to share with you the easiest Hello World example, in fact, it actually works for ANY language. Just take a 3x5 notecard, write "Hello World!" on it, then tape it to your monitor.
Have fun and happy coding,