<META content="MSHTML 6.00.2800.1593" name=GENERATOR>
Thank you for answer to my question at the HTML_Code forum. I would like to ask you some further questions if I may.
Why is it almost impossible to find complete answers for meta tags. I do find answers to common meta tags, although they are very short and do not really explain things, just sort of say use it this fashion, period.
The above meta tag is just not to be found anywhere. I did get in touch with the web design studio that did the web page where I found it and she answered.
The answer she gave raised more questions and explained very little, for she said that she had not put it in but that "I think it was added by IE when it presented the source code to you". I do not quite buy that, for that does not really make any sense. I have looked at plenty of sourse codes and just do not remeber ever seeing that tag.
I copied that page and when I removed that tag the presentation for the page disappeared EVEN though a css style sheet was linked to it. How can that happen and why would it? I thought that the css controls the presentation
I am also wondering why there is no book available dealing just with meta tags, explaining them in detail. I am sure it would be a faily thin one, but I find that html books, even the most techical ones barely deal with that subject. That I just do not understand.
I have been studying web design, for several years now, and the instructors at my community college just know it at a basic level and really are not interested in learning more so asking them is a waste of time.
I checked the w3 site and that also has little to say on the subject of meta tags. I find all that just very mystifying.
So I am taking advantage of your very generous offer to exchange thoughts.
Please keep the conversation public. There's no reason to make it private. The point of public forums like this one is so that others can benefit from the exchange of information. So that when the next soul comes along searching on information about the <meta> element and happens on this thread, they too can learn what you've learned.
Removing the generator meta information from a web page will not change its presentation. It is meta data. There are two types of meta data. One type provides a mechanism for mimicking HTTP response headers, this type of meta data can potentially affect the document's presentation. For example, if you specify the wrong encoding type, some of the characters in the document won't be rendered, and you'll see question marks or boxes where those characters are supposed to appear.
The other type of meta data is nothing more than supplemental information about the document. This supplemental information is used to assist search engines in the parsing and categorization of the document. Some examples are keywords, descriptions, the document's author. The copyright of the document. The software used to generate the document.
The generator meta descriptor is included by the software that created the document, and is used for statistical purposes. The presence of that information gives the software's developer an way of gathering analytical data for the use and deployment of their particular software.
Here's a list of meta elements that I use:
<meta name='description' content='A description' />
<meta name='keywords' content='keyword, another, etc' />
<meta name='author' content='Your Name' />
<meta name='copyright' content='© Copyright 2007 Your Name. All Rights Reserved.' />
<meta name='robots' content='index, follow' />
<meta name='googlebot' content='index, follow' />
<meta name='verify-v1' content='asdfasdfasdfasdflkja;lsdfasdf=' />
<meta name='generator' content='Some Software' />
<meta name='date' content='2006-12-08T18:00:18-05:00' />
You can pretty much make up whatever you want for the value of the name attribute. Some search engines expect and use values like description, keywords, author, etc.
The value "verify-v1" was invented by Google, and is used by them to verify the maintainer of a website before allowing the maintainer to submit a XML sitemap for crawling by Google.
This information makes absolutely no impact on the presentation of the document. That you experienced changes in your document's presentation are more than likely the result of some other error in the markup of the document, and is not related to the meta element.
There is PLENTY of information available online about the <meta> element.
Beginning CSS: Cascading Style Sheets For Web Design, 2nd Edition
CSS Instant Results