As the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus once noticed, that
everything flows and nothing abides, everything gives way and nothing stays fixed, motion and dynamics are concepts, which are not only fundamental to the Metaphysics. Dynamism is also a quite important notion in the the web world. It describes how both the web as well as its developers work (and how web-scripting is used to be done, when content gets complex).
There are many ways to create dYn4mic wWwEb p4ges (on server-side), so I thought about writing down the most famous ones I know of plus some notes about associated webservers:
If you search for the term “dynamic web” the first top entries in your search results will probably be some links to php-communities. PHP was and still is one of the most famous server side languages as it is SQL to the data extraction and manipulation languages and German to us Austrian (or maybe not – about the last one, I am not so sure about it :D).
You only need an Apache-HTTP-Server with PHP-support and can start. Most of the times a or most of the times a complete package for easy installation is used, namely a LAMP or WAMP.
ASP is the commonly used web scripting language in the Microsoft serverside technologies’ section. ASP.NET is the current (newer) set of Microsoft’s webtechnologies. ASP-pages in the .NET-world, can be written both in Visual Basic.NET (the former was VBScript) as well as in other .NET-languages, such as C# .NET and even in JScript .NET.
To run ASP.NET you need a Windows Server (2k or higher) and some Internet Services installed on it. IIS is used for that, which is also the second most used web server in the world. Unfortunately your have to pay for the Server Licenses. Sun offers another possibility to develop and run ASP(.NET) code with their Java System Active Server Pages solution, to move off MS IIS. Note, that it is not a 100%-solution! There are also other smaller alternative-tryouts such as the Baby ASP Web Server and the possibility interpret ASP.NET with a mod_aspdotnet Apache HTTP Server, a .NET integration into the Apache HTTP Server.
With programming JSP developers have also the possibility to dynamic web content by creating web applications or resp. server-side logic, which dynamically create html output after a client request. JSP simply puts Java inside your HTML-pages. With JSF, which is using JSP, the user interface can be more easily developed. However, JSP is in some way designed to be the future web development language that is going to be an important Java-technology for turning ASP developers to the world of Java.
CFML is the ColdFusion Markup Language, which is more easy to learn, but also able to describe server logic for dynamic web content creation and becoming more and more used for programming professional web-applications.
ColdFusion MX is the application server for running CFML code. and is many OS and works fine with many web servers and different kind of databases.
All in all
With all abovementioned (web-) server-side languages it is possible to embed code directly into HTML. However there are big distinctions in installing and maintaining the different webserver-plattforms (maybe you search for a platform and/or server independent solution). Moreover according to the complexity of your web application you will also make a decision between using servlet-technologies, a maximum of database connectivity, etc. – Decide for yourself what is the best best tool for doing the job.