A Brief History of HTML

By Sue Charlesworth

Interest in and use of the World Wide Web has been expanding at a phenomenal rate. As the Web grows, so must its vehicle of communication, HTML. The HTML 2.0 specification is dated November, 1995. Since then, the HTML 3.0 draft specification expired on September 28, 1995, without becoming recommended, and HTML 3.2 became a W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) Recommendation on January 14, 1997. Now we have the public draft for HTML 4.0, announced on July 8, 1997. This draft is almost certain to undergo changes before being accepted by the W3C as a Proposed Recommendation--if it does, indeed, ever become a recommendation.

In addition to this official work on HTML, the browsers have been making their own additions to HTML. Some changes were eventually adopted into W3C HTML Recommendations; others remain proprietary coding aspects that only the individual browsers recognize. The browsers' versions of HTML changed, too, in a game of marketing and programming one-upmanship, hoping to lock Web developers into using one browser or the other exclusively.

Designing for the Web can be a confusing activity, indeed.

What's Different in HTML 4.0

from Special Edition Using HTML 4: Appendix A
What's New in HTML 4.0

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