A Brief History of HTML

By Sue Charlesworth

Updated by Rob Gravelle

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 was published in November of 1995. Since then, the HTML 3.0 draft specification expired on September 28, 1995, without becoming recommended, but HTML 3.2 became a W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) recommendation on January 14, 1997. The public draft for HTML 4.0 was realeased on July 8, 1997 and was officially recommended by the W3C in December that year. It would be another 17 years before the current HTML5 standard was published in October of 2014.

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.



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