What is HTML?

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the standard markup language for creating web pages and web applications. With Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and JavaScript, it forms a triad of cornerstone technologies for the World Wide Web.

Web browsers receive HTML documents from a web server or from local storage and render the documents into multimedia web pages. HTML describes the structure of a web page semantically and originally included cues for the appearance of the document.

HTML elements are the building blocks of HTML pages. With HTML constructs, images and other objects such as interactive forms may be embedded into the rendered page. HTML provides a means to create structured documents by denoting structural semantics for text such as headings, paragraphs, lists, links, quotes and other items. HTML elements are delineated by tags, written using angle brackets. Tags such as <img /> and <input /> directly introduce content into the page. Other tags such as <p> surround and provide information about document text and may include other tags as sub-elements. Browsers do not display the HTML tags, but use them to interpret the content of the page.

HTML can embed programs written in a scripting language such as JavaScript, which affects the behavior and content of web pages. Inclusion of CSS defines the look and layout of content. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), maintainer of both the HTML and the CSS standards, has encouraged the use of CSS over explicit presentational HTML since 1997.

HTML versions timeline

November 24, 1995
HTML 2.0 was published as RFC 1866. Supplemental RFCs added capabilities:

  • November 25, 1995: RFC 1867 (form-based file upload)
  • May 1996: RFC 1942 (tables)
  • August 1996: RFC 1980 (client-side image maps)
  • January 1997: RFC 2070 (internationalization)
January 14, 1997
HTML 3.2 was published as a W3C Recommendation. It was the first version developed and standardized exclusively by the W3C, as the IETF had closed its HTML Working Group on September 12, 1996.
Initially code-named “Wilbur”, HTML 3.2 dropped math formulas entirely, reconciled overlap among various proprietary extensions and adopted most of Netscape’s visual markup tags. Netscape’s blink element and Microsoft’s marquee element were omitted due to a mutual agreement between the two companies. A markup for mathematical formulas similar to that in HTML was not standardized until 14 months later in MathML.
December 18, 1997
HTML 4.0 was published as a W3C Recommendation. It offers three variations:

  • Strict, in which deprecated elements are forbidden
  • Transitional, in which deprecated elements are allowed
  • Frameset, in which mostly only frame related elements are allowed.
Initially code-named “Cougar”, HTML 4.0 adopted many browser-specific element types and attributes, but at the same time sought to phase out Netscape’s visual markup features by marking them as deprecated in favor of style sheets. HTML 4 is an SGML application conforming to ISO 8879 – SGML.
April 24, 1998
HTML 4.0 was reissued with minor edits without incrementing the version number.
December 24, 1999
HTML 4.01 was published as a W3C Recommendation. It offers the same three variations as HTML 4.0 and its last errata were published on May 12, 2001.
May 2000
ISO/IEC 15445:2000 (“ISO HTML”, based on HTML 4.01 Strict) was published as an ISO/IEC international standard. In the ISO this standard falls in the domain of the ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34 (ISO/IEC Joint Technical Committee 1, Subcommittee 34 – Document description and processing languages).
After HTML 4.01, there was no new version of HTML for many years as development of the parallel, XML-based language XHTML occupied the W3C’s HTML Working Group through the early and mid-2000s.
October 28, 2014
HTML5 was published as a W3C Recommendation.
November 1, 2016
HTML 5.1 was published as a W3C Recommendation.
December 14, 2017
HTML 5.2 was published as a W3C Recommendation.

Resources for learning HTML

If you are interested in learning HTML you should consider these three pages:
Also as a complementary tool for learning HTML i would recommend the sololearn application that you can find on the android playstore.
Spread the love

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *