History of HTML


This chapter discusses a brief history of HTML language. Reading this will help you to get an idea of how HTML has been evolved through the years.

Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of HTML, used to work in the computer section of the CERN (European Laboratory for Particle Physics) at Geneva, Switzerland.
CERN is an institution for researching particle physics which requires the collaboration of physicists all over the world.

Tim has an idea of creating something which would enable physicists to share research information from anywhere in the world, and he came with HTML which can contain links of many documents from one document.

Tim's prototype Web browser on the NeXT computer came out in 1990.

  • In 1991, an open discussion group HTML-talk was started across the internet for the development of HTML.
  • In 1992, Dave Raggett from Hewlett-Packard's Labs in Bristol, England who was one of the enthusiastic of HTML, met Tim and upon returning England, Dave wrote a richer version of HTML called HTML+.
  • In 1992, NCSA showed interest in web and contributed to take the development of web a step further.
  • In december 1992, Marc Andreessen of Mosaic team (an early web browser) introduced img tag in the HTML document.
  • March 1993: Lou Montulli releases the Lynx browser version 2.0a.
  • Early 1993: Dave Raggett begins to write his own browser.
  • April 1993: The Mosaic browser is released.
  • Late 1993: Large companies underestimate the importance of the Web.
  • May 1994: NCSA assigns commercial rights for Mosaic browser to Spyglass Inc.
  • September 1994: The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) sets up an HTML working group.
  • July 1994: HTML specification for HTML 2 is released.
  • November 1994: Netscape is formed.
  • Late 1994: The World Wide Web Consortium forms.
  • Through 1995: HTML is extended with many new tags.
  • March 1995: HTML 3 is published as an Internet Draft.
  • March 1995: A furor over the HTML Tables specification.
  • August 1995: Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser comes out.
  • September 1995: Netscape submits a proposal for frames.
  • November 1995: The HTML working group runs into problems.
  • November 1995: Vendors unite to form a new group dedicated to developing an HTML standard.
  • November 1995: Style sheets for HTML documents begin to take shape.
  • November 1995: Internationalization of HTML Internet Draft.
  • December 1995: The HTML working group is dismantled.
  • February 1996: The HTML ERB is formed.
  • April 1996: The W3 Consortium working draft on Scripting comes out.
  • July 1996: Microsoft seems more interested than first imagined in open standards.
  • December 1996: Work on `Cougar' is begun.
  • January 1997: HTML 3.2 is ready.
  • In spring 1998, HTML 4.01 was materialized finally and become a w3c recommendation.
  • In January 2008, a working draft of HTML 5 is prepared.

The current version of HTML is HTML 4.01 which we have discussed in our HTML tutorials.

Development of HTML 5 is underway but developers have already started using some of it's features.

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Next: HTML Versions

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