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A Brief History Of HTML


The most popular markup language among the developers HTML was started at CERN, created and written by Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

HTML has been constantly updating since it was first launched in 1993 (HTML 1.0) and evolving by adding new features with time.

The Story behind HTML

It was 1980 when physicist Tim Berners-Lee proposed an idea of a system where the researchers at CERN can use and share the documents.

Then in 1989, he composed an update proposing an Internet-based Hypertext System for global computers. Tim Berners-Lee's idea was a model in which user can navigate from one set of information on a computer to another set of information on another computer.

Note: A hypertext system is a network of text documents connected using a hyperlink and can be jumped from one document to another using some action like a mouse click.

Tim Berners-Lee wrote the browser and server software for HTML in 1990.

In the same year, Berners-Lee with one other data system engineer collaborated and requested funding but CERN did not accept the project.

In late 1991 Tim Berner-Lee publically posted the description of HTML in a document called HTML Tags.

The first version of HTML had 18 elements which were mostly influenced by SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) except for the hyperlink. 11 of those 18 elements exist in HTML4.

The basic characteristics for each element were defined in the browsers and these characteristics can be modified and enhanced using CSS.


HTML History Timeline

  • 1991 - Tim Berners-Lee created HTML 1.0
  • 1993:-
    • HTML 1.0 was first released in 1993 for developers
    • back then not many developers were creating websites so it was evolving slowly during those time
    • This version only had basic tags like text, even table and fonts were not available in this version
  • Nov 24, 1995 - This year HTML 2.0 was published. All the features of HTML 1.0 were inherited in HTML 2.0 plus new features added. Until the release of HTML 3.0, it remains the standard markup language for creating websites.
  • Jan 14, 1997 :-
    • HTML 3.2 was published in 1997 as W3C Recommendation
    • It was the first version of HTML which was developed by W3C
    • In this version, there was good support for form elements
    • One most important thing that was added in this version was the support of CSS
  • 1999:-
    • HTML 4.01 was published as W3C Recommendation on Dec 14 1999
    • This version was the most successful of all previous HTML released versions
    • In this version features like multimedia, scripting, better printing features and more were added.
    • After the release of HTML 4.01, no newer version of HTML was released for many years because W3C's HTML working group were busy building the language XHTML
  • 2014:-
    • HTML5 (the latest version of HTML) was released on Oct 28, 2014 as W3C Recommendation
    • It was an extended version of HTML 4.01 published in 2012
    • Many new tags were added in this version like <header>, <footer>, <main>, <video>, etc
    • HTML5 support mathML and SVG in text
history of HTML infographics

Future of HTML

HTML has covered a long journey from a simple idea of document sharing among different computers to becoming part of almost everything we do on the internet.

HTML has changed as the world and its need changed and so does it will in the future. A most recent update in HTML 5 was the addition of canvas which was really awesome, you can build a whole game using it.

As the technology has become more complex to fulfil the increasing demand for more reliable devices, the future of HTML lies in an adaptability to change, operationality for different devices and a new feature for developers and users.

Points to remember:

  1. HTML was created at CERN by Tim Berners-Lee.
  2. The ideas of HTML was to create an internet based hypertext system.
  3. The request of funding request made by Tim Berners-Lee for the hypertext system project was rejected by CERN.
  4. The first version of HTML has 18 elements.

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