History and Versions of HTML

History and Versions of HTML

HTML was first launched in 1991 with the first version of the language,  as you know, HTML is a continuously evolving computer language. Therefore, you cannot expect it to stay the same for a long time. A revised set of specifications and standards are created in order to adapt with the evolving needs and requirements of users. The first version of HTML was called HTML 1.0 Strict and was released in 1993.

HTML 1.0

It was the first ever version of HTML that was released to the public. During the time of its release, however, not a lot of people were into creating websites. Thus, this version of the computer language was limiting. All a user can do back then was put some simple texts on the Internet.

HTML 2.0

It was an improved version of HTML 1.0. It had everything its predecessor had, but with the addition of new features. It became the standard for website design in the mid-1990 because it defined a lot of core features based on that  HTML 2.0, which was released in 1995. The second version of HTML was called HTML 2.0 Transitional and was released in 1997.


By the time it was released to the public, more people have been into programming and Web developing. More people have become familiar with HTML and wanted to use it for creating websites. Webmasters wanted more to creating websites. They wanted their websites to look attractive and inviting.

However, there came a problem During that time, the Netscape company was leading the browser market. They offered the Netscape Navigator, which was a browser. In their desire to appease the requests and demands of HTML users, they came up with proprietary tags as well as attributes. They called these abilities the Netscape extension tags.

When the other companies learned of these tags, they tried to produce replicas that mimic the effects of such tags. However, their browsers are not able to display the same output. So, if you design a Web page using the Netscape extension tags, you will not be able to get your desired output using different browsers. You will only end up being confused and annoyed.

Then, a work group headed by Dave Raggett came up with HTML 3.0. This version of HTML was better than the two previous versions in terms of features. It had a lot of new abilities and more opportunities for users to create amazing Web page designs. Unfortunately, the browsers were slow to implement such improvements. Only a few improvements were added, mainly because of the size. Eventually, HTML 3.0 was no longer used.

Due to this failure, the developers noted that improvements have to be modular. They should be added in stages so that browser companies will not have a hard time.

HTML 3.2

Browser specific tags continue to come. Eventually, it was apparent that there has to be a certain standard. In 1994, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) was founded to standardize the computer language and ensure that it keeps evolving to fit the needs and requirements of users.

The World Wide Web Consortium created HTML 3.2 and gave it a code name WILBUR. The version was a reduced change to the current standards. It was considered to be the official standard in 1997. To this date, it is still fully supported by all browsers.

HTML 4.01

It was a huge evolution from the previous versions. It was also the final iteration of the classic HTML. During the early stages of its development, it was given the code name COUGAR. A lot of its functionalities were derived from HTML 3.0. There were also plenty of trainings on old tags, support for the new supporting presentational language, cascading stylesheets, and internationalism

In December 1997, the World Wide Web Consortium recommended HTML4.0. In April 1998, it eventually became the official standard. Microsoft undertook browser support for the Internet Explorer browser. Internet Explorer 5 and Internet Explorer 6 both offer support for nearly every tag and attribute.

HTML 4.01

After HTML 4.0 has been released for a while, the developers made some corrections and revisions in its documentation. This resulted in HTML4.01.

The World Wide Web Consortium issued the specifications for XHTML 1.0 around the start of the 21st century as a recorrnnendation. In January 2000, it became a joint standard with HTML 4.01.

This version represents a whole new HTML branch, which was a departure from the old ways of using specs. XHTMI.,included rigors of XML. The code has to be written properly in order for it to work when it reaches the browser. XHTML also did not have a lot of deprecated or new attributes and tags, although certain things have changed with a view of improved functionality and accessibility. There are new sets of coding rules for users.


After XHTML 1.0 and HTML 4.0 were released, the developers wanted to come up with XHTML 2. They also wanted new innovations. However, their proposal turned out to be unrealistic and boring that the project was no longer pursued. They had to find another approach.

During this time, several fans of the pragmatic Web technology, specification writers, and browser prograrrnners, started to create something using methods that are beyond the typical procedures used by the World Wide Web Consortium. They referred to their group as the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG). They created a new specification.

The World Wide Web Consortium eventually decided that HTML remains to be the future of the World Wide Web. HTML 5 was regarded as the new specification when XHTML 2 was discontinued. HTML 5 was specifically designed for the World Wide Web. At present, it is still used.

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