Evolution of HTML

In 1989 Tim Burner-Lee a contractor at CERN wrote memo proposing an Internet based hypertex system. He mentioned HTML and developed browser and server software in late 1990.

First Publicly HTML was document called as "HTML tags", first mentioned on the internet by Tim Burner-Lee in late 1991. Initially it has 18 elements a simple design of HTML. Except for hyperlink tag, these were strongly influenced by SGMLguid. A Standard General Markup Language used in CERN for documentation format. And eleven of those still exits in HTML 4.

HTML is a markup language use to create web pages and that web browsers use to interpret and compose text, images, and other material into visual or audible web pages.  As per stadard characteristic of HTML is defined in the browser.

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.


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 e were errata 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.


<!DOCTYPE html> <html> <head> <title>This is a title</title> </head> <body> <p>Hello world!</p> </body> </html>

You May Like