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A Very Short History Of HTML

By Richard Lowe Jr.
Posted Tuesday, September 7, 2004

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language, and it is the stuff by which most web pages are created. If you view the source of 99% of the web pages out there (using "Source" from the "View" menu) you can see the raw coding.

So where did this language come from anyway? A short timeline is included below so you can understand what this has gone through.

In 1986 an ISO (International Standards Organization) specification (a specification is the equivalent of a blueprint) for a new language called SGML released. This was intended to make the viewing of documents platform independent.

In 1989 a proposal was created by Tim Berners-Lee for a hypertext document system. This later resulted in the creation of HTTP (the mechanism for moving data between your computer and a server computer), URLs (the addressing scheme) and HTML (the language itself). It became known as HTML in October 1990.

The first version ran on the NeXT computer and only processed text files.

In 1991 the code and specifications were placed on the internet. Within a few years a variety of browsers were coded to support the standard, and HTML quickly began catching on all over the internet.

In 1993 a group called NCSA (National Center for Supercomputing Applications) began releasing a browser called Mosiac on various platforms.

The first version of a revolutionary new browser called Netscape was released in Beta form in 1994. This quickly became the most popular browser available.

In 1995 the final release of a new browser called Internet Explorer was unleashed on the public. This browser was based upon Mosiac (in fact, if you select "About" from the "Help" menu you can still see that in the copyright information) and got off to a very slow start.

Over the next few years a war developed between the two major browsers (Netscape and Internet Explorer).

In 1996 yet another browser is released - this one is called Opera. Unlike IE and Netscape, Opera was written from scratch and did not depend upon any earlier development. Thus, it is a very unique browser, and also very small and quick.

By 1999 Internet Explorer was fast becoming the most popular browser. In the year 1999 and 2000, specifications for a new language called XML are released. Proposals are in the air for creating a new HTML specification which merges HTML and XML into one package.

About the Author
Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets at ( - Visit our website any time to read over 1,000 complete FREE articles about how to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge.


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