Capturing a Brief History of HTML5

Technically, HTML5 is the next standard in a long line of standards being worked on and promoted by the World Wide Web consortium. The World Wide Web Consortium (online at, known as the W3C, is the primary standards body responsible for standardizing the web so that different content producers and browsers makers can build technology, including HTML5, that interoperates correctly.

Understanding How HTML5 Grew Up “Different”

HTML5 began life a little differently from its predecessors and didn’t start its life as the brainchild of the W3C. Rather, HTML5 was birthed in many ways as a rebellion to the standard the W3C was pushing at the time: XHTML 2.0.

XHTML 2.0 had a lot of things going for it and, if it had really taken off, would have made the web a more consistent place instead of the Wild West of bad markup that exists today. But it suffered from a fatal flaw that made it practically a nonstarter: It wasn’t backward compatible. That meant that if you had a perfectly valid HTML 4 site, you would have to throw that site out and start from scratch to make it XHTML 2.0-compliant. In addition, jumping back to 2004, the speed at which the W3C was innovating the web was slow as molasses, with the last update to the HTML 4 standard, HTML 4.01, having been released four years previously in 2000.

In response to disappointment over the XHTML 2.0 standard, an offshoot known as the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG) ...

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