1.2. Hypertext Markup Language

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) was devised as an easy means to format textual documents. HTTP is the method for delivering HTML documents, which the client browser then renders into an on-screen image. This section covers the development and evolution of HTML.

1.2.1. In the Beginning—HTML

HTML and HTTP were both invented by Tim Berners-Lee, who was then working as a computer and networking specialist at a Swiss research institute. He wanted to give the institute's researchers a simple markup language that would enable them to share their research papers via the Internet. Berners-Lee based HTML on Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), an international standard for marking up text for presentation on a variety of physical devices. The basic idea of SGML is that the document's structure should be separated from its presentation.

To date, HTML has gone through four major standards, including the latest, 4.01. In addition to HTML, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and Extensible Markup Language (XML) have also provided valuable contributions to the way of the Web.

Most of the standards used on the Web are developed and/or ratified by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The resulting specifications can be found online at the W3C Web site, www.w3c.org. HTML 1.0

HTML 1.0 was never specified by the W3C, as it predated the organization. The standard supported a few basic tags and graphics, although the latter needed to be in GIF format if ...

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