HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is a descriptive language that specifies webpage structure.
In 1990, as part of his vision of the Web, Tim Berners-Lee defined the concept of hypertext, which Berners-Lee formalized the following year through a markup mainly based on SGML. The IETF began formally specifying HTML in 1993, and after several drafts released version 2.0 in 1995. In 1994 Berners-Lee founded the W3C to develop the Web. In 1996, the W3C took over the HTML work and published the HTML 3.2 recommendation a year later. HTML 4.0 was released in 1999 and became an ISO standard in 2000.
At that time, the W3C nearly abandoned HTML in favor of XHTML, prompting the founding of an independent group called WHATWG in 2004. Thanks to WHATWG, work on HTML5 continued: the two organizations released the first draft in 2008 and the final standard in 2014.
Concept and syntax
An HTML document is a plaintext document structured with elements. Elements are surrounded by matching opening and closing tags. Each tag begins and ends with angle brackets (
<>). There are a few empty or void tags that cannot enclose any text, for instance
You can extend HTML tags with attributes, which provide additional information affecting how the browser interprets the element:
- HTML on Wikipedia