HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. It is one of the languages used to create web pages and a means of interconnecting web pages together. A webpage is viewed in a web browser like Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera and many more.
HyperText is defined as the method by which you move around the web by clicking on special text called hyperlink or link which will bring you to another webpage or website. The term “Hyper” means not linear you can just go to any place or any page on the Internet whenever you want by just clicking on links. This also means that there are no set of rules to be followed to do things in. HTML uses tags to Markup the text inside them. They mark it up as a certain type of text, italicised or bold text, for example. HTML is a Language, for creating webpages, as it has code-words and rules like any other language.
There are several versions of HTML; the very first version of HTML was HTML 1.0. It was used from 1989 to 1994. It has very limited features which significantly restricted the things that you can do in designing your webpages.
In 1995 HTML 2.0 has arrived and incorporated all the features of HTML 1.0 plus several new features for web page design. Until January 1997, HTML 2.0 was the standard in web page design.
HTML authors or webmasters wanted more control over their web pages and more ways to enhance the look and feel of their websites. This gives way to HTML 3.0 draft which incorporated many new and useful enhancements to HTML. HTML 3.0 did not make it as standard because it was so big and future versions were introduced in a more modular way so that browsers can apply them by modular or bit by bit.
More browser specific tags were introduced by Microsoft and Netscape, like marquee and blink element, and new standard was needed. For this reason, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) developed a common standard for the evolution of the World Wide Web and it is code-named WILBUR and became known as HTML 3.2. It became the standard in January 1997. Popular browsers nowadays fully support HTML 3.2.
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international community led by Tim Berners-Lee where member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop web standards.
After HTML 3.2, HTML 4.0 was introduced with a code-name COUGAR. This introduces new functionality most of which comes from the expired HTML 3.0 drafts. HTML 4.0 became a standard as of April 1998. This version also added support for style sheets and scripting ability for multimedia elements. It also offers three variations: strict, transitional and frameset. When HTML 4.0 had been out for a short period of time, the documentation was reviewed and revised in a few minor ways and was entitled HTML 4.01; the final version of the specification and offers the same three variations as HTML 4.0. Its last errata were published May, 2001.
In the beginning of the 21st century the W3C issued their specifications of XHTML 1.0 as a recommendation. XHTML stands for Extensible Hypertext Markup Language. As of January 26, 2000 it stands as the joint-standard with HTML 4.01. XHTML is a separate language that originated as a reformulation of HTML 4.01, incorporating the standards of XML, so that code must be appropriately written if it is to work once it reaches the reader’s browser. XHTML did not provide many new and deprecated tags and attributes. It is mainly just a new set of coding rules.
After HTML 4.01 and XHTML 1.0, the people involved in the direction of HTML became diverted working on a new proposal for XHTML 2. However, XHTML 2 did not make it to become a standard because it started to look both unexciting and unrealistic, and it became pretty clear that a new approach was needed. The Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG) consisting of web technology enthusiasts, browser programmers and specification writers started building something of their own and developed new specifications, they call it HTML5. After some studies and deliberation, the W3C decided that HTML was still the future of the web. XHTML 2 was discontinued and HTML5 became the new specification where everyone’s determination and hard work should be dispensed into.