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HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is a markup language designed for creating web pages, that is, information presented on the World Wide Web. Defined as a simple "application" of SGML, which is used by organizations with complex publishing requirements, HTML is now an Internet standard maintained by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The most recent version is HTML 4.01.

HTML generally appears in text files stored on computers connected to the World Wide Web. These files contain information in plain text mixed with markup, that is, instructions for the program on how to display or process the text. Usually HTML is displayed by a web browser, but many email clients also allow sending and reading HTML e-mails.

There are four kinds of markup elements in HTML:

As with many Internet standards, the popularity and technological advancement of the World Wide Web grew much faster than standards bodies could track, so there are some incompatible proprietary versions of HTML still in use, though standards are improving. But nowadays most features of HTML4 are implemented by the major browsers. HTML4 gives a fairly comprehensive set of formatting options, however most of these have been deprecated in favor of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) or similar, which should be used for formatting, while HTML should be used for describing the structure and the logic of the page only.

Version history of the standard:

There is no HTML 1.0 specification because there were multiple informal HTML standards at the time and so the formal specification was given the version number 2.0 in order to distinguish it from these.

There will no longer be any new versions of HTML. However, HTML lives on in XHTML, which is based on XML.

Table of contents
1 Deprecation
2 See also
3 External Links


With the release of HTML 4.0, many elements and attributes relating to presentation (the bgcolor attribute and font element, for example) were deprecated in favor of CSS, and entirely removed from the strict "Document Type Definition".

See also

External Links