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 markup, that is, instructions for the program on how to display (the web browser is used to display) or process the text (generally, the HTML editor is used for this). There are four kinds of markup elements in HTML:
- structural markup that describes the purpose of text (for example,
<h1>Golf</h1>will cause a reader to treat "Golf" as a first-level heading),
- presentational markup (now deprecated) that describes the visual appearance of text regardless of its function (for example,
<b>boldface</b>will render boldface text),
- hypertext markup that links parts of the document to other documents (for example,
<a href="/cgi-bin/redirect.pl?url=http://www.wikipedia.org/">Wikipedia</a>will render the word Wikipedia as a hyperlink to the specified URI), and
- widget elements that create objects (for example, buttons and lists).
Version history of the standard:
- HTML 2.0 (RFC 1866) approved as a proposed standard -- 22nd September 1995,
- HTML 3.21996
- HTML 4.01997
- HTML 4.011999
- ISO/IEC 15445:2000 ("ISO HTML") -- 15th May 2000.