HTML - Birth of the Internet
        by Kris Lewis

Tim Berners-Lee conceptualized HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), which was based on SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language).

The internet was invented, and hypertext was introduced to the web. A prototype browser created by Tim was released on a NeXT computer.

Joseph Hardin and Dave Thompson introduced the Mosaic browser, which was based on HTML.

The IMG tag was introduced to Mosaic, allowing images to be used in HTML code.

Mosaic browser was released for Sun Microsystems Inc.’s computer workstation. Expanding on Berners-Lee’s ideas, Mosaic introduced images, nested lists, fill-out forms, and more.

In May, Dave Raggett introduced HTML+ at a conference; it was agreed that his ideas would be used towards the development of HTML 3.


In July, Dan Connolly and his colleagues introduced HTML 2, a collaboration of widely used tags under one draft document. The document was reviewed by the Internet community, and changes were made from suggestions.


In the late 1994, the World Wide Web Consortium, the largest web organization and advocate for HTML, was formed.

Throughout this year, many new tags were introduced to HTML; the tags were ones that could change the style and visual aspect of a document, such as BGCOLOR and FONT FACE.


In March, HTML 3 was published as an Internet Draft. New HTML features introduced to the community, such as the FIG tag (Raggett’s hoped (and failed) replacement of the IMG tag) and the STYLE tag and CLASS attribute (added support for style sheets). Albeit loved, the draft had a hard time being ratified by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

The next version of HTML was named ‘Cougar,’ and was developed by the HTML Working Group. They planned for support for the disabled and international users, and support for style sheets, extensions to forms, scripting, and more.

After some revisions, HTML 3.2 was born, which was an HTML cross-industry specification (meaning it was stable and approved by most Web players). HTML 3.2 took the IEFT HTML 2 standard and added ideas and features from HTML+ and HTML 3; tables, applets, text flow around images, subscripts, and superscripts were introduced to this release.

In Spring, HTML 4 (a.k.a. Cougar) was released. It added some functionality with style sheets, scripting, frames, embedding objects, and much more.

Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML) was introduced, which was an XML-based equivalent of HTML. HTML was taken and reformed in XML, the process added no changes or new features.

W3C had interest in the development of HTML 5 (a combination of HTML4, XHTML1, and DOM2 HTML).

A group was assigned to work with the WHATWG (a group consisting of Apple, Mozilla, and Opera). HTML 5 was developed and published with the W3C copyright.


Developers were able to use the CLASS attribute to create their own elements and extend existing ones. They were able to annotate links, embed raw data, extend APIs, and more.