What is HTML?
HTML, or HyperText Markup Language, is the programming language used to display Web pages via an Internet browser. It defines where elements on a Web page should display, how text should be formatted, and even what color the page background is.
The term “hyper” in HyperText simply means that navigation is not linear; rather, you can go anywhere on the Internet by clicking on a link. By clicking on hyperlinks, the browser will navigate you to a new Web page.
HTML uses “tags” enclosed within angle brackets to "mark up" the text on a Web page. Hundreds of tags have been created to format information. In most cases, tags come in pairs, one acting as a starting point and the other as an ending point, for example: <p> and </p>, <body> and </body>. Between these tags, you can add text, images and other content.
For example, if you viewed text on a Web page with the following coding, <b>Hello!</b>, you would see the word bolded, like this: Hello! Similarly, this coding, <i>Hello!</i> results in an italicized word: Hello!
Web browsers like Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox read HTML and interpret the coding into visual Web pages.
History of HTML
Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989 while working at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. He wrote the first version of HTML in 1991. Much of HTML's structure and makeup were heavily influenced by CERN’s in-house documentation formats for Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), which created the foundation for modern Web design, much of which is still used today.
Berners-Lee had considered HTML to be an application of SGML, though it quickly evolved to other purposes outside the CERN organization. In 1994, Berners-Lee founded the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) as a collaborative organization that works to standardize Web technologies. Later that year, the W3C's HTML Working Group completed HTML 2.0 to codify common practices and lay a foundation for future versions of the language. Since then, HTML has through several versions. HTML 4.01 is the current version recommended by the WC3, and HTML 5.0 is under development.