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Since 1994 there have been four main approved standards released by the W3C each specification has built new features into the command set that Author's can use to develop documents that are viewed in Internet Browsers. The basic concept behind HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) is to provide a cross platform document that can be viewed by an end user anywhere on the internet and allow the author to link their documents to additional outside reference documents to supplement their content.

The need for a consortium that would act as the care taker of HTML was first apparent when commercial software companies like Spyglass and Netscape found that they could turn a profit from the Internet. By purchasing the rights to the source code of Mosaic, a freeware application developed by NCSA, and adding additional features they would change the portability of web based documents and thus corner the market of Hypertext Multimedia on the Internet.

How are standards set ?

The decision process begins with a variety of requests that are made by various companies and organizations that serve the Internet Community. After the requests for support of new technology or alteration of current methods have been made the official standard goes through a process of adoption and is finalized by being published on the W3C's Web Server.

The standards committee at W3C makes recommendations to the Internet community this does not mean that companies are restricted to the recommendation. Many companies will define their own tag set and others will not fully support the recommendation.

Continue to HTML 4 Specifications

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