Since the early days of the World Wide Web, there have been many versions of HTML:
|1989||Tim Berners-Lee invented www|
|1991||Tim Berners-Lee invented HTML|
|1993||Dave Raggett drafted HTML+|
|1995||HTML Working Group defined HTML 2.0|
|1997||W3C Recommendation: HTML 3.2|
|1999||W3C Recommendation: HTML 4.01|
|2000||W3C Recommendation: XHTML 1.0|
|2008||WHATWG HTML5 First Public Draft|
|2012||WHATWG HTML5 Living Standard|
|2014||W3C Recommendation: HTML5|
|2016||W3C Candidate Recommendation: HTML 5.1|
From 1991 to 1999, HTML developed from version 1 to version 4.
In year 2000, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) recommended XHTML 1.0. The XHTML syntax was strict, and the developers were forced to write valid and "well-formed" code.
In 2004, W3C's decided to close down the development of HTML, in favor of XHTML.
In 2004, WHATWG (Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group) was formed. The WHATWG wanted to develop HTML, consistent with how the web was used, while being backward compatible with older versions of HTML.
In 2004 - 2006, the WHATWG gained support by the major browser vendors.
In 2006, W3C announced that they would support WHATWG.
In 2008, the first HTML5 public draft was released.
In 2012, WHATWG and W3C decided on a separation:
WHATWG wanted to develop HTML as a "Living Standard". A living standard is always updated and improved. New features can be added, but old functionality cannot be removed.
The WHATWG HTML5 Living Standard was published in 2012, and is continuously updated.
W3C wanted to develop a definitive HTML5 and XHTML standard.
The W3C HTML5 recommendation was released 28 October 2014.
W3C also published an HTML 5.1 Candidate Recommendation on 21 June 2016.