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HTML Specifications

On This page: Standards | Corporate | Proposals | See Also

Official Standards Documents

RFC 1866
HTML 2.0 (Proposed Standard)
Official Specification of HTML 2.0. A detailed specification for Version 2.0 of HTML. This is the current IETF specification for HTML. Most browsers support various extensions, many of which are incorporated into HTML 3.2.

RFC 1867
FORM-based File Uploads (Experimental)
FORM-based file upload specification. Covers changes to HTML, as well as specification of a new Internet Media Type (multipart/form-data) for the uploaded data.

RFC 1942
HTML Tables (Experimental)
Specification for table markup in HTML -- largely incorporated into the HTML 3.2 specifications.

RFC 2070
Internationalization of HTML (Proposed Standard)
A specification of extensions to HTML required for fully internationalized documents. This covers issues such as the directionality of text layout (left-to-right and right-to-left), special characters and language specifiction.

RFC 1980
Client-Side Image Maps (Informational)
An extension to HTML proposed by Jim Seidman of Spyglass, Inc. This has been widely implemented, and is incorporated into the HTML 3.2 specifications.

W3C HTML 3.2 Reference Specification
The World Wide Web's reference specification for HTML 3.2. This specification is essentially a description of "current practice" as of mid-1996. It is essentially an extension of HTML 2 to cover the widely supported attributes (ALIGN) and elements (FONT, BASEFONT, APPLET, EMBED) introduced with HTML 3 or by software vendors.

Corporate Specifications

HTML for Netscape Navigator
Netscape Navigator supports a variant HTML with a number of enhancements upon the accepted standards. The above reference contains a relatively complete description of the "Netscape" HTML -- note, however, that there are (as of December, 1996) some small errors in this documentation.

HTML for Microsoft Internet Explorer
In turn, Microsoft Internet Explorer 3 supports a variant HTML with a number of enhancements upon the accepted standards. The above reference contains links to the current Microsoft specifications for their own version of HTML -- note, however, that there are (as of December, 1996) some small errors in this documentation.

Standards Proposals

HTML 3.0 (Expired Internet Draft)
Dave Raggett's proposals for HTML 3.0. This draft never became an RFC, due to a lack of consensus on the Working group. Many of hte ideas from HTML 3 went into the tables RFC, and into the W3C proposals for next generation HTML.

Inserting OBJECTs Into HTML (W3C Working Draft)
A Description of the proposed OBJECT element for the arbitrary inclusion of objects (data, programs, etc.) within an HTML document. Microsoft Internet Explorer supports some components of this draft.

Internet Dialects - Internet Media and SGML Document Types (W3C Working Draft)
This document suggests the use of URIs as system identifiers for document type definitions, allowing decentralized evolution of the language. The use of marked sections as a transition technique and the continued use of the level mechanism for standardized points in the evolution path are discussed.

Hypertext Links in HTML (Expired Internet Draft)
A description of hypertext linking model in HTML, with discussion of values and meanings for particular REL and REV attribute values.

HTML and Stylesheets (W3C Working Draft)
A description of mechanisms for linking HTML elements to associated formatting instructions, specified using stylesheets

See Also

An excellent collection of notes on the workings of the HTML Working Group, including a summary of all the documents that have come out of the group.

W3C Notes on HTML
Notes on HTML sponsored by the W3C. This gives a good overview of the development of HTML to date, and often describes new activities and ideas coming out of the Consortium.

Dan Connolly's Notebook on the History of HTML
Dan's record of the historical development of HTML. THis includes records of earlier standards proposals, notes from various meetings and working groups, and some personal notes by various parties. A very useful historical reference.

Jonathan Rosenne's Hebrew Page
Jonathan Rosenne's compilation of documents related to the use of Hebrew in computer applications, including the Web.

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© Ian S. Graham , 1994-1999
Last Updated: 8 February 1999