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Chapter 1. THE BEGINNING OF HTML AND THE... >  The World Wide Web Consortium and C...

The World Wide Web Consortium and Cascading Style Sheets

Tim Berners-Lee created the Web at CERN, and the initial standards for HTML 1.0 and HTML 2.0 were governed by them. But CERN's main focus is as an international center for particle physics research, and with the growth in popularity of the Web, CERN abdicated its role as the standards-setting body for HTML in 1994. It passed the torch to a new body called the World Wide Web Consortium (better known simply as "W3C"). The W3C has convinced major software companies, including Netscape Communications, Microsoft, IBM, Novell, Sun Microsystems and many more, to become members of this standards body. This arrangement provides the software firms with lines of communication to other member firms and to a body recognized as authoritative in the devising and setting of a workable standard for HTML. The W3C is designed to be a neutral meeting ground, where competing companies can come together to contribute to and comply with future Web standards.

The W3C recognized the need to introduce some stability to HTML, and tried to consolidate existing HTML standards, first with the official HTML 3.2 specification, and later with the HTML 4.0 specification. These specifications adopted many of the HTML tags made popular in both Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator, even though these tags often failed to conform to one of HTML's main guiding principles, that the markup should reflect the structure of a document rather than its physical layout.


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