HTML is the language in which webpages are written. The acronym stands for HyperText Markup Language. The term "Hypertext" refers to the links inside of HTML pages, which allow the user to quickly jump from page to page, and even to different places within the same page. The term "Markup Language" refers to the formatting attributes of HTML, such as bold, italic, headings, and font colours. Note that most of the formatting attributes of HTML are now depreciated, replaced with semantic markup, and the layout and formatting is now done with CSS. However, even in the newest versions, the now-inaccurate name HTML is not expected to change.
The first HTML specification was published in 1993 by Tim Berners-Lee as a way for non-technical people to mark up documents and share them over the internet. The invention of HTML and of the HTTP protocol (also invented by Berners-Lee) is seen as the birth of the World Wide Web. Further development of the language has continued until this day, and the fourth HTML specification is considered by many to be the de-facto standard in HTML implementation. Despite this, many webpages are constructed from non-standard HTML code, and most of the popular HTML editing software available produces non-standard code.
HTML is usually read in a web browser such as Firefox or Internet Explorer and displayed on the user's screen as a webpage. Because many of the default attributes for webpages are left undefined, webpages composed of the same HTML code may look different in different web browsers. Also, users may customise the default settings of their web browsers, and newer browsers allow the user to override some of the attributes stated in the HTML code of a webpage. Firefox, for instance, allows the user to enlarge and reduce the text size of a webpage with a keyboard shortcut.
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