Timeline of web standards: 1994-2010

Posted by Mark Rogers on Feb 9, 2011 | 

Web Standards

This diagram shows how web standards have developed since 1994. Originally HTML and related standards were discussed and agreed by a small group of interested parties on a mailing list. Later the W3 was formed, and it put in place increasingly rigorous processes, with increasing amounts of public consultation.

While solid process and consultation is a good thing, one striking point is how long it now takes to get W3 standards from Draft to Recommendation status. It took 8 years in the case of WCAG 2.0. It's taken 11 years, and counting, for CSS3 (the oldest CSS3 working drafts are dated 1999). The editor of HTML 5 recently forecast a completion date of 2022 for HTML5.

 

Web standards timeline showing development of HTML, CSS, JavaScript and WCAG since 1994

 

Sources: Dates for W3 standards were culled from the published recommendations and preceding drafts on w3.org. For JavaScript, dates were taken from the Wikipedia JavaScript article. 

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First posted Oct 2010, updated Feb 2011