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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. 


First posted Oct 2010, updated Feb 2011