WWW/HTML history questions

Steinar Bang (steinarb@falch.no)
Thu, 29 Sep 94 13:57:41 +0100


I've been given the task of talking about the relationship between
SGML and HTML on a Norwegian SGML user group meeting later this year.

As such I find that I lack quite a bit of information about the early
history of WWW and HTML. I'll appreciate all pointers (URLs, references
to papers and articles) to WWW and HTML history.

What I really need an answer to (instead of basing it all on my own,
perhaps faulty, assumptions) are things like:

The current CERN HTML documentation says that the definition of HTML
is based on SGML. Was HTML originally defined with basis in SGML, or
is this an afterthought?

Eg. did the NCSA people use CERN parser code as the "definition" of
HTML (adding their own stuff along the road?)? Or did they base their
implementation on a formally defined SGML DTD?

All pointers, anecdotes, etc. will be much appreciated and given full
credit (or full discression and anonymity, if that's your

Thanx in advance!

- Steinar

PS I'm not on the www-talk list so please keep me in a To: or CC: field
in your reply.

PPS Just to clarify some of what I already know/have done:

- I'm aware of the HTML 1.0 DTD, Dan Connoly's HTML 2.0 DTD, and the
ongoing HTML+/HTML 3.0 work.
Right now I use psgml and emacs with the HTML 2.0 DTD for editing
and creating HTML files.

- I'm aware that parsers like Mosaic and Lynx use a custom hand-
written parser instead of using a full blown SGML parser and a DTD.
I'm also aware of some of the browser

- I've been crawling around in the Webs of CERN and NCSA (and
hal.com) without quite finding what I'm looking for. I'm also a
regular reader of comp.text.sgml and the comp.infosystems.www.*
news groups.