|Introduction | Sustainability Factors | Content Categories | Format Descriptions | Contact|
|Full name||HyperText Markup Language (HTML) 4.0|
HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the standard markup language for creating web pages and web applications. This format description is for HTML version 4.0, standardized under the auspices of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and published as a W3C Recommendation in December 1997 with an revision in April 1998. HTML 4.0 was superseded by HTML 4.01 in December 1999.
The changes between HTML 4.0 and HTML 4.01 were many but minor, mainly corrections and clarifications. However, since corrections were needed to the Document Type Definition (DTD) declared at the start of an HTML 4 document, the compilers of this resource have chosen to treat the two formats as distinct. This corresponds to the practice used in the PRONOM database of the UK National Archives. See PRONUM PUID file signifiers below. Since HTML 4.01 was the current recommendation over a longer period and used much more widely, this description for HTML 4.0 is minimal. See HTML_4_01 for the details applicable to both HTML 4 versions.
|Relationship to other formats|
|Subtype of||HTML_family, HTML File Format Family|
|Has earlier version||HTML_3_2, HyperText Markup Language (HTML) 3.2|
|Has later version||HTML_4_01, HyperText Markup Language (HTML) 4.01|
|Defined via||SGML, Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML). ISO 8879:1986|
|LC experience or existing holdings||The Library of Congress home page archived on May 10, 2000 used HTML 4.0 Transitional. By January 30, 2001, HTML 4.01 Transitional was in use. See also HTML_family.|
|LC preference||See HTML_family.|
HTML 4.0, produced under the auspices of the W3C, is a non-proprietary format, openly published, and freely implementable.
Version 4.0 of the HTML specification was published as a W3C Recommendation in December 1997. In contrast to its usual practice, W3C appears no longer to provide access to the full contents of the original (December 1997) HTML 4.0 specification. As of March 2018, many links in the table of contents are deflected with a pointer to the HTML 4.01 Specification. A copy of the December 1997 HTML 4.0 specification is available as a PDF from the Internet Archive.
An April 1998 revision to the W3C HTML 4.0 Recommendation was also published and remains available.
|Licensing and patents||
|External dependencies||See HTML_family.|
|Technical protection considerations||See HTML_family.|
|Filename extension||See related format.||See HTML_family|
|Internet Media Type||See related format.||See HTML_family|
|Magic numbers||See note.||The specification for HTML 4.0 requires that a conforming document have a document type declaration before the opening <HTML> tag. For HTML 4.0 the declaraion must begin with '<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 ' or '<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0/'. Note that lower case characters may also be used.|
|Wikidata Title ID||Q3782232
||Also covers HTML 4.01. See https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q3782232.|
HTML 3.2 was published as a W3C Recommendation in January 1997. HTML 4.0, a major update to the HTML specification, was published as a W3C Recommendation in December 1997 and revised in April 1998. It was superseded by a minor update, to HTML 4.01, in December 1999.
For a more complete chronology for the HTML specification, see HTML_family.