HTML has changed a lot in the last decade. As vendors release new versions of popular browsers, each seeks to implement the most compelling new features.
However, the standard-setting process does not move as fast as the browser vendors do. We have a set of standards for HTML. These standards are specified in recommendations of the HTML Working Group of the W3C (see the sidebar titled "The World Wide Web Consortium").
The World Wide Web Consortium
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the source of standards for HTML and for many other Internet-related technologies. The W3C was created in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee at the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science, in cooperation with the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), and the European Commission. In the years since its founding, the W3C has grown to include more than 400 member organizations.
The W3C is dedicated to developing technical specifications for the infrastructure of the World Wide Web that promote interoperability through common standards. Toward this end, the W3C organizes working groups, each of which focuses on a specific technology, such as HTML.
W3C working groups publish sets of technical specifications, known as "recommendations," which have been approved by a majority vote of the W3C members. A W3C recommendation indicates that the members have reached a consensus that a given specification is appropriate for widespread use.