Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) is at the core of every web content you see today. Assisted with other technologies, it essentially communicates how to display a webpage with a browser, but can it be replaced?
HTML will not be replaced any time soon, if ever. Every web developer has embraced this language, and it would require an utter re-education of any new one. That may cost too much time and funds. Besides, HTML has continually been improving since its inception, lowering the need for a new language.
Further in this article, I will give more insight into why HTML cannot be replaced and how it has improved over time.
Why HTML May Not Be Replaced
Every website is a collection of web pages. And these web pages are essentially HTML files containing a standard language.
Web developers produce this language for browsers to interpret and display multimedia web pages to visitors.
So, if a “new language” hopes to replace HTML, every web developer must abandon all they’ve learned about HTML and learn the newer language. Considering how much time and money this would cost virtually every developer, there’s no clamor for such extensive change.
Moreover, every website owner, from the most minor organizations to multi-million dollar companies and even government-owned, must dump their current one. And if they want a new website, they’ll re-hire new developers who already understand the new language (that will likely be more scarce) for a rebuild.
Besides, web browsers would also have to be re-configured to understand this new language. Therefore, if available, everyone who wants internet access must either download a new browser or update to a more recent version.
This chain of activities makes even a conception of this utter overhaul unlikely. And the persons or organizations to first write this language would need to do a good job convincing the whole world to embrace theirs over HTML.
However, we’ve seen new frameworks and toolkits that make HTML writing more effortless. Some of them include:
- Adobe Dreamweaver: It is one of the most popular tools, with plans starting from $19.99 monthly.
- Sublime Text: Although Sublime Text grants web developers a free trial period, they are charged a $70 license fee for continued use.
- Bootstrap: The software is one of the best free ones for creating web pages more efficiently.
- HTML5 Maker: True to its name, it is much easier to use this maker to create web pages with stunning animation.
Ultimately, the designs created with such software are still in HTML that browsers can understand.
HTML Content and How It Works
HTML files can be complicated for the inexperienced because of how characters look clustered. These contents are nodes, the most common being “elements.”
Most times, the elements have tags that begin and end them. The convention is that HTML tags consist of a pair of tags. However, there are a few exceptions. Plus, modern browsers are good at interpreting HTML that contains small mistakes.
The elements may contain written content within these tags or even sub-elements.
Here’s an example of an HTML element:
<p class= "paragraph">HTML will not be replaced soon.</p>
The letter “p” signifies that this is a paragraph element. “Class” is the attribute name, and “HTML will not be replaced soon” is the element’s content.
Let’s concisely look into both:
Developed by the World Wide Consortium (W3C), CSS has become indispensable for presenting web page content. They describe how pages are formatted and delivered by affecting layouts, fonts, and colors. It also enables web pages to achieve proper format in various devices, from large to small screen ones.
CSS is part of the trio that makes the modern web possible. If you want to know why HTML and CSS are separate entities, I recommend reading the article I’ve written on the topic.
The Evolution of HTML
As I said earlier, HTML’s continual improvement is another reason a replacement is less likely.
Web developers can gradually perform more tasks as HTML develops since Berners-Lee‘s first simplistic model, so there’s no pressing need for a new language.
We’ll look into each version and how they’ve improved over time to what the internet enjoys today:
1. HTML 1.0
In 1993, the first version, HTML 1.0, was launched. It consisted of around 18 simple elements with different commands like hyperlinking.
Not many websites and web developers existed during this period, so there wasn’t much demand for more complexities. But at least you could get some text on the web, which was groundbreaking.
2. HTML 2.0
HTML 2.0 was the first step up the evolution ladder, launching in 1995.
The internet was becoming more widespread; hence the W3C was founded just earlier to foster its growth by assisting browsers in interpreting and rendering HTML tags similarly.
As for web developers, they could now alter text color and web page backgrounds with new elements.
3. HTML 3.2
Two years later, an even newer version, HTML 3.2, was published.
CSS, as discussed earlier, could now assist HTML to better web pages’ appearance and functionality. Developers could also insert tables, subscripts, and superscripts with more advanced elements.
During this period, Netscape Navigator, the leading web browser at the time, created its “extension tags.” Developers couldn’t replicate it in other browsers, and it was rather apparent that a new update was needed soon.
4. HTML 4.01
In 1999, this version was launched, bringing more sophistication to web pages.
One primary feature was the ability for CSS blocks to affect every website’s web page, rather than repeating them in each.
This version was supposed to be the last version of HTML to ever be released. However, the decision-makers realized their mistake a decade later.
Finally, HTML5, the version we use today, was established in 2014. Most web developers are content with this extensive upgrade that allows them to include semantic tags, audio, password, and email elements. But they’ll still embrace future improvements without needing an entirely different language.
HTML will not be replaced in the foreseeable future because web developers and browsers have adopted this language. Abandoning it for another will take too much time, cost, and effort.
Moreover, HTML has continued improving since its maiden version was launched in 1993. We are using the 5th major version, established in 2014, and there may be more advancements in the future.