Warning! HTML 3.2 was superseded by HTML 4.0 in December, 1997. For information about the latest version of HTML, please refer to:

Introducing HTML 3.2

HTML 3.2 is a W3C Recommendation for HTML, developed together with vendors including IBM, Microsoft, Netscape Communications Corporation, Novell, SoftQuad, Spyglass, and Sun Microsystems.

Press release announcing W3C Recommendation for HTML 3.2.

What's new in HTML 3.2?

Relative to HTML 2.0, HTML 3.2 adds widely deployed features such as tables, applets, text flow around images, superscripts and subscripts.

The HTML 3.2 W3C Recommendation provides the definitive specification. As we learn about editorial mistakes, we will be making minor adjustments to the specification.

What features are planned in future HTML specifications?

W3C continuing to work with vendors on extensions for multimedia objects, scripting, style sheets, layout, forms and math. W3C plans on incorporating this work in further versions of HTML. See The W3C Activity Statement on HTML for details.

What happened to HTML 3.0?

HTML 3.0 was a proposal for extending HTML published in March 1995. The Arena browser was a testbed implementation, and a few other experimental implementations have been developed including UdiWWW, Emacs-W3, etc.

However, the difference between HTML 2.0 and HTML 3.0 was so large that standardization and deployment of the whole proposal proved unwieldy. The HTML 3.0 draft has expired, and is not being maintained.

What materials are available for HTML 3.2?

The following materials are available:

HTML 3.2 Reference Specification
This is a W3C Recommendation that provides the full specification of HTML 3.2 as an SGML application.
Document Type Definition
This defines the syntax of HTML as an SGML application

See HTML testing for validation services.

SGML Open Catalog File
This can be used with SGML parsers like sgmls to bind FPIs to file names
Defines character entity names for accented Latin-1 alphabetic characters
Table of Latin-1 character glyphs
This is provided to allow authors to pick a glyph and to include it in their documents as a numeric character entity, e.g. £ is the "£" sign.
Press Release
As released on Jan 12th, 1997
Press Release
As released on May 7th, 1996

Some folks from the web community have created documentation for HTML 3.2:

What happened to "?

Several people have commented on the absence of the " entity in the HTML 3.2 Recommendation. This disappeared in a rationalization of the entities, and with hindsight should not have been removed. In general, you don't need it, and here are two work arounds:

When you want to include a double quote mark in a CDATA attribute value, you can go ahead and do so provided you use single quote marks around the attribute value itself, e.g.

     ALT='and then he said "Let it be done" and it was so'

Another approach is to use the numeric entity " as in:

     ALT="and then he said "Let it be done" and it was so"

This latter method is perhaps better suited to authoring tools as it doesn't depend on any contextual clues and can be used in normal text as well as in CDATA attribute values.

Other Suggestions about HTML Specifications

Before suggesting new features for HTML, please review the HTML activity statement, as well as the WWW FAQ and the archives of www-html and other discussion forums.

After researching the issue, if you determine that your suggestion is novel and valuable, you should consider writing a W3C working draft or an Internet Draft.

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Raggett, Connolly
Last revised: $Date: 2014-02-24 23:01:31 $