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The history of HTML at W3C starts with HTML 3.2, code named "Wilbur", which was followed a few years later by HTML 4.0, then HTML 4.01. HTML 4.01 is the last version of HTML, and is also the final W3C specification to define the semantics of markup. From HTML 3.2 to HTML 4.01, the language has improved a great deal, focusing on such issues as:
XHTML 1.0 was created shortly after HTML 4.01 to help the transition of hypertext to a new generation of mark-up languages for text. XHTML 1.1 is an additional step toward a more flexible version of hypertext with the full benefits of XML architecture and integration of different technologies. Note that XHTML 1.1 has slighly improved the semantics of HTML 4.01 by including the Ruby module, used in particular languages like Japanese scripts.
HTML5 is a markup language for structuring and presenting content for the World Wide Web, and is a core technology of the Internet originally proposed by Opera Software. It is the fifth revision of the HTML standard (created in 1990 and standardized as HTML4 as of 1997) and, as of September 2012, is still under development. Its core aims have been to improve the language with support for the latest multimedia while keeping it easily readable by humans and consistently understood by computers and devices (web browsers, parsers, etc.). HTML5 is intended to subsume not only HTML 4, but XHTML 1 and DOM Level 2 HTML as well.