// Ars Technica
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the industry group that oversees the development of the specs used on the Web, today announced that the fifth major version of the hypertext markup language specification, HTML5, was today given Recommendation status, W3C's terminology for a final, complete spec.
The last version of HTML was 4.01, released in December 1999, making it almost fifteen years between updates. That's a long time to wait. The story of HTML5's development was a messy affair. After HTML 4.01, W3C embarked on XHTML, an update to HTML that incorporated various XML features such as stricter validation of Web pages and which was intended to make HTML "modular," broken down into a range of sub-specifications.
XHTML wasn't particularly compatible with the real world, however—Web pages that are, per the specs, broken are abundant, and under XHTML rules, browsers should refuse to display such pages entirely—and many in the Web community felt that W3C had lost its way and was irrelevant to the needs of real Web developers.