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What Are Web Standards?

By Johan Smith

You may have heard about web standards. To date, five web standards have been officially implemented and two more web standards are in the works. This is courtesy of the W3C Consortium and ECMA.

The W3C develops open specifications to enhance the interoperability of Web products, to standardize the WWW. They get general consensus from companies and organizations that are active in the Web’s development. These recommendations are what the Web standards are all about and include HTML, XML, CSS and DOM.

The role of ECMA is to develop standards and technical reports in information and communication technology.

The web standards include the following:

1. HTML (HyperText Markup Language), which is the first ever standard to emerge from the W3C, is widely used on the Web. It is by far the most common tool for designing Web pages, which is why people usually refer to HTML as the backbone of the WWW. HTML structuring elements (tags), text documents interpreted by browsers can display their contents according to specified formats.

2. XML (eXtensible Markup Language) is like HTML. It supports most of the fixed set of elements contained in HMTL 4.0, it also allows the coder to customize new tag elements according either to a pre-set DTD (Document Type Definition) or to one that can be personally defined. XML is much more flexible than HMTL and is totally future-oriented.

3. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) It is a mechanism through which changes in appearance and position can be assigned to HTML or XML elements, simply by declaring specific styles to them. The overall appearance of entire sites can be so defined with the use of CSS, allowing it to be remodeled in a matter of seconds. This Standard was brought forward by the W3C to create a simpler and more structured World Wide Web.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Smith, Johan "What Are Web Standards?." What Are Web Standards?. 1 Jul. 2010. 26 Dec 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Smith, J (2010, July 1). What Are Web Standards?. Retrieved December 26, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Smith, Johan "What Are Web Standards?"

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