What Is HTML?
HTML is an acronym for Hypertext Markup Language. Before the internet, Html was just a layout method originally used by the scientific community to communicate and share research data in a relatively structured, tabular and efficient manner on computers, Local Networks and intranets.
Since the development of the internet, Html has become the preferred online publishing Programing specification for coding webpages so they can be read, understood and properly displayed by browsers and computers. However, it's not a general-purpose tool for organizing and labeling text and graphics. It uses a predetermine set of markup language that can be expanded only by agreement and alteration of html's underlying markup language description.
Html is a pre defined closed markup method and not an open-ended markup language. Adding new markup elements to the language was not part of its built-in capabilities. The closed ended nature and limitations of html is the main reason for the many different versions we have become familiar with over the past years. 1993 saw the public introduction of html 1.0. Since then, it has slowly progressed to it's last updated version html.4.01 published in 1999.
Concept & Intended Purpose
Describing the display of computer data seen through your web browser was html's primary function. It's certainly not the best option for post processing functions like local searchable indexes. In an attempt to provide flexibility and other options to users, The rules governing Html standards has been undermined by browsers manufactures constantly adding new features not fully supported by Html specifications.
This has led to some confusion, illusions and ill conceived notions amongst webmasters, who beleave that once a webpage looks good in a web browser, other important issues like standard compliant blueprint or document markup doesn't matter. The phrase or keywords "Built to Standard" is widely used in the field of construction and the manufacturing of products for public use, why not Html?
Html is a display-oriented language and nothing has changed it's original concept or purpose. Gradually it has progressed with the incorporation of new markup methods and capabilities, in an attempt to meet today's web designers needs for more functionality. Unfortunately, browser manufactures with few exceptions, continue to ignore standard requirements specifically engineered to eliminate the inconsistencies in html document display on all platforms.
Invalid Html Documents & Chaos on the Web
The internet is now stacked with billions of webpages written in either simple, strick or transitional html. Of that amount, 89% of the html markup are invalid documents riddled with errors. These documents are by-products of bad influence and perfect examples of non-compliance with html's specifications. Obviously, Where there's no rules, chaos will rule. If left unchecked, it will attempt to stifle and resist the forces of change.
Having said all of that, am cognizant that allot of website designers and developers are quite comfortable using html for its simplicity. Rest assured, Html is not dead, and it will never die in spite of its limitations and lack of processing flexibility. Html is, and will remain the building block for most web applications, computer data tabulation, webpages, document and media types, way into the future.
Everything changes in some way at some point, some things change for the better, changes make some things worst. Some things are best left alone if it does not have the capacity and agility to adopt and embrace changes. The rapid advancement in internet interactivity, computer technology and new methods of website development, has made simple html inadequate and ill prepared to effectively handle and meet the functionality demands and challenges of the twenty first century web.
A word of advice. If you are building a webpage just for the fun of it or for your personal use, html is ideal for a simple none commercial projects of that type. It's certainly capable of producing high quality and great looking webpages once you know how to properly structure and validate your document before publishing to the web.
If you need a web site for your business or any other online commercial activities including selling products and collecting information, beleave me, html is just a 6 feet ladder in todays web development and construction field. You will need some scaffolding and a bulldozer for that type of project. To put it simple. If you are not capable of doing it for yourself, you will need an XHTML CSS and XML architect to write the Blueprint and construct you new commercial website in compliance with the W3c guidelines and recommendations.