HTML 4.01 was made a recommendation in 1999, XHTML 1.0—a formulation of HTML 4.01 in XML—became a recommendation in 2000, and was revised in 2002. In other words, at the base of all modern web development is an eight-year-old technology.
HTML 4.01 may be a good, stable ground for developers to stand on, but it could be better. Lots of things have changed in the way the web is used and perceived in the last eight years, but particularly from a developer perspective, we've gained an understanding of what HTML 4.01 failed at, and where it could be improved. The next generation of these technologies is arriving, and they are worth keeping an eye on. These technologies will affect everyone in the business.
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