The 'text/html' Media Type (RFC2854)
Original Publication Date: 2000-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-13
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
D. Connolly: AUTHOR [+2]
This document summarizes the history of HTML development, and defines the "text/html" MIME type by pointing to the relevant W3C recommendations; it is intended to obsolete the previous IETF documents defining HTML, including RFC 1866, RFC 1867, RFC 1980, RFC 1942 and RFC 2070, and to remove HTML from IETF Standards Track.
Network Working Group D. Connolly
Request for Comments: 2854 World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
Obsoletes: 2070, 1980, 1942, 1867, 1866 L. Masinter
Category: Informational AT&T
The 'text/html' Media Type
Status of this Memo
This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does
not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this
memo is unlimited.
Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2000). All Rights Reserved.
This document summarizes the history of HTML development, and defines
the "text/html" MIME type by pointing to the relevant W3C
recommendations; it is intended to obsolete the previous IETF
documents defining HTML, including RFC 1866, RFC 1867, RFC 1980, RFC
1942 and RFC 2070, and to remove HTML from IETF Standards Track.
This document was prepared at the request of the W3C HTML working
group. Please send comments to email@example.com, a public mailing list
with archive at
1. Introduction and background
HTML has been in use in the World Wide Web information infrastructure
since 1990, and specified in various informal documents. The
text/html media type was first officially defined by the IETF HTML
working group in 1995 in [HTML20]. Extensions to HTML were proposed
in [HTML30], [UPLOAD], [TABLES], [CLIMAPS], and [I18N].
The IETF HTML working group closed Sep 1996, and work on defining
HTML moved to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The proposed
extensions were incorporated to some extent in [HTML32], and to a
larger extent in [HTML40]. The definition of multipart/form-data from
[UPLOAD] was described in [FORMDATA]. In addition, a reformulation of
HTML 4.0 in XML 1.0[XHTML1] was developed.
[HTML32] notes "This specification defines HTML version 3.2. HTML 3.2
aims to capture recommended practice as of early '96 and as such to
be used as a replacement for HTML 2.0 (RFC 1866)." Subsequent
specifications for HTML describe the differences in each version.
In addition to the development of standards, a wide variety of
additional extensions, restrictions, and modifications to HTML were
popularized by NCSA's Mosaic system and subsequently by the
competitive implementations of Netscape Navigator and Microsoft
Internet Explorer; these extensions are documented in numerous books
and online guides.
2. Registration of MIME media type text/html
MIME media type name: text
MIME subtype name: html
Required parameters: none
The optional parameter "charset" refers to the character
encoding used to represent the HTML document as a sequence of
bytes. Any registered IANA charset may be used, but UTF-8 is