1. Introduction and background

   HTML has been in use in the World Wide Web information
   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
   [UPLOAD] was described in [FORMDATA]. In addition, a reformulation
   HTML 4.0 in XML 1.0[XHTML1] was developed.

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   [HTML32] notes "This specification defines HTML version 3.2. HTML
   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
   and online guides.

2. Registration of MIME media type text/html

   MIME media type name:      text
   MIME subtype name:         html
   Required parameters:       none
   Optional parameters:

         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
         preferred.  Although this parameter is optional, it is
         recommended that it always be present. See Section 6 below
         a discussion of charset default rules.

      Note that [HTML20] included an optional "level" parameter; in
      practice, this parameter was never used and has been removed
      this specification.  [HTML30] also suggested a "version"
      parameter; in practice, this parameter also was never used and
      been removed from this specification.

   Encoding considerations:
      See Section 4 of this document.

   Security considerations:
      See Section 7 of this document.

   Interoperability considerations:
      HTML is designed to be interoperable across the widest possible
      range of platforms and devices of varying capabilities. 
      there are contexts (platforms of limited display capability, for
      example) where not all of the capabilities of the full HTML
      definition are feasible. There is ongoing work to develop both a
      modularization of HTML and a set of profiling capabilities to
      identify and negotiate restricted (and extended) capabilities.

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      Due to the long and distributed development of HTML, current
      practice on the Internet includes a wide variety of HTML
      Implementors of text/html interpreters must be prepared to be
      "bug-compatible" with popular browsers in order to work with
      HTML documents available the Internet.

      Typically, different versions are distinguishable by the DOCTYPE
      declaration contained within them, although the DOCTYPE
      declaration itself is sometimes omitted or incorrect.

   Published specification:
      The text/html media type is now defined by W3C Recommendations;
      the latest published version is [HTML401].  In addition,
      defines a profile of use of XHTML which is compatible with HTML
      4.01 and which may also be labeled as text/html.

   Applications which use this media type:
      The first and most common application of HTML is the World Wide
      Web; commonly, HTML documents contain URI references [URI] to
      other documents and media to be retrieved using the HTTP
      [HTTP]. Many gateway applications provide HTML-based interfaces
      other underlying complex services. Numerous other applications
      also use HTML as a convenient platform-independent multimedia
      document representation.

   Additional information:

      Magic number:
         There is no single initial string that is always present for
         HTML files. However, Section 5 below gives some guidelines
         recognizing HTML files.

      File extension:
         The file extensions 'html' or 'htm' are commonly used, but
         other extensions denoting file formats for preprocessing are
         also common.

      Macintosh File Type code: TEXT

   Person & email address to contact for further information:
      Dan Connolly 
      Larry Masinter 

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   Intended usage: COMMON

   Author/Change controller:
      The HTML specification is a work product of the World Wide Web
      Consortium's HTML Working Group.  The W3C has change control
      the HTML specification.

   Further information:
      HTML has a means of including, by reference via URI, additional
      resources (image, video clip, applet) within the base document.
      order to transfer a complete HTML object and the included
      resources in a single MIME object, the mechanisms of [MHTML] may
      be used.

3. Fragment Identifiers

   The URI specification [URI] notes that the semantics of a fragment
   identifier (part of a URI after a "#") is a property of the data
   resulting from a retrieval action, and that the format and
   interpretation of fragment identifiers is dependent on the media
   of the retrieval result.

   For documents labeled as text/html, the fragment identifier
   designates the correspondingly named element; any element may be
   named with the "id" attribute, and A, APPLET, FRAME, IFRAME, IMG
   MAP elements may be named with a "name" attribute.  This is
   in detail in [HTML40] section 12.

4. Encoding considerations

   Because of the availability within HTML itself for using character
   entity references, documents that use a wide repertoire of
   may still be represented using the US-ASCII charset and transported
   without encoding.  However, transport of text/html using a charset
   other than US-ASCII may require base64 or quoted-printable encoding
   for 7-bit channels.

   As with all MIME text subtypes, the canonical form of "text/html"
   must always represent a line break as a sequence of a CR byte value
   (0x0D) followed by an LF (0x0A) byte value.  Similarly, any
   occurrence of such a CRLF sequence in "text/html" must represent a
   line break.  Use of CR byte values and LF byte values outside of
   break sequences is also forbidden. This rule applies regardless of
   the character encoding ('charset') involved.

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   Note, however, that the HTTP protocol allows the transport of data
   not in canonical form, and, in particular, with other end-of-line
   conventions; see [HTTP] section 3.7.1. This exception is commonly
   used for HTML.

   HTML sent via email is still subject to the MIME restrictions; this
   is discussed fully in [MHTML] Section 10.

5. Recognizing HTML files

   Almost all HTML files have the string "
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