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Several months had passed since HTML 2.0 had been ratified and HTML 3.0 expired. Both before and after the demise of the HTML 3.0 draft the creation of new elements and attributes had been proliferating in several browsers. The W3C decided to form an Editorial Review Board to consider the many extensions being made to HTML for official inclusion into a new specification. This board committed itself to creating a comprehensive set of HTML specifications that integrated this new work into the official body of the HTML language.
At the beginning of May, 1996 at the World Wide Web conference in Paris, France, the review board announced HTML 3.2 (code named "Wilbur") which was an amalgamation of HTML 2.0 features, a set of features from HTML 3.0 that survived the experimental deployment period, plus select extensions created and implemented by browser vendors. It also had as its goal, like HTML 2.0, to capture the common HTML capabilities in current browsers at the time of its creation (circa May, 1996.)
There are some common browser extensions and important features that are noticeable by their absence in HTML 3.2. They include Style Sheets, Frames, Scripting, Math and Internationalization. It has been stated that these features WILL appear in future HTML proposals in some form.
Why it is important
With the demise of HTML 3.0, Many users and browser creators alike have wanted some standard to replace HTML 2.0 as the content on the web has grown increasingly more complex. Since its introduction in May 1996, HTML 3.2 quickly became THE de-facto replacement to HTML 2.0 - both for HTML authors and browser creators - even before it was a recommendation.