Unfortunately, the standards battles of the 1970s with respect to GML were repeated in the early 1990s with respect to HTML. As the number of applications for HTML increased exponentially, entrepreneurial-minded Internet browser vendors added new features to the HTML model, eventually getting to the point where there were nearly as many different versions of HTML as there were browsers. In response to this, Berners-Lee founded a new organization, made up prin- cipally by those same vendors as well as a host of SGML experts who had wrestled with many of the same problems a generation earlier. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) took shape in 1994 and immediately set to work trying both to stabilize the still-morphing HTML and to try to solve some of the more egregious problems besetting the standard. By 1996, the W3C had established a stylistic language called Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) that made it possible to separate the logical structure from its media representation. Additionally, the SGML community had attempted to create an alternative language that would use HTML/SGML-like syntax and sundry tools Moreover, although people said HTML was written in SGML, thats actually a bit of revisionist history. Berners-Lee was attempting to solve a problem: how to make physics abstracts (summaries of articles) available to the researchers at the Center for European Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland, which was where Berners-Lee worked when developing the HTTP and HTML specifications. He had encountered SGML and developed an SGML-like solution to what he per- ceived to be a small-scale problem. What he hadnt counted on was how quickly HTML would take off. Meanwhile, in the United States, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) had been quietly seeding the nascent Arpanet (the pre- cursor of the Internet) with projects to utilize SGML as a way of describing more generic entities than simple documents. In fact, DARPA was a major contributor to the National Centers for Supercomputing Applications research laboratories across the country, including the one at the University of Illinois that helped fund the creation of the Mosaic browser. It is entirely possible that had Berners-Lee not written HTML, an SGMLish language would have emerged soon thereafter because the research community had been working with SGML as data struc- tures even around that time. 7 Why SVG? NOTE This is not to discount the real contribution that Berners-Lee made to the effort, which was as much to give away Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and its systems rather than charge for it as it was to develop the language in the first place.