The code of
html32-mode.el mostly derived from NCSA
htmlmode.el by Marc
Andreessen email@example.com, which seemed to be the only HTML mode
available for the public until HTML 3.2 mode.
When I started writing HTML files (about fall of 1995), I used GNU Emacs (what else? ;-) and noticed that there exists an HTML mode. But this mode was designed for HTML 1.0 and the actual version was 2.0 and some programs started to use elements, that weren't standard (but later became stanard...). So it was very annoying, that < and > always entered < and > because you need them very often to use one of the new tags or just, if you don't want to learn all the short-cuts at once and typing tags manually.
For luck the GNU Emacs at the cs computer pool of our university had a modified HTML mode, which had short-cuts for some umlauts (ä, ö and ü). But this modification weren´t complete: e.g. the German S-Z-ligature (ß) was missing and also the "ë" and "ï" weren't implemented. (Which I need very often, because I'm a big Citroën fan... :-)
This htmlmode.el was quickly modified, so that it provided short-cuts for all umlauts repsective diëresis (ä, ë, ï, ö, ü and ÿ) as well as the German "sharp s" (ß) and some other useful HTML entities (like ©, ®, etc.). Also the < and > key mapping were changed to C-c < and C-c >, which were the former short-cuts to insert the real less-than and greater-than characters.
But this were only simple and small modifications, like the first ones for the umlauts. So this mode was never published and only used by me and some friends.
The next step was the implementation of all (planned) HTML 3.x entities. Therefore new prefixes were added: All accents (´, ` and ^) became prefixes for characters with accents and some special charaters, which couldn´t be used with the &-prefix, because there weren´t no good suffixes any more. (e.g. &2 was used as short-cut for "²" and ´2 for "½")
These modifications on my local htmlmode.el were done in spring 1997
and were used since summer 1997 on the whole cs computer
pool, the departement main server and the chair for AI, were I worked at this
time. The administrator for these Emacs installations, Eva
´Ms. Emacs´ Stopp, added therefore the help
function for the special character prefixes.
This was version 0.9 beta of HTML 3.2 mode.
In winter 1997/98 I worked over every part of the mode, added a lot of
functions to match nearly all HTML 3.2 tags, including region versions
where necessary, an ´easymenu´ menu, a function
similar to comment-region and changed a lot of the original version to
match actual requirements.
This was version 1.0 of HTML 3.2 mode.
The actual (possibly unstable) version can be found at the HTML 3.2 Mode download page.