Timeline of technologies for publishing (1963-2018)

Licence Creative Commons gitlab.com/JulieBlanc/timeline-publishing

Hardware, OS & platforms

Reading softwares

Publishing softwares

Softwares and systems for text

Web-based technologies

Formats and languages

Unix (AT&T's Bell Laboratories)

0perating system

Optical character recognition

Electronic conversion of images of text into machine-encoded text

IBM 5100 (IBM)

Portable Computer available to the mass market

Apple II (Apple)

First mass-produced microcomputer

Xerox Star (Xerox Corporation)

First computer with graphical user interface

Compact Disc (Sony, Philips)

LaserWriter (Apple)

First laser printer available to the mass market

GRiDPad (GRiD Systems)

Pen computing tablet

GNU Project (Richard Stallman)

Free-software, mass-collaboration project

Multi-touch Technology

Windows 1.0 (Microsoft)

Graphical operating environment

Linux (Linus Torvalds)

Open source operating system kernel

Bookman (Sony)

Small device that plays CDs

E Ink (MIT)

Electronic paper display technology

Gyricon (Xerox PARC)

Electronic paper

Trafford Publishing

Company for self publishing using print on demand technology

Mac OS 7.6 (Apple)

Operating systems (rebranding)

PalmPilot (Palm Inc)

Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs)

SoftBook Press (SoftBook Press)

First commercial handheld e-readers

BlackBerry OS (BlackBerry Limited)

Mobile operating system

Nokia 9210 Communicator (Nokia)

Mobile phone with large screen

USB flash drive (M-Systems IBM)

Cybook Gen1 (Cytale)



Open-source hardware and software

LIBRIe (Sony)

First commercial E Ink e-reader

iPhone 1 + iOS (Apple)

Smartphone and mobile operating system

Kindle (Amazon)


Android (Google)

Mobile operating system

Espresso Book Machine (Xerox)

Print on demand machine

Kobo eReader (Kobo)

e-reader with electronic ink screen

iPad (Apple)

Tablet computer

Raspberry Pi (Rasberry Pi Foundation)

Series of small single-board computers

Chrome OS (Google)

Operating system uses Chorme web browser
as its principal user interface

Projet Gutenberg (Michael S. Hart)

Digital library of books

First website (Tim Berners-Lee)


Repository of electronic preprints

Online books page

Index of e-text books

ABU, Association des Bibliophiles Universels (CNAM)

Public digital library project

WikiWikiWeb (Ward Cunningham)

First wiki

First weblog

The Robot Wisdom Weblog, Jorn Barger

Gallica (BnF)

Vast digitization program of Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF)

Web 2.0, Social web

Term invented by Darcy DiNucci

Digital Gutenberg Bible

Published by the British Library

Wikipedia (Wikimedia Foundation)

Multilingual, web-based, free encyclopedia

Wayback Machine (Internet Archive)

Digital archive of the World Wide Web


Online print-on-demand, self-publishing, and distribution platform

Wikisource (Wikimedia Foundation)

Digital library of free content textual sources

Google Books (Google)

Project to digitize books

Blurb, Inc.

Self-publishing platform

Open Content Alliance

Consortium of organizations abourt archive of digitized texts


EU digital platform for cultural heritage

Hathi Trust

Large-scale collaborative repository of digital content

Google Play Book

Ebook digital distribution service

NoteCards (Xerox PARC)

Hypertext-based personal knowledge base system

HyperCard (Bill Atkinson, Apple)

First successful hypermedia systems

WorldWideWeb browser (Tim Berners-Lee)

First web browser and editor

Line Mode Browser (Nicola Pellow)

Displayed web pages on dumb terminals

ViolaWWW (Pei-Yuan Wei)

Discontinued browser, recommended at CERN

Erwise (Helsinki University of Technology)

First web browser with a graphical user interface

Lynx (University of Kansas)

Customizable text-based web browser, oldest in activity

Mosaic (NCSA)

Web browser that popularized W.W.W. and Internet

Netscape Navigator (Netscape Communications Corp)

Dominant web browser in terms of usage share in the 1990s

Konqueror (KDE)

Free and open-source web browser and file manager

Konqueror KHTML (KDE)

Web browser based on the KHTML layout engine

Safari (Apple)

Web browser based on WebKit layout engine

Beaker (Blue Link Labs)

Peer-to-peer web browser

Internet Explorer (Microsoft)

Graphical web browser

Internet Explorer 3 (Microsoft)

Market's first commercial CSS implementation

Internet Explorer 4 (Microsoft)

Web browser based on Trident layout engine

Internet Explorer 8 (Microsoft)

Major improvement for web standards

Internet Explorer 11 (Microsoft)

Last version of IE web browser

Edge (Microsoft)

Lightweight web browser based on Edge engine

Opera (Telenor)

Web browser

Opera 7 (Opera Software)

Web browser based on Presto layout engine

Opera (Opera Software)

Opera became a freeware

Opera (Opera Software)

Web browser, changed its layout engine to Blink

Vivaldi ( Vivaldi Technologies)

Web browser close to Opera (Blink layout engine)

Phoenix (Mozilla Foundation)

Beta web browser developped by Mozilla

Firefox 1.0 (Mozilla)

Web browser based on Gecko engine

Firefox 57 (Mozilla)

Web browser, changed its layout engine to Quantum

Google Chrome (Google)

Web browser based on WebKit engine and V8 Javascript machine

Chromium (Google)

Open source web browser version of Chrome

Google Chrome 28 (Google)

Web browser, changed its layout engine to Blink

Acrobat Reader 1.0 (Adobe Systems)

Software for displaying and printing PDF

Flash Player

Freeware for using content created on the Flash platform

Mobipocket Reader

E-book reader software for mobi format

Adobe eBook Reader (Adobe Systems)

E-book reader

Acrobat Reader (Adobe Systems)

Family of softwares and Web services for PDF

Calibre (Kovid Goyal)

Suite of e-book software

Sumatra PDF (Krzysztof Kowalczyk)

Document viewer for PDF, EPUB, etc.

Adobe Digital Editions (Adobe Systems)

ebook reader software

Apple Books (Apple Inc.)

E-book reading and store application for iOS

Bluefire Reader

E-book reader application for Android, iOS and Windows

Mantano Reader

E-book reader application

Readium ePUB 3 reader

E-books reader for EPUB3 format

Bookari Reader

Mantano changes its name (Android, iOS and Chrome extension)

Lisa (Art Book Magazine)

Universal reading application for digital publications

Bravo (Xerox PARC)

First WYSIWYG document preparation program

Document Composition Facility

Desktop publishing Software using GML

LaTeX (Leslie Lamport)

Document preparation system based on TeX

Ready, Set, Go! (Manhattan Graphics)

Software package for desktop publishing (for Apple Macintosh)

PageMaker (Aldus)

Desktop publishing programs (for Apple Macintosh)

Ventura Publisher (Ventura Software)

First popular desktop publishing package for IBM PC

QuarkXPress (Quark, Inc.)

Publishing software for page layouts in a WYSIWYG

Timeworks Publisher (GST Software)

Affordable desktop publishing program

Ghostscript (L. Peter Deutsch, Artifex Software)

Interpreter for Adobe's PostScript and PDF page description languages

PagePlus (Serif Europe)

Desktop publishing (page layout) program

Microsoft Publisher

Entry-level desktop publishing application

PageMill (Adobe Inc.)


HoTMetaL(SoftQuad Software)

HTML-authoring software with several views (text and WYSIWYG)

InPage (Concept Software)

Page layout software for languages such as Arabic

FrontPage (Microsoft)

WYSIWYG HTML editor and website administration tool

Adobe FrameMaker (Adobe, Inc.)

Document processor for writing and editing structured documents


WYSIWYM document processor based on the LaTeX typesetting system

Amaya (W3C, INRIA)

WYSIWYG web authoring tool with browsing abilities

Flash 1.O (Macromedia)

Graphics and animation editor and a player

Dreamweaver (Macromedia)

Web development tool that combines a visual design surface and a code editor

Adobe InDesign (Adobe Systems)

Desktop publishing and typesetting software application

SPIP, Système de Publication pour l'Internet

CMS designed for web site publishing


Free desktop publishing application

Nvu (Mozilla)


Flash (Adobe)

Adobe Systems acquire Macromedia


Open source WYSIWYG HTML editor based

Coda (Panic Software)

Web development application for macOS

Django CMS

CMS written in Django

Jeckyll (Tom Preston-Werner)

Static site generator

Mambo (Mambo Foundation Inc.)

CMS for creating and managing websites

Sigil (Strahinja Val Marković)

Editing software for e-books in the EPUB format

Typekit (Adobe Systems)

Online service of library fonts

iStudio Publisher (iStudio Software)

Page layout and desktop publishing application

BookSmart (Blurb Inc.)

Bookmaking application for design and publish books

iBooks Author (Apple Inc.)

E-book authoring application (.ibooks export)

Booktype (Sourcefabric)

Software for create books to PDF, ePub, .mobi, and HTML formats

Playwrite (Wundr)

EPUB-based desktop publishing application


Static site generator written in Go

InDesign CC 9.2 (Adobe Systems)

Possibility to make EPUB 3 fixed layout

Affinity Publisher

Desktop publishing
and typesetting software application

Vi (Bill Joy)

Screen-oriented text editor


Family of text editors

WordPerfect (Brigham Young University)

Word processing application

WordStar (MicroPro)

Word processor application

RCS, Revision Control System (Walter F. Tichy)

First version control system

Microsoft Word (Microsoft)

WYSIWYG word processor (released under the name Multi-Tool Word)

MacWrite (Apple)

WYSIWYG word processor application

CVS, Concurrent Versioning System (Dick Grune)

Control system that keeps track changes in a set of files

Vim (Bram Moolenaar)

Clone, with additions vi text editor program

OpenOffice Writer

Open-source word processor


Default text editor of the GNOME desktop environment

BitKeeper (BitMover Inc.)

Distributed revision control of code

GNU nano

Text editor for Unix OS using a command line interface

Apache Subversion (CollabNet)

Software versioning and revision control system


CMS based on PHP and MySQL

Notepad++ (Don Ho)

Text editor and source code editor for Microsoft Windows

CKEditor (CKSource)

WYSIWYG rich text editor writing inside web pages

Git (Linus Torvalds)

Version-control system for tracking changes in files

Fossil (D. Richard Hipp)

Distributed version control system and wiki software server

Pandoc (John MacFarlane)

Software document converter for publishing workflows

Scrivener (Literature & Latte)

Word-processing program and outliner designed for authors

Sublime Text (Jon Skinner, Will Bond)

Source code editor with a Python API


Open source, web-based collaborative real-time editor

E Text Editor (Alexander Stigsen)

Text editor for Microsoft Windows with revision control system

iA Writer (Information Architects)

Text editor

LibreOffice Writer

Fork of OpenOffice Writer

Asciidoctor (Ryan Waldron)

Text processor and publishing toolchain

Brackets (Adobe)

Source source code editor


Online rich-text editor for HTML


Online rich-text editor for HTML

Writely (Upstartle)

Collaborative web-based word processor


Open source WYSIWYM (structured document) text editor written in JavaScript

Google Docs

Collaborative web-based word processor (Google acquierd Upstartle)

Zotero (George Mason University)

Reference management software to manage bibliographic data


Command line tools to render HTML into PDF (WebKit)

GitHub (GitHub)

Hosting service for version control using Git

Antenna House Formater (Antenna House Inc.)

Software that converts XML and HTML into printed PDF

Google Fonts

APIs for using hosted library fonts via CSS

BlueGriffon (Mozilla)

WYSIWYG content editor powered by Gecko

Fatpaint (Mario Gomes Cavalcanti)

Online graphic design and desktop publishing software

Ace, Ajax.org Cloud9 Editor

Standalone code editor written in JavaScript

GitLab (GitLab Inc.)

Git-repository manager

PhantomJS (Ariya Hidayat)

Headless browser used for automating web page interaction

WeasyPrint (Kozea)

Software that converts HTML documents into PDF

Epub.js (FuturePress.org)

Javascript library to render Epub documents


Book making tool based on CSS regions

Prince XML (Michael Day)

Software that converts XML and HTML documents into PDF

Ghost (ghost foundation)

Blogging platform written in JavaScript


Text and source code editor built using web technologies

HTML2print (Open Source Publishing)

Book making tool based on CSS regions

Bindery.js (Rode Island School of Design)

Library for designing printable books with HTML and CSS

Progressive Web Apps

Web applications that load like regular web sites

Visual Studio Code (Microsoft)

Source code editor based on Electron

Readium.js (Readium)

EPUB processing engine written in Javascript


JavaScript library for pagined content


Tools and libraries for web-based content production

Wax (Coko)

Web-based text editor


Tool to make interactive narratives for the web

Paged.js (Paged Media Initiative)

Polyfill for Paged Media CSS specifications

Percollate (Dan Burzo)

Command-line tool to turn web pages into PDFs

ASCII, American Standard Code for Information Interchange

Character encoding standard for electronic communication

GML, Generalized Markup Language (IBM)

First version of the markup language

JIS X 0201

First Japanese electronic character set

TeX (Donald Knuth)

typesetting system

JPEG, Joint Photographic Experts Group

Lossy compression for digital images

MetaFont (Donald Knuth)

Description language used to define raster fonts

Interpress (Xerox PARC)

Page description language

PostScript (Adobe Systems)

Page description language

Printer Postscript Description

Files describing the characteristics of a Postscript printer


Standardisation of ASCII

SGML, Standard Generalized Markup Language

Standard for defining generalized markup languages for documents

SQL, Structured Query Language (ANSI)

Database language

TIFF, Tagged Image File Format (Aldus)

Computer file format for storing raster graphics images

RTF, Rich Text Format (Microsoft Corporation)

Document file format with published specification

GIF, Graphics Interchange Format (CompuServe)

Bitmap image format

Open Document Architecture (ITU-T)

International standard document file format

GNU plotutils

Libraries for generating 2D plot graphics based on data sets


Unified encoding for most of the world's writing systems

TrueType (Apple, Microsoft)

Outline font standard

DocBook (O'Reilly, HAL computer systems)

Semantic markup language for technical documentation

Python (Guido van Rossum)

Interpreted high-level programming language

PostScript level 2 (Apple, Microsoft)

PDF, Portable Document Format (Adobe)

File format to present documents

UTF-8 (Unicode Standard)

Variable width character encoding capable of encoding allcode points in Unicode

MetaPost (John D. Hobby)

Description language used to define raster fonts

TEI Proposal 3 (Text Encoding Initiative)

Semantic technical standard

PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor (Rasmus Lerdorf)

Server-side scripting language

Dublin Core Shema

Small set of vocabulary terms be used to describe digital resources

JavaScript (Brendan Eich)

High-level, interpreted programming language.
One of core technologies of W.W.W

OpenType (Microsoft, Adobe)

Format for scalable computer fonts

ECMAScript (Ecma International)

Trademarked scripting-language specification

RSS 0.9, Rich Site Summary (Netscape)

Data formats used for web content syndication

OMDoc (Michael Kohlhase)

Semantic markup format for mathematical documents

JSON, JavaScript Object Notation

File format for objects data

RELAX NG, REgular LAnguage for XML Next Generation

Schema language for XML based on RELAX and TREX

Document Type Definition TEI-XML

TEI adopts XML for its DTC

PRISM, Publishing Requirements for Industry Standard Metadata

Set of XML metadata vocabularies for multi-purposing content


XML based markup language for describing mathematical models

Textile (Dean Allen)

Lightweight markup language

reStructuredText (David Goodger)

File format for textual data

JATS, Journal Article Tag Suite

XML format used to describe scientific literature published online

Markdown (John Gruber)

Lightweight markup language with plain text formatting syntax

Open Document (OASIS)

XML-based file format
for documents

Adobe PDF Print Engine

Complete rewrite of their RIP architecture

OpenXSP, Open XML Paper Specification
(Microsoft, Ecma International)

Specification for page description language and document format

Office Open XML (Microsoft)

XML-based file format


JavaScript library for client-side scripting

OpenType variable font (Adobe, Apple, Google, Microsoft)

Single font file to store multiple font variant (OpenType 1.8)

Web Accessibility Initiative

PNG, Portable Network Graphics

Raster graphics file format

HTML Working Group (Internet Engineering Task Force)

XML 1.0, Extensible Markup Language

Markup language for encoding documents

RDF Schema, Resource Description Framework Schema

Extensible knowledge representation data model

XSLT, Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations

Language for transforming XML documents

DOM, Document Object Model

Language application programming interface

MathML, Mathematical Markup Languag

Mathematical markup language

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

Set of recommendations for making Web content more accessible

SVG, Scalable Vector Graphics

XML-based vector image format

XML Schema Definition (Recommendation)

Specifies how to formally describe the elements in XML document

Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG)

Working group on HTML after splitting with W3C

WAI-ARIA, working draft

Web Accessibility Initiative – Accessible Rich Internet Applications

HTML Living Standard (WHATWG)

WOFF, Web Open Font Format (Recommendation)

Font format for use in web pages

Web publication, working draft

Collection of information describing a Publication
using the Open Web Platform standards

WOFF 2 (Recommendation)

Font format for use in web pages

HTML, Hypertext Markup Language

Standard markup language for creating web pages


Forms, tag <img>

HTML 2.0

HTML 3.0, working draft

HTML 3.2, recommendation

HTML 4.0, recommendation

XHTML, Extensible Hypertext Markup Language

Family of XML markup languages, extend HTML

HTML 5, working draft

Adoption of the work of the WHATWG by the W3C

HTML 5, recommendation

Fin de l'HTML Working Group

CSS, Cascading Style Sheets, working draft

Style sheet language used for describing the presentation
of a document written in a markup language

CSS 1, recommandation

Fonts, table, float

CSS 2, recommandation

70 additional properties

CSS 3, working draft

Divided into several separate "modules"

CSS 2.1, working draft

Embeded fonts, printing styles deleted

Dynamic cascading style sheets

Concept proposed by Jori Koolstra


Test page published and promoted
by the Web Standards Project

CSS 2.1, recommandation

CSS region, working draft

Media queries, recommandation

Content rendering adapts to conditions such as screen resolution

CSS @font-face, recommendation

Automatically download remote custom fonts

CSS Paged Media, working draft

Page model that partitions a flow into pages

CSS Custom Properties, recommandation

Cascading variables

CSS Grid Recommendation candidate

Two-dimensional grid-based layout system

DAISY, Digital Accessible Information SYstem

Technical standard for digital audiobooks and computerized text

OEB, Open eBook (Open eBook Initiative)

Legacy e-book format based on XML

Open eBook Publication Structure 1.0

E-book format based on OEB

Mobi format

Mobipocket e-book format is based on the Open eBook standard using XHTML

Microsoft LIT

DRM-protected LIT files of Microsoft Reader program


Open XML-based e-book format

EPUB, Electronic PUBlication

E-book file format and technical standard

EPUB 2.0

Structure based on XML

Kindle File Format (Amazon)

Proprietary e-book file format

EPUB 3.0

EPUB 3.1


W3C and IDPF have combined creating Publishing@W3C.