History's first webpage is still online and functional.

I was looking at its source out of interest and noticed that anchors consistently have a name attribute containing a stringified number, for example:

  Everything there is online about W3 is linked directly or indirectly to this document,
  including an <a name="24" href="Summary.html">executive summary</a> of the project
  <!-- ... -->

MDN says that it used to be a sort of id attribute that targeted a specific location on the page, but this doesn't seem right in this case, since anchors also have hrefs.

Screenshot of history's first webpage

Does anyone know what this was for?


2 Answers 2


Its a marker for a URL fragment. You can see the link for viola has the url


When you follow the link the tag with the name attribute set to the fragment is selected/scrolled to

  • Thanks, what confused me is that other links (like the one for NeXTStep) have a name but no # in their href, and in that case the name doesn't seem to be doing anything (try clicking NeXTStep). The one for Viola only works because it has the #35 at the end of the href Commented Aug 23, 2021 at 7:26
  • 1
    yes, it so other pages can link to the tag if they want to. so you give every section a name in case someone else wants to link to it
    – Ewan
    Commented Aug 23, 2021 at 17:34

The name attribute in older versions of HTML is exactly equivalent to the id attribute in later versions of HTML. There is no difference between the two, except for the fact that in modern HTML every element can have an id but in older HTML only some elements could have a name.


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