<html>: the "HTML document" or "root element"

The HTML <html> element represents the root (top-level element) of an HTML document, so it is also called the root element. All other elements must be descendants of this element.

Attributes

manifest

Specifies the URI of a resource manifest indicating the resources that should be cached locally.

version

Specifies the version of the HTML document type definition that governs the current document. This attribute is not necessary, because it is redundant with the version information in the document type declaration.

xmlns

Specifies the XML namespace of the document. The default is “http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml”. This is required in documents parsed with XML parsers and optional in text/html documents.

Example

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
  <head>...</head>
  <body>...</body>
</html>

Accessibility issues

Although HTML does not require authors to specify the start and end tags of the <html> elements, it is important that authors do so as it will allow them to specify the lang tags for the web page. Provide a lang attribute with a tag valid language on the <html> element will help the screen reading technology determine the correct language to announce. The language identification tag should describe the language used by most of the content on the page. Without it, screen readers will typically default to the operating system's set language, which could cause mispronunciations.

Including a valid lang declaration on the <html> element also ensures that important metadata contained in the <head> tag, such as the <title> tag, is also announced correctly.