back to article W3C tackles HTML5 confusion with, um, more confusion

The Worldwide Web Consortium has unveiled its HTML5 logo. And much like Apple, Google, and Microsoft before it, the organization that oversees HTML5 has confused it with all sorts of other web standards. The W3C's new HTML5 logo is a "general-purpose visual identity" that denotes HTML5, CSS, SVG, WOFF, and other technologies …


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  1. Graham Wilson

    That HTML5 'thing' 'tis like a buggered up Superman logo, is this indicative of its performance?


    Copying the Superman logo then buggering it up has to be a worry, it doesn't leave users with a great deal of confidence.

    I've looked at most of the HTML5 drafts as they've become available and to me version 5 is a gross disappointment. It's strictures are sufficient that HTML5 ought to be called 'XHTML lite', and the 'enforced' use of CSS will ensure that HTML 4.1 will never die out. (I wonder what colour W3C jackboots are?)

    HTML5 has been deliberately designed to suit the browser manufacturers more than ordinary normal users, so quick and dirty hand coding for simple jobs will future become a pain (a clear separation between XHTML and a simple and flexible HTML would have made sense, now we've a gooey messy compromise that will mostly annoy).

    Moreover, HTML5 done nothing to reduce the maddening and ridiculous plethora of Web standards, in fact it's made matters worse. Tower of Babel eat your heart out!

    HTML5 should have been a straight forward simple upgrade of 4.1, instead we've an over-bloated, inelegant, 'structured' monstrosity that could only be designed by a committee of anally-retentives.

    Even Microsoft couldn't do worse. Perhaps the Microsoft non-standard HTML virus virulently mutated before it hit the W3C camp.

    1. CD001



      HTML5 has been deliberately designed to suit the browser manufacturers more than ordinary normal users


      Think about this for a moment - under XHTML all the tags needs to be XML well-formed. This means the browser doesn't need to worry about whether that <p> tag is followed by an </p> tag. In theory then, if the code passes XHTML validation the browser doesn't need to fall back to tag-soup rendering and _should_ be able to process the page faster.

      Again, in theory, if XML "well-formedness" was mandatory (and web designers were taught to write half decent code) browsers could do away with tag soup rendering all together, chop out a huge lump of code and be more efficient.

      HTML 5 not only allows XML well formed tags but ALSO HTML 4 style unclosed tags - and both are valid. It's a standard in which there's no standard way of doing things. This doesn't sound like something designed to suit browser manufacturers to me - more like something designed to cater to lazy arsed web designers who can't code for toffee.

      1. Martin Nelson
        Thumb Up

        Graphic Designers are the problem

        I heartily agree with you.

        I'm self-employed as a web-designer and one thing I've always ensured is that whatever the look of the site, the code behind it MUST be spot on. Not only that but I've always found that sensible URL paths make for ease of use too (BBC's old iPlayer site was a great example too you to tv programmes beginning with D, what could be simpler?).

        What has driven me round the bend is the huge array of idiot photoshop users whose coding and web design just isn't up to scratch. I mean to the point I've had people ask me why they think their website can't be viewed by some people properly (a "graphic web designer" had coded incorrectly and only Firefox and Opera displayed correctly).

        I like HTML 4 why they didn't just add functionality to use a computer's default video codec for playing video and neatened up some of the HTML4 edges I don't know!

  2. brainwrong


    Is that it?

    It looks pathetic.

    Do normal people even know or care what HTML is?

    Besides, you mention a T-shirt. Is there a link for that, or did you make that bit up?

    1. NorthernSands
      Thumb Up

      HTML5 T-Shirt...

  3. NorthernSands

    You what?

    What a ridiculous thing to go and do! Where as we currently have logos for our websites that indicate a strict compliance to XHTML, CSS, or whatever, and a click-through to verify that, we're now going to get a logo that looks as though it was designed by some two-bit, half baked security outfit that's going to mean absolutely nothing!

    Now, it might have been a good idea to develop a logo and certification program that meant a website was using a sub-set of a fixed group of web-technology (and nothing else). A logo that the browsers companies could display to denote that they support ALL of the fixed group of web-tech. They could have really gone to town and had variants to denote different versions of an available site, e.g. a mobile version, or accessible version that works well with screen readers or would reflow nicely with larger fonts. You know; something useful!

    Looks like common sense and joined up thinking have left the building with regards to HTML5.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother


    I like the html upgrade thing, but the new logo is, well, strange. What's with that shield motif and the rays? Rather heroic for a mere spec upgrade. On the other hand, the color scheme make me want to fall into a deep slumber. Sigh.

    Perhaps the design is supposed to reflect the corporate battles raging all around the new spec?

  5. Sean Baggaley 1

    Dear W3C.

    HTML, CSS, SVG, WOFF and all those other acronyms and abbreviations are just so much alphabet soup to 99% of the people who will be *using* the fruits of their interactions.

    However, CSS without HTML is pointless. These are interdependent technologies, so it makes little sense to waste precious time and effort throwing tantrums over what "HTML5" actually means.

    Why not just invent an *umbrella* name for it all. You know: like Microsoft did for their own .NET suite of technologies.

    Here's an idea: call it "Web5". Design a pretty badge. (Hell, just recycle the one you just made and replace "HTML" with "WEB" instead.) If a product supports "Web5", it must support HTML5, CSS3, WOFF, SVG, etc. Don't support 'em all? You don't get to slap the badge on your product or your website.

    There! See? Wasn't so hard, was it?

    1. The Beer Monster

      To paraphrase an old gag about films...

      You can't call it Web 5.

      The Americans would wonder what happened to Web 3 and Web 4...

    2. John 62

      CSS without html?

      CSS was developed for HTML (and should have been a lot better designed), but it's just text so there's probably someone somewhere is using it independently of (x)HTML/XML.

  6. Shades

    Ban Boutique B*ll*cks Now!

    "consistent, standardized visual vocabulary to serve as a framework for conversations, presentations and explanations moving forward,"


  7. mikem

    More than meets the eye?

    It sort of looks like the transformers logo....

  8. Anonymous Coward


    Who is going to stick an HTML5 logo on their websites anyway? Why the hell would you want to?

    It either renders, or it doesn't, regardless of what logo it has on it. If I hit a site that doesn't render properly, I just go elsewhere. I don't look to see which standard it thinks it's compliant with.

  9. rhdunn
    Thumb Up

    Validity and Compliance

    Because the standards that fall under the HTML5 umbrella are in draft/candidate status, it is impossible to say "this site conforms to HTML5" or "this site conforms to CSS3 Box Model". The best you can say at this point is "This site is using experimental features of HTML5, CSS3, etc.".

    The purpose of the mini logos is to show which experimental features of HTML5, CSS3, etc. are being used, so instead of saying "This site uses HTML 5" it says e.g. "HTML5 Powered with CSS3 / Styling, Multimedia, and Semantics".

    The W3C have HTML5 markup validation support in their markup validation suite, but don't provide a logo for it again due to the draft status.

  10. TeeCee Gold badge

    I'm sorry, what?

    How the hell can you follow: "consistent, standardized visual vocabulary to serve as a framework for conversations, presentations and explanations moving forward,"....

    ...with: "...he explains."?

    In exactly what way is that an explanation rather than the heavily sandalwood-scented load of complete and utter steaming bollocks it appears to be?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is that the Transformers logo?

    I never liked HTMLx, it's not rigorous enough and lets dummies get away with a lot of crap. You know, the kind of people who put HTML on their CV as a "programming skill". That, and the fact that many use Frontpage?


    1. CD001


      And to "focus on the quality and development of HTML 5" they killed off XHTML 2 which looked a better (albeit more complex) specification if you ask me.

  12. bob's hamster


    What an awful logo; I could have knocked something better up in Fireworks in about 5 minutes flat, and I have very limited graphic design skill.

  13. Nya

    Way to messy!

    Least it means you can slap a HTML5 logo on IE6 though thanks to this wonderous "it doesn't need to comply to use the logo" rule :P

  14. John King 1

    When to start?

    I've been rolling in CSS3 progressive enhancements into my web sites for a while now but I still think I'm a year, maybe two, away from embracing HTML5.

    Is there a reason to build a HTML5 website now unless you specifically set out to build a "look at me I'm so up to date" HTML5 website?

    1. CD001


      Now - maybe not. There are some improvements in the semantics of HTML 5 though which should mean, in future, HTML 5 pages could be better processed automatically.

      The <nav> list for instance semantically marks up that part of the document as being a navigational list. Probably fairly useless at the moment but it could be useful for something like the automatic generation of sitemaps or to help search engine robots get a feel for the importance of pages by the <nav> list nesting.

      So there are some improvements in HTML 5 but probably none worth attempting in a live environment until the "standard" has been standardised.

  15. Anonymous Coward


    Perhaps those tossers at the W3 should spend more time actually getting standards finalised, and less time discussing (and spending money on) pointless logos and crapping all over the web.

    Maybe they originally tried a coming up with a logo for the whole web platform, but being an unimaginative bunch could only think of something involving a spider.

    Come to think of it, who made them the lords of what goes on the web? It seems to me like they've lost their marbles/balls (case in point, the <video> debacle).

    Any idea how they could be replaced?

  16. david 63

    There's a working draft of a standard... go and implement it and stop with the dick measuring competitions.

  17. LJRich

    Picky picky

    Except they have! They even said that the logo didn't mean that CSS, SVG etc is HTML, but that until a better name comes along then HTML5 is the accepted term for this collection of technologies.

    I vote for "Web 2.1" myself.

    But it'll end up being whatever Steve Jobs wants it to be called. iWeb, or somesuch.

    1. techulture

      Web 2.1

      Yes, web 2.1. That is a term I could use.

  18. Shonko Kid

    Bad spliff?

    Either that or they had the whale song on too loud.

  19. Dharmesh Mistry
    Thumb Up

    I like Gartner's defintion

    Personally I believe in the "it's exactly what it says on the tin" approach so HTML5 is just that.....everything that has been enhanced in HTML since the last version. This includes the main 900 page spec and any sub specs, BUT NOT RELATED TECHNOLOGIES.

    Gartner talk about the family of related technologies as the "Modern Web Technologies", I personally think this is a better defintion and approach.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Creative director spouts contradictory b*llocks

    .... is not really news.

    "Its doesn't really means anything" [nudge, we got paid loads of money]

    " well except that it means peace and love and gives you a framework for a conversation" ..

    utter sh*te

  21. fordie

    An overarching term is a good idea

    But using HTML5 to mean the HTML spec & everything else is just muddying the waters. I prefer Bruce Lawson's suggestion New Exciting Web Technologies (NEWT) Mainly because it's tongue in cheek.

  22. Jamie Kitson

    Irony Upon Irony

    "The irony is that the logo is meant to clear up confusion over the HTMl5 moniker."

    HyperText Markup Initiative perhaps?

  23. Richard Porter
    Thumb Down


    It looks like a cheap car bonnet badge the HTML Mk.5. If the logo is going to be displayed on web sites it needs to be in the right proportions for a 88 x 31px button.

  24. Tom 7

    A rose by any other name

    Shit logo - but its a lot better than the London 2012 logo and a lot cheaper.

    Glad to see people are more concerned about style than functional content.

  25. Dan P

    Web 5.0?

    I'm surprised that they didn't just go the whole hog and call it Web 5.0, given how it seems to cover every web-based or -enabled technology currently known to man.

  26. Neil Stansbury

    XML is Dead

    One spec to rule them all, One spec to bind them.

    It appears that nothing nothing less than world domination are the goals of the HTML 5 Working Group.

    Not enforcing XML wellformedness on HTML 5 is a shocking omission, and it can only be because they are trying to be all things to all people.

    HTML4's coding style is lazy, defunct, and is the web 10 years ago. Arguing that authors can choose HTML5 with a well-formed XML syntax is a moot point - you shouldn't get the goodies if you aren't prepared to make the effort.

    Strict well-formed HTML5 would still be fully backwards compatible with previous versions of HTML, and invalid XHTML5 easily falls back to HTML4 as HTML5 does already.

    They have already co-opted the SVG namespace into HTML5 and now it seems XBL is next.

    Having separate standards is a good thing, and correct XML namespace support allows the inclusion of any other XML standard the authors choose.

    Each spec lives or dies by it's own utility and support. We don't need to wait 10 years for one big bloated brain fart to be released.

    Browsers should claim to be "Web 2.1" or "Web 3.0" compliant, the W3C specifies the various specs that must be implemented to make that claim.

    The arrival of non-strict HTML 5 is a bad day for the web - and especially the semantic one at that.

  27. Steven Pemberton

    Don't confuse the W3C with the person who designed the logo

    The article seems to confuse two very different things: the organisation that commissioned the logo, and the guy working for the company that designed it. Just because a graphic designer says the logo represents CSS as well, doesn't mean that W3C agree with him or asked him to say it.

  28. Bill Coleman

    Screw the "HTML5" T-shirt

    ...I want this one:

    But seriously, who gives a rats ass apart from the people who ought to know the difference anyway?

    This logo is obviously strictly pitched at the idiot CIOs who are going to embark on the good ship bandwagon by commissioning upgrades to already perfectly dysfunctional sites to make them even more dysfunctional. With a transformers badge.

  29. brainwrong

    @ NorthernSands

    They're all creased.

    Almost as bad as the bicycle inner tube I bought recently with a puncture already in it.

    What the fuck is the world coming to?

    Buy for pennies, sell for pounds. I blame capitalism gone too far, but that's an unpopular opinion. It'll all go properly wrong sometime soon, the past 2 years or so were just a hiccup.

  30. bazza Silver badge

    Not for me

    I think I'm going to leave my browser turned down to HTML4.

  31. Andy Mac

    This explains everything

    I was wondering why the HTML 5 spec has taken 13 years to get this far. It's because they've been too busy designing the logo and writing vapid marketing bollocks.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    13 years.

    And you wounder why web browsers might implement non standard things instead of waiting for the new standards to come out .

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