back to article W3C apologizes for HTML5 brand confusion

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has apologized for the confusion created by its new HTML5 logo Ian Jacobs, the W3C's head of marketing and communications, has conceded that the wording that accompanied Tuesday's unveiling of the HTML5 logo may have confused some people and slighted others. Jacobs singled out the statement …


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  1. Oninoshiko

    O.O WHATWG is like watching an ambulence wreck...

    you want to look away, but morbid curiosity keeps you glued. I don't think I have words that accurately describe just how awful this is.

    Drop the 5 from HTML 5? What is this moron thinking? Thats a version number, because there are multiple versions of it and we need a way to distingish them. I have a better idea, lets just drop "What WG?" (gotta admit, they are living up to their name!), preferably off the nearest cliff.

    And "Head of ... Communications?" I think the gentalmen has proven he isn't really qualified for that title, twice in one week.



    whatever happened to xhtml? I thought that was because, well, it was xml.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      XHTML2 got killed, unfortunately. I'd rather have competing specs to be honest, at least there would be a choice.

      I don't think many people ever properly served XHTML as XML anyway, which from what I read was supposed to happen. People didn't like incomplete page downloads, or malformed pages as XML errors.

      1. CD001

        You couldn't

        You couldn't serve XHTML Strict as XML without older versions of Internet Explorer borking (7 and down if I remember rightly) - I did try it once - and it was only really Strict that had to be served as XML.

        Oh, and strict doesn't support iframes so following "industry guidelines" for 3D Secure falls over.

      2. The First Dave


        "I'd rather have competing specs to be honest, at least there would be a choice."

        You did have this, for quite a while - XHTML competed with HTML4 but clearly you didn't notice. To be honest nobody really noticed, because the 'race' was rather like a snail taking on Usain Bolt - to cut a long story short, XHMTL did not win, but the competition did occur.

  3. Tron Silver badge

    WHATTF? They get paid for this?

    So you can have an HTML5 compliant browser that won't play HTML5 video because the codecs are not defined and some aren't open, the big guns throwing their toys out the pram and re-running the old VHS/Betamax thing.

    And you can have HTML5 called HTML by WHATWG that won't work on an 'HTML compliant' browser because HTML <> WHATWG HTML.

    And they couldn't even get the logo right. Have these guys ever considered a career in politics? They'd fit in so easily.

    I guess we'll all have to run with HTML5ish* and hope that HTML6 will only involve entirely open standards that nobody has to pay any fees to implement in full and will work on all HTML6 browsers.

    *Note that HTML5ish is not the same thing as HTML5a, HTML5.1, HTML TNG and SORTA-HTML5.

    HTML5, competency zero.

  4. TeeCee Gold badge


    "for a number of reasons are unable to join the W3C group"

    Obligatory HHGTTG quote:

    "You're a load of useless bloody loonies!"

    "Ah yes, that was it....that was the reason...."

  5. Martin 71 Silver badge

    Title :-)

    It also looks like the logo of a failed 1950s superhero.

  6. KenBW2


    WHATWG has determined that HTML5 is more "mature than any specification to date" and that it's senseless to keep calling it a draft. "The WHATWG HTML spec can now be considered a 'living standard'," said Googler Ian Hickson. WHATWG is also dropping the "5" from the spec and just calling it HTML.

    Ian Hickson's stupidity and lack of foresight never fails to amaze me. He wants to release HTML5^W as a standard when it's untested and non-finalised. He bitches about the W3C's glacial pace, but it was there for a reason - not to get $CoolNewFeature out the door asap. It's arguably the world's most important format - it needs some planning and extended testing, not to mention futureproofness. Argh, why did they scrap XHTML

  7. Poor Coco
    Thumb Up

    A suggestion

    From now on simply refer to WHATWG as "WHAT Working Group?"

  8. AlexS
    Thumb Down

    Thanks W3C

    I remember explaining to a client that the word "Web 2" was basically marketing hype for a group of technologies. They still didn't get it.. as far as they were concerned it was the web reinvented. So now another hurdle to jump over - thankyou Mr Marketing Person.

  9. John Tserkezis

    The LOGO?!

    Holy crap, the LOGO?! Of all they could apologise for, THE FREAKING LOGO?

  10. heyrick Silver badge

    Does this even matter?

    I remember days long ago when W3C took so long to make basic revisions to the spec that browsers just went ahead and implemented their own ideas. That isn't to say this is a good thing, but I think the standardisation of HTML may be down more to market forces driving a need for a unified, consistent dialect of HTML, though even today there are differences, and on older browsers, CSS&XHTML looks worse than HTML 2!

    For a branding, will the world pay much attention to this?

  11. johnnytruant

    the thing is

    There isn't really a version number for HTML, not in any meaningful sense. What there is, is browser support for a variety of features, depending on the browser. As a developer, you can only use elements which are well supported by the majority of browsers - you can't just say "let's use html5 or html4 or xhtml or whatever", you make decisions based on what (rough) percentage of users will or won't be able to use your site. You don't say "we'll use HTML5 for this", you say "we'll use <canvas> because it's an intranet site and we know that company runs the latest version of Chrome on it's desktops" or "we'll need to use Flash for this because we can't rely on enough users for the client to be happy having support for the <video> tag"

    Hixie is right on dropping the version number. It's meaningless and always has been for the whole 15 years I've been making websites for a living.

    The silly logo and so on is just pointless noise from Marketing hats who want to brand everything so they can talk about it and pretend to be techies. Thanks to this kind of nonsense, there will be studios all over the world where clients are demanding "the site must be html5" because they've heard of it and feel clever when they use acronyms and numbers, then the sound of facepalming devs will echo shortly after. Dropping any sort of version number will help this problem.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Yeah, but it's only meaningless to you because in that fifteen years there hasn't actually been a change to HTML spec really, and lets face it, XHTML was nice but it was just XMLification of HTML4.01.

  12. Shaun Roe

    Suck it up

    ..just drop the 'X' from XHTML. There you go, all better.

  13. [Yamthief]

    The Oatmeal...

    ...has provided an awesome comic regarding this new logo here:

  14. Jamie Kitson

    Interesting Take:

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