HTML5 now includes CSS3, SVG and WOFF?

I doubt many of you missed it, but yesterday the W3C unveiled an HTML5 logo. Having a nice-looking logo for HTML5 is neat, but I think it’s unfortunate that the W3C are reinforcing the widespread misconception that HTML5 is pretty much anything “Web” that isn’t Flash.

From the logo’s FAQ page:

The logo is a general-purpose visual identity for a broad set of open web technologies, including HTML5, CSS, SVG, WOFF, and others.

I agree with what Jeremy Keith says about the need for this in Badge of shame:

We never needed a term to refer to “XHTML 1.0 plus CSS2.1” or “HTML4.01 plus JavaScript” or “any combination of front-end technologies.” Why this sudden all-conquering need for a term that covers so many different technologies as to be completely meaningless?

I think HTML5 risks becoming as unspecific as “Web 2.0”. Many people already say HTML5 when what they really mean is CSS3. This move from the W3C will not help people differentiate between very different technologies. What should I say when I talk about HTML5? Maybe “the part of HTML5 that looks like HTML” or “the semantic parts of HTML5”. Or maybe I’ll stick to just “HTML” as Jeremy suggests.

These days it isn’t very often you see a new post at the Web Standards Project, but the unveiling of the HTML5 logo prompted the posting of HTML5 logo: be proud, but don’t muddy the waters!. The post contains an open letter to the W3C, urging them to rethink the use of “HTML5” as a catch-all term. I agree.

For more thoughts on the HTML5 logo, see HTML5 Super Friends Assemble! and On the HTML5 logo.

Posted on January 19, 2011 in HTML 5, Web Standards