Wednesday, January 26, 2011

More on the HTML5 Logo

W3C 'Official' HTML5 logo There is so much buzz now and in the past week that it's hard to pick out only a few items to address. I still have an opinion on just about everything going on with the spec, W3C, WHATWG, additional specs, the "pundits," and many other things that could lead to endless ranty posts. But for now I am going to give some more detail on the logo "controversy."

I am physically air-quoting controversy because the logo itself isn't really the source of the issue, but the process and supporting documentation around it has caused a lot of discussion and a fight among at least a handful who have some say or influence on the specs themselves.

Tantek Çelik is a name most web developers will (or at least should) recognize, though if you don't I suggest you look him up. He wrote up a blog post citing how he, Jeremy Keith and Bruce Lawson were rather critical of the HTML5 logo FAQ from the W3C (let's forget that I may have scooped at least one of them, which just shows you how big I let me ego get) for claiming that the HTML5 logo represents more than just HTML5. While the W3C went ahead and fixed the FAQ based on the (rather valid) feedback from them and so very many others, Tantek still has more feedback for W3C. In particular he called out Offline & Storage, Device Access, Performance & Integration and The Movement. What is so much of a relief to many of us is to see that the W3C has made those changes today, showing that as an organization it is being responsive to the feedback from the people who are actually using and evangelizing HTML5. You can read Tantek's comments in detail at W3C Updates HTML5 Logo Messaging FAQ, Open To More Suggestions.

Doug Schepers had a hand in the new HTML5 logo and takes some time to address all the criticism that has been levied at the W3C as a result of the logo and accompanying language. The title of his post gives away his perspective before you need to dive in too far: HTML5 Logorrhea, or Use Your Inside Voice. He recounts some of the decision making process that went into developing the logo, which was surprisingly secretive for a body providing open standards. And then Jeremy Keith jumped in with comments, taking what was almost a plea for people to calm down and turning it into a well-mannered brawl. But a brawl that I think needed to happen for both sides to get all the items on the table. Of course, with a comment system you get other people tossing in their two cents (including someone who felt the logo and support icons are clearly based on military markings and far too violent a theme for a spec). In the end, the fight in the comments comes down to the process the W3C went through to generate the logo.

Given the W3C's attempts to abandon HTML for the semantically pure but practically infeasible XHTML2 specification, which demonstrated just how out of touch the working groups were with day-to-day web development and causing the formation of WHATWG, it's no surprise to see people recoil at the notion that the W3C is again doing some tinkering behind closed doors.

There has been plenty already said about the logo, some of which I am re-linking below, and there have been plenty of parodies, which I also link below. One thing is clear — the process and language around the logo have certainly generated far more interest and activity in HTML5 from those not involved in the W3C or authors on these topics than you could hope to get from a plain old press release.

Related Links

Logo/Process/Language Commentary

Logo Variations (fun stuff)

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