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Spelling HTML5

by Henri Sivonen in WHATWG

What’s the right way to spell “HTML5”? The short answer is: “HTML5” (without a space).

People in the WHATWG community have commonly referred to HTML5 as “HTML5” for quite a while. However, when the W3C HTML WG voted on adopting “Web Applications 1.0” the question about the title said “HTML 5”. Thus, the W3C HTML WG voted to adopt “HTML 5” as the title, but it wasn’t a vote for or against the space but about “HTML” and “5” in contrast to e.g. “Web Applications 1.0”. Anyway, as a result, the spec was retitled literally “HTML 5”.

This lead to inconsistency. Sometimes people kept writing “HTML5” and sometimes “HTML 5” (even on This kind of inconsistency is bad for branding. The Super Friends pointed this issue out as the first thing they pointed out.

Now both the WHATWG Draft Standard and W3C Editor’s Draft spell it “HTML5”.

29 Responses to “Spelling HTML5”

  1. […] WHATWG Blog????Spelling HTML5??????W3C?WHATWG??????????????2???????????????????????????????????”HTML5″??????????????? […]

  2. I cannot believe how much time has been spent talking about the space in “HTML 5”. Seriously, don’t we have better things to worry about?

  3. Andrei >> HTML 5 explicitly does away with *all* of the version numbering possibilities that has ever been present in (X)HTML markup under the pretext that they are no longer necessary, so it should actually be simply “HTML” without any version number 5 if you’re looking for consistency with what’s actually being specified…

  4. Ian, regarding “don’t we have better things to worry about”: Yes, we have: pedagocial things.

    HTML 5 specifies both a vocabulary and 2 serialisatoins – text/html and xhtml.

    A pedagogic thing to do would be to use “HTML5” about the text/html syntax, “XHTML5” about the xhtml syntax. And “HTML 5” about the vocabulary. Plus “html5” when we are lazy.

  5. If branding is an issue i would propose to drop the version number entirely. Strong brands like ‘Coca Cola’ don’t have one either, and i am sure the recipe was changed more than 5 times…

  6. I’m with Ian. Seriously not going to lose any sleep over this issue. I mean, I know we’re talking about “standards” here, but jesus.. someone uses a space, someone else doesn’t, and suddenly there’s a giant debate? Really?

  7. Gryffyn, in what way is this “a giant debate?” It is *one* topic among many to do with HTML5.

    This isn’t a zero-sum game. It is possible to think about more than one issue at the same time. So, Ian, to answer your question, “don’t we have better things to worry about?”, yes, of course we do. And we are worrying about them.

    Humans beings aren’t Boolean. We can deal with multiple things simultaneously. To suggest that, if someone is thinking about how to spell HTML5, they therefore can’t be thinking about other issues is, frankly, ludicrous.

  8. have sex

    do drugs

    take up a new hobby

    anything to make you crazy fucking people GET AWAY FROM YOUR COMPUTERS

  9. Clearly it’s time to fork this into two working groups: HTML5 and HTML 5.

  10. Ian is right, we have better things to worry about. HTML 5 should be consistent with other HTML specs and thus be dubbed “HTML 5.”

    “Ian is right, we have better things to worry about. So we should take even more time and change it from what’s been decided and settled upon.”

  11. In my experience people who have better things to worry about don’t go to other people’s blogs and accuse them of having better things to worry about.

  12. HTML5 design principles do suggest that everything spec’d is done so with clarity. I imagine that should include spelling conventions.

    I have another gripe – and that’s that XHTML5 is a really disconcerting name. I hate it. It has no consistency with anything that came before (space or no space). HTML5 /includes/ both serializations, so why confuse the issue with yet another acronym?

    My 2 cents.

  13. Bad for branding? Ok, that is going to get wierd…. I didn’t think that either WHATWG nor the W3C HTML WG ever cared that much about branding.

    Ian: Agreed, there are other fires to douse with water than this… it’s such a non-issue, either is good.

  14. […] today I became aware of microdata, the proposed way of embedding semantic annotations into HTML5. (Yes, they adopted the syntax that Michael also prefers for OMDoc, and which I personally hate, but I will get used to it.) […]

  15. ranatalus has got it spot on – move away from the keyboard, go out, get trashed – jeezy peeps there are people dying in the world – life is way too short!!