HTML 5 or HTML5?
Post from September 11, 2009 (↻ September 27, 2020), filed under Web Development.
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It’s “HTML5,” not “HTML 5,” declares the most recent post on the WHATWG blog. A seemingly trivial matter, yet compare that to names of other HTML specifications: HTML 2.0, HTML 3.2, HTML 4.01, XHTML 1.0, XHTML 1.1, XHTML 2.0.
Calling HTML 5 “HTML5” is inconsistent and—grammatically wrong. I could use strong language. Personally I’ll continue to reference this version of HTML as… HTML 5.
I’m Jens, and I’m an engineering lead—currently manager for Developer Experience at LivePerson—and author. I’ve worked as a technical lead for Google, I’m close to W3C and WHATWG, and I write and review books for O’Reilly. I love trying things, sometimes including philosophy, art, and adventure. Here on meiert.com I share some of my views and experiences.
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On September 11, 2009, 10:47 CEST, Francesco said:
HTML 5! 
On September 11, 2009, 15:46 CEST, Check said:
On September 11, 2009, 20:49 CEST, Jens Nedal said:
I wonder what is behind that kind of naming convention. Silly really. Has any plausible explanation been given to date?
The spec had previously made a distinction between “HTML 5″ (with space) the vocabulary, and “HTML5″ (without space) the syntax. Similarly, “XHTML5″ (without space) was used to refer to the XML serialisation of HTML5. This distinction between the vocabularly and syntax was removed as it was realised that trying to maintain such a distinction based merely on the presence or absence of a space was not very sensible, and so a choice was made to stick with just one spelling and be self-consistent within the spec.
On September 17, 2009, 7:47 CEST, Divaharlal said:
HTML5 is good to pronounce. Its a next generation markup by w3c, so its better to have a difference
On September 19, 2009, 23:28 CEST, Larry Soule said:
HTML5 is an update to both html 4.1 and xhtml 1.1. When completed, it will be more drastic then any other html update has been. It will completely change the way web sites and applications are written.
It is much like when Mac went from version 9.2 to 10.0. They “rebranded” the name to OS X. Yes, its still OS 10, but it was such a drastic change to the os, that they chose to use a new name.
On September 24, 2009, 12:08 CEST, chaz said:
y not call.. ” HTML five “
Thanks for the link to read the arguments. I don’t see a valid reason for omitting the space. I agree with you that I’ll be referencing HTML 5.
As dumb as the arguement over a space is, I actually came across this when I was writing my last Smashing Article [http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/07/16/html5-and-the-future-of-the-web/]. I ended up using HTML5, but for consistancy throughout the article I also used HTML4.01 and XHTML1.0.
But for what it’s worth, I think HTML 5 looks nicer
I am with you as well. HTML 5, of course.
On October 14, 2009, 11:45 CEST, HTMLer said:
HTML 5, +1
It’s branding. HTML5 is the most important revision to the spec to date. It deserves to be paraded around on its own pedestal.
I imagine the convention that has arisen to remove the space occurred by circumstance. People just started removing the space sub-consciously. They realised in-between words that the entity that is HTML5 had become more than just the spec.
Sorry, but no.
If the WHATWG once and for all decides it should be ‘HTML5’, who are we to say differently?
Also, (incorrectly) referring to HTML5 as ‘HTML 5’ might have consequences you haven’t considered. For one, the HTML5watcher Twitter bot will only log tweets matching ‘HTML5’, not ‘HTML 5’. Of course, this is just an example – but I’m sure you see the point.
This is why we have standards, people!
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