The W3C has unveiled a new logo for HTML5, a "striking visual identity for the open web platform." But really, what's more important here, a glitzy new logo or the potential end of Flash?

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What's the Purpose of the New HTML5 Logo?

Like any other logo, the HTML5 logo has the purpose to spread the word (or the image, if we are more precise) and to build brand awareness.

Contrary to what you might expect however, this logo isn't an official W3C logo yet -- it is just a pilot project to popularize HTML5, although it is expected that within the first quarter of 2011, W3C will adopt an official logo, which could possibly be exactly the piece you are looking at now.

The logo hasn't been designed as a symbol of proof that a site is HTML5 compliant. In fact, if the logo is used on any page, it doesn't mean that the site complies with the requirements of W3C but that, simply, the site designer sympathizes with HTML5. 

How Can I Use the New HTML5 Logo?

Designers will appreciate the new logo and will, no doubt, find millions of creative ways to incorporate it in their designs. If you don't think orange is your color, you can modify or download an alternative black and white version. The logo is designed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license -- providing people with lot of freedom to modify it. Just remember to credit the original authors.

What's New in HTML5 Besides the Logo?

The new HTML5 logo is exciting but it certainly isn't the only news surrounding HTML5. For instance, the canvas element moved a step further with the recently updated draft of the HTML Canvas 2D Context specification. Considered a Flash-killer, only the future will show if Flash will be kicked to the curb or not. 

The canvas element looks very promising because it allows not only to draw basic shapes but also to apply more advanced techniques. It has attributes for colors and styles, shadows, complex shapes, focuses, etc. You can also use it to manipulate text and separate pixels. It is not as powerful as Flash but it has enough power to replace Flash in many of its uses.

However, the way browsers render images and use hardware acceleration could seriously affect the practical application of the canvas element. The element might have enough horse power but when browsers misinterpret it, it can lead to slow operations. Maybe it is too early to say that we are heading in the direction of the Flash-less Web.