Even though everyone is getting around to supporting all of the standards being set forth in the HTML5 specification, the WHATWG has been hard at work with HTML6. If you haven’t been keeping up with the forums, IRC channel, and meetings, this post will fill you in on what’s been happening and what you should start to expect out of HTML6.

Sponsored Tags

Probably the biggest item to come out of the recent meetings is the new standard of sponsored tags. Even though the WHATWG was founded by individuals from Apple, the Mozilla Foundation, and Opera, they’re rapidly approaching a budget shortage. Primarily for this reason, sponsored tags are being introduced in to the next version of the HTML6 specification.

A company or individual may purchase a sponsored tag up until the close of the HTML6 spec process. The deadline for submissions is April 2nd, 2013. There are a couple of different options for sponsorship, however, the common theme is that a company or individual may pay to have their brand become a tag or attribute. In order to maintain openness and allow everyone to get involved, different sponsorship tiers are available.

Tier 1: Tin

The tin tier is the most frugal option for brands wishing to get their information in to the HTML6 specification. The tin tier allows you to purchase an attribute on an existing tag. Tags that are not as popular will cost less than tags that are used more often. For example, GoDaddy could purchase the abbr tag and, by default, browsers would implement the color of GoDaddy’s choice as the default color of an abbreviation. Additionally, in the case of the abbreviation tag, a small (Sponsored by GoDaddy) block of text will be appended to any abbreviation. Web page authors can optionally add the amount of enthusiasm they have for the brand by specifying a number. The code would go from this:

<abbr title="Team Treehouse!">Treehouse!<abbr>

To this:

<abbr title="Team Treehouse!" godaddy="1">Treehouse!<abbr>

The implemented code would look something like this:


The tin tier starts at $250,000 USD.

The UPS Tag (example)

This specifies a 425 x 90 block of html code, it’s similar to section. The background is always brown and the foreground always white. CSS overrides are not permitted, and it is always floated right. Text inside that overflows will be hidden and can’t be shown.

Tier 2: Aluminum

This gets you a full tag written in to the specification. Sponsors at this level are allowed to define the width, height, and overflow of the content.

The aluminum tag starts at $1,500,000 USD.

Tier 3: Diamond

The diamond tier displays a full, non-skippable splash screen before each page load. The default display time is 1 second but you may upgrade the display time and have it be extended in 1 second increments. Each second costs an additional $2,500,000 USD and 50,000 reddit karma points. None of the Reddit karma points may be from re-posts, posts in any of the default sub-reddits, or cat pictures.

Pricing of the Diamond tag starts at $20,000,000 USD and requires purchase from each browser vendor.

The Future of HTML

That’s what’s in store for the future of HTML. What do you think? Will you or your company be buying a sponsored tag? Let us know in the comments!