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Re: HTML 5 Authoring Guidelines Proposal the use of the section element and its potential impact on screen reader users

From: Ben Boyle <benjamins.boyle@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 00:32:17 +1000
Message-ID: <5f37426b0711270632x25770475nb9b3f21b10befd81@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Lachlan Hunt" <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
Cc: joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie, "James Graham" <jg307@cam.ac.uk>, "Terry Morris" <lsnbluff@gmail.com>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>

On Nov 27, 2007 11:55 PM, Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au> wrote:
> ...  However, in the future when all browsers in use support HTML5
> reasonably well, using all h1s will be more useful because it allows
> sections to be moved around between documents without having to worry
> about manually adjusting the heading level.
> e.g. I could write an article on my blog where on the front page or
> archive pages, the article headings are level 3, but on the individual
> article pages they may need to be level 2.  With the current model,
> authors either have to artificially increase or decrease the heading
> levels on some pages so they all match, or manually adjust the heading
> numbers.  With the HTML5 model, that's handled automatically.

I agree it's good, but I find the numbering a little counter-intuitive
in these situations. Is there a plan to introduce a generic <h>
element? Does <header> already function this way? The numbering h1-h6
feels very legacy to me. It's gotta be there for backwards
compatibility, probably still has its place in many documents and with
many authors, but I'd love to use a truly generic element for a
heading when that's what I want, rather than markup documents with the
idea "oh, these <h1> elements ... they're generic headings, they
don't, you know, *have* to be level 1 ..."

A generic element isn't useful in the near term, but "in the future
when all browsers in use support HTML5 reasonably well, using all <h>
elements will be more useful ..." It would be good if HTML5 could
define this now so that future point arrives sooner!

h1 (to h6) will work, but it's a misnomer. h/heading would enable
markup that clearly describes the author's intent.

Received on Tuesday, 27 November 2007 14:32:27 UTC

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