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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: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2007 03:50:57 +0000 (UTC)
To: Ben Boyle <benjamins.boyle@gmail.com>
Cc: joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie, Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>, James Graham <jg307@cam.ac.uk>, Terry Morris <lsnbluff@gmail.com>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0711290341070.3737@hixie.dreamhostps.com>

(My answers here are based on the current text of HTML5, which could of 
course change.)

On Wed, 28 Nov 2007, Ben Boyle wrote:
> If I have a block of content, I can mark that with <section>. [...]
> Now, that section can be nested in many different documents in many 
> different places, and I don't care if the heading is "h1" or "h6" ... I 
> only care that it is the heading for that section. This is what I want. 
> [...]
> [...] if I then include that section 3 levels deep in another document, 
> does the use of <h1> assign it higher significance?


> What if there are sibling sections from other sources that use <h2> 
> instead? Are they of less importance? [...]

Same importance.

The relative ranks (the 1-6 part of <h1>-<h6>) only have an effect within
the scope of an actual sectioning element (like <section>), and don't 
affect anything else.

(Note that <header> is just a wrapper around one or more <hx> elements. 
It can't be used without an <hx> descendant.)

> [...] I'm just confused by the potential conflict for the between the 
> heading level explicitly defined by the h1-h6 tags vs the inferred 
> heading level based on their placement within nested sections of a 
> document. Which has precedence?

It's all defined in detail here:


There are examples there too which may be of use if the prose is not very 
clear. I do think that the Author's Guide that Lachlan is working on could 
benefit from having a more readable (and less pedantic) version of the 
algorithms described in the aforementioned section. I think that would be 
really helpful to authors, because the actual exact pedantic algorithms 
are not very easy to understand.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Thursday, 29 November 2007 03:51:10 UTC

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