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Re: HTML5 feedback from prominent designers

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 2 Sep 2009 10:06:22 -0500
Message-ID: <dd0fbad0909020806h11a8b426k8fac6df1c9972064@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-html@w3.org
On Wed, Sep 2, 2009 at 8:26 AM, Smylers<Smylers@stripey.com> wrote:
> James Graham writes:
>
>> It seems clear that people (myself included) don't make the "a sidebar
>> is to <body> as a pullout is to <article>" logical leap that forms the
>> premise of using a single element for both functions.
>
> I was more thinking of it as: <aside> is for content that's out of the
> main flow -- standalone content which can be read before or after the
> main (or <main>?) content (and which isn't a <header> or <footer>).

After having it explained by Hixie, this is roughly what I generalized
on as well.  Pullquotes and digressions are "out of the main flow" of
the article; they accompany it without being read as part of the
content.  Sidebar panels are "out of the main flow" of the page
itself, for the same reason.

So, I'm now fine with <aside> being used in that way.  However, the
current spec text is entirely inadequate, as it requires one to make
that generalization step, which is often a *bad* move (it's precisely
the sort of thing you'll do when you start, and get trained out of
when you learn a bit more).  I propose adding a third example
explicitly illustrating that this is okay, like the following:

The following example shows how an aside is used to mark up a list of
the page author's favorite links, which may be displayed on the left
or right of every page as part of the overall site design, rather than
part of a specific article:
<aside>
  <h1>If you like my blog, you'll love these...</h1>
  <ul>
    <li><a href="http://blog.whatwg.org">Please Leave Your Sense of
Logic at the Door, Thanks!</a></li>
    ...
  </ul>
</aside>

>> something designed to strip away all the extraneous material from a
>> page whilst leaving the content ... would want to remove sidebars
>> whilst leaving pullouts (although possibly rearraging them).
>
> That's a good point.  Is it an argument for <main>?  An <aside> _inside_
> <main> could be kept, whereas one _parallel_ to <main> wouldn't?

Generally, I think a good rule is that body > aside can be treated as
page structure, while article > aside can be treated as tangential
article content.  This isn't perfect (it could be improved by seeing
if the page has an <article> at all), but it's probably good enough.

~TJ
Received on Wednesday, 2 September 2009 15:07:18 UTC

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