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Re: Proposal: <content> element

From: James Graham <jgraham@opera.com>
Date: Thu, 03 Sep 2009 12:18:54 +0200
Message-ID: <4A9F980E.9000905@opera.com>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
CC: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Fri, 28 Aug 2009, James Graham wrote:
>> Ian Hickson wrote:
>>>> <section> (or other sectioning element)
>>>>   <header/>
>>>>   <content/>
>>>>   <footer/>
>>>> </section>
>>> Purely to prevent other elements from being abused, I could buy doing 
>>> this... I dunno, though, it seems a bit silly. I'd rather wait to see 
>>> if we can evangelise the right markup some more before giving up.
>> A noticeably high fraction of people looking for feedback on their HTML 5
>> markup on #whatwg have asked which element they should be using for their main
>> content, often thinking they are supposed to use either <section> or <article>
>> when in fact they are looking for <div>. Although this is clearly anecdotal,
>> it suggests that misuse of sectioning elements is going to be a significant
>> problem with wider adoption.
> 
> Adding more elements isn't going to reduce this. It'll just add yet more 
> elements to have confusion about.
> 

I understand that there is a significant cost adding more elements. 
However there is also a significant cost in having the wrong set of 
elements. Looking at the google webstats from 2005 [1], it seems that 
@class="content" and @class="main" were identified with "article". But 
the impression I get from the feedback that is coming in (and I would 
lkove to look at this in more detail) is that @class=[main|content] are, 
in a significant fraction of cases, not being used in situations where 
<article> would be appropriate in HTML5, rather they are being used to 
identify the content-holding part of the document-tree rather than a 
specific item of content. This kind of impedance mismatch is likely to 
cause accidental abuse of the sectioning elements making tools that use 
them less reliable.

Incidentally, as I suggested before, it would be good to make the 
outline algorithm more robust to thins kind of misuse e.g. by making 
sections with no heading "transparent" so they don't contribute to the 
nesting depth.

[1] http://code.google.com/webstats/2005-12/classes.html
Received on Thursday, 3 September 2009 10:19:24 UTC

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