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Re: The History of <aside> for sidebars (was: Re: HTML5 feedback from prominent designers)

From: Bruce Lawson <brucel@opera.com>
Date: Fri, 04 Sep 2009 14:03:38 +0100
To: "Lachlan Hunt" <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>, "Jonas Sicking" <jonas@sicking.cc>
Cc: "James Graham" <jgraham@opera.com>, public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <op.uzqg8chlh8on37@bruce-pc>
On Fri, 04 Sep 2009 13:51:25 +0100, Lachlan Hunt  
<lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au> wrote:

  I think it
> might be worth reintroducing the <sidebar> element as a distinct  
> sectioning element, and limiting the uses of <aside> to things like  
> pullouts, footnotes and other non-sidebar uses.
>
...
>
> Look at most blogs and you'll see better examples of sidebars.  They  
> often contain things like blogrolls and archive links, search forms,  
> latest twitter status, etc. which would be inappropriate for a header.
>

I found this a problem when retrofitting my blog to use HTML5. The  
definition of aside certainly didn't encompass my sidebar, which is  
currently marked up as nav, which does largely contain navigatiohn but  
also encompasses a search bar, latest tweet, random pic of myself and a  
colophon, none of which are actually "nav". (I felt uncomfortable about  
stretching the definition of nav at the time).

Perhaps aside *should* be (re-)widened to allow me to mark up a sidebar,  
which contains  a <nav> plus the other stuff, and the current meaning of  
aside (tangental info) could be folded into <figure>?

Hixie and I have already discussed the fact that aside and figure are very  
similar  
http://lists.whatwg.org/htdig.cgi/whatwg-whatwg.org/2009-May/019679.html,  
and Hixie said that the use of one or the other for pullquotes in the spec  
is arbitrary  
http://lists.whatwg.org/htdig.cgi/whatwg-whatwg.org/2009-July/020710.html.

-- 
Hang loose and stay groovy,

Bruce Lawson
Web Evangelist
www.opera.com (work)
www.brucelawson.co.uk (personal)
Received on Friday, 4 September 2009 13:05:20 UTC

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