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Re: The History of <aside> for sidebars

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 4 Sep 2009 16:35:22 -0500
Message-ID: <dd0fbad0909041435y3a818a0m47124589e7c3200f@mail.gmail.com>
To: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
Cc: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>, Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>, James Graham <jgraham@opera.com>, public-html@w3.org
On Fri, Sep 4, 2009 at 4:27 PM, John Foliot<jfoliot@stanford.edu> wrote:
> Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
>>
>> Certainly!  That was my argument, in fact - that the differences
>> between <header>/<footer>/<aside> are purely visual when used as page
>> structure.
>
> Uhmm... I'll only back that half-way.  'Headers' and 'Footers' are
> structural elements which (I think) are pretty well understood.  In fact, I
> would suggest that in the print world (including Braille output, etc.) a
> 'page' header and footer is a basic construct - the header and footer would
> traditionally contain persistent information (think header and footer in a
> MS Word document) - be it a 'Letterhead' branding or location footer
> (Offices in New York, London and Tokyo), and even non-visual users
> could/would benefit here.

You're talking here about <header>/<footer> within an article context,
where I agree with you.  I explicitly specified that I meant it in
terms of (web)page structure, where the three regions are effectively
identical in practice.

>> The only reason they have
>> different names is because those are the classes we give <div>s
>> filling those roles to define their visual display, and classnames
>> were the big determiner of what new elements to add in this realm.
>
> The very fact that some content is sitting inside of a specific, 'not the
> main content' div suggests that it is, well, not the main content, and
> styling concerns aside, I believe that for all users / user agents we should
> be able to signify this idea programmatically - that is / was I believe the
> intent of <aside>.  The real problem is the choice of term, not the concept
> it seeks to address.

I'm agreeing with you again!  Yes, <header>/<footer>/<aside> all
indicate that the contained content is not the main content.  In the
context of an article they carry additional specific meaning, but in
the context of a webpage  they convey only a visual distinction.

~TJ
Received on Friday, 4 September 2009 21:36:19 GMT

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