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Re: Is the current definition of the article element in HTML useful?

From: Robin Berjon <robin@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2013 13:03:22 +0100
Message-ID: <50FFD18A.3090108@w3.org>
To: Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
CC: HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
Hi Steve,

On 23/01/2013 11:41 , Steve Faulkner wrote:
> I think the definition of the article element in HTML [1] is overly
> vague and broad, which leads to intended and unintended use that
> undermines its usefulness as a semantic construct for users that
> actually consume its semantics such as screen reader users.

I personally don't have a problem with its vagueness. Assigning overly 
strict semantics to elements leads to DocBook, and if DocBook is what we 
want then I would recommend DocBook. Vagueness does open the door to my 
cherished repurposability. But obviously you need to strike a balance 
lest all become a <div>.

Which is not to say that I want to reject outright your proposal to 
reassess <article> advice (and I do lament the fact that it is likely 
too late to rename it <infolump>) but it would be a lot easier to figure 
out whether it's worth changing something if you made a more concrete 
proposal as to what you think should change.

> For example, the spec promotes the use of article as a container of,
> well, an article and also for each instance of a comment on an article
> (example: [2]).
> Yet there is no defined method of exposing the semantic differences
> between an article in the common understanding of the term and when
> used as defined in the broader HTML definition.

It is true that offering to reuse <article> for comments perhaps 
reflects a pre-YouTube Habermasian optimism in the public sphere's 
competency. But I can't say I entirely dislike that.

Concerning exposing the semantic differences between the two, why not 
handle that with RDFa/Microdata? See http://schema.org/Comment and 
http://schema.org/Article? Or perhaps more appropriately for this 
specific usage http://schema.org/BlogPosting and 
http://schema.org/UserComments?

-- 
Robin Berjon - http://berjon.com/ - @robinberjon
Received on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 12:03:27 UTC

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