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RE: proposal to explicitly forbid <small> use as subheadings

From: Adrian Roselli <Roselli@algonquinstudios.com>
Date: Fri, 7 Jun 2013 14:19:43 +0000
To: Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <0CB063710346B446A5B5DC305BF8EA3E7804C4@Ex2010MBX.development.algonquinstudios.com>
> From: Steve Faulkner [mailto:faulkner.steve@gmail.com] 
> Sent: Friday, June 07, 2013 5:06 AM
> Hi all, 
> hixie made a change to the whatwg spec in regards to <small>[1]
> <p>The <code>small</code> element must not be used for subheadings; for that purpose, use the
> <code>hgroup</code> element.</p>
> As you may know changes to the whatwg spec are treated as proposals for inclusion in the HTML spec,
> many are included as they are uncontroversial.
> Some like the above are not, as the WG needs to be made aware and discussion needs to take place
> on the change.
> The second part of the sentence can be replaced with "follow the advice on marking up Subheadings,
> subtitles, alternative titles and taglines [2]" 
> but we need to decide if the "must not" requirement on use of <small> is an appropriate conformance
> requirement for HTML?

I don't think it should be "must not." There is no element for subheadings, so excluding one over others seems capricious.

We (or maybe just me) can make the same argument that an <em> is not a subheading. Nor is an <i>. In each case, since there is no semantic/structural element to indicate a sub-head, a developer is going to choose an element that approximates a desired visual style. Sometimes the developer might want to make it smaller (<small>), sometimes italic (<i>), sometimes both (maybe both elements, maybe just one with more styles).

If a sub-heading element is created, then this language should change to reflect that.

FWIW, I don't think any of those elements makes a good sub-head.

> [1] http://html5.org/tools/web-apps-tracker?from=7869&to=7870
> [2] http://www.w3.org/html/wg/drafts/html/master/common-idioms.html#sub-head
Received on Friday, 7 June 2013 14:20:11 UTC

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