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

From: Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 7 Jun 2013 20:19:51 +0100
Message-ID: <CA+ri+VnqnQ10L-sJZhFkCQvKQPDuj1f=CtRdhoPe39mNj2Pijw@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Patrick H. Lauke" <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Cc: HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
Hi pat,


--

Regards

SteveF
HTML 5.1 <http://www.w3.org/html/wg/drafts/html/master/>


On 7 June 2013 10:48, Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk> wrote:

> On 07/06/2013 10:05, Steve Faulkner wrote:
>
>> 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>
>>
> [...]
>
>  but we need to decide if the "must not" requirement on use of <small> is
>> an appropriate conformance requirement for HTML?
>>
>
> What if, as an author, I *do* want to mark my subheading with <small>
> because I believe that part of the heading should be naturally
> de-emphasised?
>
>
there are a number of issues that I think need to be teased out

1. what does 'subheading' mean?

the general definition is along these lines:

"A heading given to a subsection of a piece of writing." [1]

"a heading of a subdivision of a text" [2]

[1] https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=subheading
[2] http://www.thefreedictionary.com/subheading


and in this case it is quite correct to use a hx element to markup a
subheading and incorrect to use <small>, as the subheading it denotes the
start of a new section,

<h1>main page heading</h1>
<h2>subheading 1</h2>
blah blah blah
<h2>subheading 2</h2>
blah blah blah

but this does not appear to me to be what is meant when we talk about a
subheading, what we generally appear to be talking about in this context is
multi-part or multi-line heading.

<h1>
primary heading text
secondary heading text
</h1>

the second issue is that it is not clear from the current definition of
small that it represnets de-emphasized text, even though that is what it is
often used to do.


What if it was mandated that you "must not" use <small> for
> subheadings...is there any reliable programmatic way to flag that up as a
> validation error?
>

no, but that is not a reason not to have a must level conformance
requirement


>
> P
> --
> Patrick H. Lauke
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Received on Friday, 7 June 2013 19:21:00 UTC

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