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Re: Use cases for <hgroup> ? [WAS] revisiting <hgroup> in HTML

From: Ian Devlin <ian@iandevlin.com>
Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2013 20:28:03 +0100
Message-ID: <CAOYOhSvsm+o+U8TMVEHJwiGAt-=vtqRCGY8U1gZh-iq7EJQCfw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Cc: HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
 I like the idea of being able to link two <h> elements together, i.e.
indicating that they are linked together and should be treated as such,
although the content within the <h1> is more important*

* given the example
<hgroup>
   <h1>Headline</h1>
   <h2>Subheadline</h2>
</hgroup>

However what use knowing this relationship might be I'm not quite sure.

On 6 March 2013 20:16, Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com> wrote:

> Thanks for the discussion so far!
>
> In regards to use cases, the only stated use case for <hgroup> is/was[1]:
>
> "The point of hgroup is to hide the subtitle from the outlining
> algorithm. "
>
> Its only stated reason for being in HTML is to support a non essential
> case in an algorithm that is not implemented in any browser
>
> I suggest a  good starting point for supporting the continued inclusion of
> <hgroup> in HTML would be to provide some use cases that actually warrant
> the element.
>
> It should also be noted that hiding a subtitle from the outline algorithm
> is no longer a requirement as the following was added to the spec some time
> last year:
>
> How a user agent exposes such multi-level headings in user interfaces
>> (e.g. in tables of contents or search results) is left open to
>> implementors, as it is a user interface issue. The first example above
>> could be rendered as:
>>
>> The reality dysfunction: Space is not the only void
>>
>>
> So what are the use cases for <hgroup>?
>
> regards
> SteveF
>
> [1]
> http://wiki.whatwg.org/wiki/Rationale#hgroup_and_other_heading_elements
> [2]
> http://www.w3.org/html/wg/drafts/html/master/sections.html#the-hgroup-element
>
>
> On 6 March 2013 14:26, Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>>
>> as you may know I have been a long time critic of the <hgroup>[1] element
>> for a number of reasons including:
>>
>> it promotes an anti-pattern of multiples Hx's to indicate subheadings.
>>
>> I call it an anti-pattern as
>> * the pattern of using a heading to indicate a sub heading does not
>> convey clearly that a particular heading is in fact a sub heading.
>> * this pattern was not a common pattern, and is still not a common
>> pattern (grepping data from 35000 web pages [6])
>> * the markup patterns and use of classes to indicate
>> subheadings/subtitles etc in web content (grepped data set [6]) supports a
>> feature more like <subline>[7] than <hgroup>
>> * the heading semantics are still exposed to users that consume them
>> (resulting in additional cognitive noise for no benefit and confusion as a
>> heading typically prefixes and labels non heading content and is not
>> followed by one or more headings)
>> * as currently specified in HTML5 (must level requirement- but not
>> implemented by any user agent) [2] the use of <hgroup> has the effect on
>> accessibility layer semantics of concatenating headings and 'subheadings'
>> into one heading:
>>
>> <hgroup>
>> <h1>heading</h1>
>> <h1>sub heading</h1>
>> </hgroup>
>>
>> becomes
>>
>> <h1>heading subheading <h1>
>>
>> which effectively removes any notion of a subheading semantic for users
>> and any way for it to be conveyed via an accessibility API.
>>
>> There have been a number of proposals in regards to
>> modification/removal/alternatives to <hgroup> [3] and as <hgroup> does not
>> currently have 2 reasonably complete interoperable implementations ( CSS
>> and parsing are implemented, but the accessibility semantics are not so it
>> is effectively nothing more than a div by another name.) I requested that
>> it be dropped from HTML5.0 [4]. The request will come up for a decision on
>> 12th March[5].
>>
>> Questions arise as to what to do with <hgroup> for HTML 5.1.
>>
>> My suggestion is to make it obsolete and provide authoring advice in the
>> common idioms section about how to markup subheadings using existing HTML
>> elements- illustrative examples:
>>
>> <h1> heading
>> <span class="subheading">sub heading</span>
>> </h1>
>>
>> <header>
>> <h1> heading </h1>
>> <p>sub heading </p>
>> </header>
>>
>> <div class="heading-group">
>> <h1> heading </h1>
>> <p>sub heading </p>
>> </div>
>>
>>
>> My questions include:
>> If we want to provide a subheading feature why not do so in a way that
>> the semantics are clearly provided to any user that could consume them?
>> If not then what is the use of hgroup other than a styling hook?
>>
>> what do others think?
>>
>> [1]
>> http://www.w3.org/html/wg/drafts/html/master/sections.html#the-hgroup-element
>> [2]
>> http://www.w3.org/html/wg/drafts/html/master/dom.html#sec-strong-native-semantics
>> [3] http://www.w3.org/html/wg/tracker/issues/164
>> [4]
>> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-admin/2012Dec/0019.html
>> [5]
>> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-admin/2012Dec/0073.html
>> [6] data set used from http://webdevdata.org
>> [7] http://www.html5accessibility.com/tests/subline.html
>> --
>> with regards
>>
>>
>>
>
>
>


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Received on Wednesday, 6 March 2013 19:28:37 UTC

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