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[whatwg] WA1 - The Section Header Problem

From: James Graham <jg307@cam.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2004 17:04:01 +0000
Message-ID: <419B8481.6030505@cam.ac.uk>


Matthew Raymond wrote:

>    I'm not really going to fight you on the whole keeping <h1>-<h6> 
> thing, since HTML really only specifies them as being used for header 
> information and having different levels of importance.
>
>    I still feel that, structurally speaking, there should be a 
> <section> element for every section and subsection, even for sections 
> that are both leaves and immediate siblings. Therefore, I'm amending 
> my previous position with the following:
>
> 1) Nested headers are ignored. Therefore, this markup...
>
> <h1><h2>Header</h2></h1>
>
> ...Is the same as...
>
> <h1>Header</h1>
>
> 2) <h1>-<h6> have the same semantic value as in HTML 4.01, but are 
> additionally defined as not having any semantic meaning related to 
> document _structure_. 

What do you mean? How would:

<section>
<h1>heading 1</h1>
<section>
<h2>heading 2</h2>

work as an outline? Would it be:

heading 1
heading 2

heading 1
|--heading 2

{no headings}

or something else? Do you just mean that inside <section> <h1> through 
<h6> are at the same place in an outline i.e. an outliner does not 
distinguish between:
<section>
<h1>heading 1</h1>
<section>
<h2>heading 2</h2>
</section>
<section>
<h3>heading 2</h3>

and

<section>
<h1>heading 1</h1>
<section>
<h2>heading 2</h2>
</section>
<section>
<h2>heading 2</h2>

or do you mean something else? If you do mean that, it seems like a 
reasonable position to me (since the HTML 4 heading model is widely 
abused and poorly specified). In the absence of a <section> ancestor of 
a heading, we have to fall back on <h1> being higher level than <h2> 
which is higher level than <h3>, and so on, though.

>    I'd also like to see an optional attribute for <section> called 
> |level|, which would indicate the level of importance for all the 
> child <h> elements in the <section>. The idea would be that...

Is there a reason for this? Imean what does the new attribute give that 
is a) useful and b) not already possible with <hn> + <section>.

I remain unconvined that <h> is at-all compatible with the goal of 
backward-compatibility or even particularly useful given that we have to 
retain <h1> through <h6> so little conceptual simplifcation of the 
language is obtained though <h>.
Received on Wednesday, 17 November 2004 09:04:01 UTC

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