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RE: [#925] mandatory H1

From: Yvette P. Hoitink <y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl>
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 2004 17:39:31 +0200
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <E1Bzzs5-00081D-4Q@frink.w3.org>

Michael Cooper asked:

> Issue 925 [1] suggests an HTML technique requiring that the 
> first heading on a page must be an H1 (presumably to serve as 
> a visible page title). I'm not sure about this and would like 
> to solicit the group's opinion. 

Hello Michael and group,


In WCAG 1 we had a success criterion:
"Use header elements to convey document structure and use them according to
specification"

The HTML specification doesn't specify if skipping levels is allowed. It
only mentions that the heading levels correspond to the degree of importance
(H1 is most important, H6 is least important). However, the spec does note:
"Some people consider skipping heading levels to be bad practice. They
accept H1 H2 H1 while they do not accept H1 H3 H1 since the heading level H2
is skipped." [2]

This working group apparently agreed with this note because the WCAG 1
success criteria about header elements has the following technique
associated with it:

"Users should order heading elements properly. For example, in HTML, H2
elements should follow H1 elements, H3 elements should follow H2 elements,
etc. Content developers should not "skip" levels (e.g., H1 directly to H3)."
[3]

I think this is still good advise because this offers the best way to
communicate the structure of the document. This logically leads to the
conclusion that the first heading on a page must be an H1.

Yvette Hoitink
Heritas, Enschede, the Netherlands
E-mail: y.p.hoitink@heritas.nl
WWW: http://www.heritas.nl

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10-TECHS/#tech-logical-headings
[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/struct/global.html#edef-H1
[3] http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10-HTML-TECHS/#grouping
Received on Wednesday, 25 August 2004 15:39:33 UTC

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