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Re: h1/h2/h3/etc. vs. h

From: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2006 01:35:25 +1000
Message-ID: <4542273D.1060305@lachy.id.au>
To: Steven Pemberton <steven.pemberton@cwi.nl>
CC: Elliotte Harold <elharo@metalab.unc.edu>, www-html-editor@w3.org

Steven Pemberton wrote:
>> Is there any chance that the h1/h2/h3 family could just be removed 
>> completely from XHTML 2? I'm not sure they're really necessary any 
>> more. For backwards compatibility, there are lots of problematic parts 
>> of XHTML 2. Maybe we should just jettison the whole h1/h2/h3 mess, and 
>> start over clean?
> I personally sympathise with this point of view. However, there has been 
> some criticism of XHTML2 for not being sufficiently backwards compatible 
> (maybe because the community interested in XHTML is bimodal on this 
> issue). While getting rid of h1/h2/h3 would clean up the mess, on the 
> other hand they don't actually get in the way of the new approach.

What does the HTMLWG think of the approach that the WHATWG have taken 
with (X)HTML5 [1], who have also added support for <section>, but 
instead of introducing a non-backwards-compatible <h> element, have 
retained <h1> to <h6> and redefined the semantics such that they act 
like <h> when used within <section>.

It's a rather complex algorithm to describe, but it effectively works 
like this:

   <h1>Level 1</h1>
     <h1>Level 2</h1>
       <h1>Level 3</h1>

For better backwards compatibility, authors can continue to use <h2> to 
<h6> for level 2 to 6 headings, but that's not required.  That gives all 
the benefits that <section>/<h> do in XHTML2, with better backwards 

In fact, has the HTMLWG considered working with the WHATWG to produce 
one HTML spec, instead of two competing specs, especially now that 
XHTML2 will apparently be using the XHTML1.x namespace [2]?

[1] http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#headings
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-html-editor/2006JulSep/0137

Lachlan Hunt
Received on Friday, 27 October 2006 15:35:49 UTC

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