Steve Knoblock thinks of initial paragraphs as having a structural
meaning because they introduce a concept to be elaborated on in
following paragraphs, but that's not necessarily so. It's often the
case that a subhead introduces a concept and the first paragraph has no
INDENTS HAVE NO STRUCTURAL MEANING IN STANDARD HTML
The reason for paragraphs is to group sentences that pertain to a
single thought or topic. Without some form of visible separation,
following lines of thought becomes difficult and comprehension can
The reason for indents is to visibly separate paragraphs that
otherwise have no visible separation.
Indents are structurally meaningless with standard HTML because the
paragraphs are already separated by extra line spacing. Only when
designers have the option of eliminating paragraph spacing do indents
become structurally significant.