[Bug 8447] Tighter definition on the aside element


Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com> changed:

           What    |Removed                     |Added
                 CC|                            |mjs@apple.com

--- Comment #3 from Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>  2009-12-07 14:12:49 ---
(In reply to comment #0)
> Currently, the following line is given with the aside element:
> "The element can be used for typographical effects like pull quotes or
> sidebars, for advertising, for groups of nav elements, and for other content
> that is considered separate from the main content of the page."
> If the aside is equivalent to a printed sidebar, there should be no nav
> elements, and shouldn't be referenced as a web page sidebar. This confuses the
> semantics of the element, which decreases its value.

<nav> elements have a more specific semantic than <aside>. This argument is
like saying that because <div> exists, there should be no <p> element.

> Another section element should be used for a web page sidebar, the same as a
> section should be used for the main content (or a second sidebar, etc). 
> In addition, no navigation should be embedded in an aside element--not if it is
> to be used for pull quotes or typographical sidebars. Placing navigation in the
> aside could lead to it being skipped by some user agents, who treat the
> element's semantics seriously.

Indeed, it would generally be better to use <nav> in the specific case of a
navigation sidebar (as opposed to a general sidebar for other purposes).

> If there is an HTML5 primer, we would want to clarify that the aside element is
> not used for web page sidebars.

That would only be the case for navigation sidebars. However, the following
kinds of sidebars would be fine to put in an <aside> element:

- a sidebar containing ads
- a sidebar containing a separate related article (i.e. the exact case of a
print sidebar)
- a blogroll sidebar (this would not match the semantics of <nav> which state
"Not all groups of links on a page need to be in a nav element  only sections
that consist of major navigation blocks are appropriate for the nav element."
-- links to other blogs would not generally be considered major navigation
- a sidebar listing recent posts (this would also not be a "major navigation
- sidebars containing a list of contacts, as in some mail apps
- sidebars containing widgets/gadgets which are ancillary to the main page
- a sidebar providing contact information for the author or authors of the site
- a sidebar on an online store page listing most popular items or top sellers
(this would not be a major navigation block)- sidebars containing one or more
of the foregoing, as well as a navigation section (which would then be in a
<nav> tested in the <aside>)

Note: the above are all examples from real sites.

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Received on Monday, 7 December 2009 14:12:59 UTC