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ISSUE-91 (aside): Re-focus and tighten definition of the aside element [HTML 5 spec]

From: HTML Weekly Issue Tracker <sysbot+tracker@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 8 Jan 2010 17:09:15 +0000 (GMT)
To: public-html-wg-issue-tracking@w3.org
Message-Id: <20100108170915.06368DEE8C@lowblow.w3.org>

ISSUE-91 (aside): Re-focus and tighten definition of the aside element [HTML 5 spec]

http://www.w3.org/html/wg/tracker/issues/91

Raised by: Shelley Powers
On product: HTML 5 spec

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.

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.

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

The argument has been put forth that the change in the description came aobut because of web developer request. 

There will always be one group of people or another who want something stated, as is, in the document. Our job in the Working Group, though, is to ensure that the HTML5 specification is consistent, does not introduce extraneous material, does not encapsulate material best left for other standards bodies (or specs),
or does not introduce confusion by allowing too generic a definition on our supposedly "semantic" new elements.

Originally aside was defined in such a way that it is consistent with the publishing industry's concept of "sidebar". But then some folks asked that it be used for sidebar, primarily because sidebar was used in the earlier description. 

A sidebar should be nothing more than another section. It is a unique column,
all of its own. By the over broad redefining of aside, we've basically limited
its usefulness.
Received on Friday, 8 January 2010 17:09:16 UTC

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