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Re: [html] Semantics of "aside", "header", and "footer"

From: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2007 10:40:36 +0900
Message-Id: <CF768D19-D456-4869-AC51-F1F9AEDE071A@w3.org>
To: HTML Working Group <public-html@w3.org>


Robert Burns (8 sept. 2007 - 09:59) :
> I think for an entire web page there might be some justification  
> for adding a header and a footer as a presentational-oriented  
> region of a page.

One of the issues with the discussion is that we are going reverse by  
choosing and debating about the names more than trying to find a way  
to implement a need.

Web pages have often

* a banner
   identifying the Web site (and having sometimes search and menus too)
* a contextual navigation menu
   (analysis of links are interesting but the content not worthwhile  
to index)
* a masthead [1] (ours [2] in French)
   (where we put all kind of information)
* notes  (footnote, endnote, marginalia [3], annotation)
   a small annotation related to the content, not that common.
   in the printing industry margin notes and/or footnotes depending  
on the layout.

"header", "footer", "aside" seem to be bad names for "banner",  
"masthead" and "note". But maybe people understand them better as  
well.   Note that the notion of note is a notion of manual hyperlink.

I guess the proposed names come from the class names found on the  
Web. It is very hard to know if the terms used today will be relevant  
in 10 years from now. "banner" had been an element proposed by Daniel  
Glazman for HTML 3.0 if I remember correctly.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masthead_%28publishing%29
[2] http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ours_%28imprimerie%29
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marginalia

	A Web page is a "page" only when it is printed.
We are also very constrained by (preconceived) ideas on printed  
materials and printing industry.  There is a tension between things  
from the printing industry (books, newspapers and magazines in their  
today format) and things from the Web. All the concepts are not  
necessary the same in the two worlds, even if Web page have inherited  
a lot from the printing world. There is a form factor for example and  
specific features.
    A book has page numbers.
    A web page has (mechanical) hyperlinks.

Karl Dubost - http://www.w3.org/People/karl/
W3C Conformance Manager, QA Activity Lead
   QA Weblog - http://www.w3.org/QA/
      *** Be Strict To Be Cool ***
Received on Monday, 10 September 2007 01:40:42 UTC

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