W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > September 2009

Re: Implementor feedback on new elements in HTML5

From: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
Date: Tue, 01 Sep 2009 22:54:00 +0200
Message-ID: <4A9D89E8.10303@lachy.id.au>
To: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Cc: HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
> 1.<footer>  is simply horribly named.  I like the semantics
> (essentially, article metainfo), and would in practice often mark up
> what<footer>  represents with a classed div...
> My suggestion is to move the current semantics of<footer>  into an
> element without a confusingly structural name - I suggest<info>  or
> <articleinfo>.  Though something with "meta" in the name feels right,
> most peopleThen make<footer>  into a genuinely structural element
> identical to<header>, with the only difference between them being
> where in the section they generally appear.  Yes, this feels wasteful
> to have two identical elements differing only by their placement, but
> if we're trying to capture common classnames here, the data is clear -
> .header and .footer are *extremely* common.

It is not necessary to add a new element.  All that needs to be done is 
to remove the restrictions on the footer element's content model, and 
allow the header and footer to be used for what they were designed to be 
used for, in ways that authors expect to be able to use them.

> 2.<aside>  is similarly badly named.  The name itself and the
> description of it as "sidebar" content apparently leads almost
> everyone astray into thinking it's for the ubiquitous website sidebar.
>   An informal survey showed that at least 3 people in that chat (me
> included) immediately tried to misuse<aside>  in *precisely* this way
> when we first heard of it, and when I discussed the issue with another
> friend mid-chat his response was roughly "what's confusing about them?
>   footer is for site footer and aside is for side panels".

That is in fact correct.  One of the uses for aside is for the side 
bars.  In fact, <sidebar> was one of the names considered for the 
element when it was first discussed, and it's inclusion was based on the 
widespread use of class="sidebar".  In hindsight, we probably should 
have just called it that, but IIRC, the name was felt to be too 
presentational and so we went with aside, and extended it's purpose to 
both sidebars and the more generic forms of tangentially related sections.

Lachlan Hunt - Opera Software
Received on Tuesday, 1 September 2009 20:54:46 UTC

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