Re: HTML5 feedback from prominent designers

James Graham writes:

> It seems clear that people (myself included) don't make the "a sidebar
> is to <body> as a pullout is to <article>" logical leap that forms the
> premise of using a single element for both functions.

I was more thinking of it as: <aside> is for content that's out of the
main flow -- standalone content which can be read before or after the
main (or <main>?) content (and which isn't a <header> or <footer>).

> In the first, "sidebar" case <aside> is being used for stuff other
> than the main content of the page; site fluff like blog rolls, archive
> links, tag lists, and so on. In the latter case it is being used for
> actual page content; things like the quote box and the "606 Debate"
> box at [1]

I don't think it's so clear cut.  That BBC Sport page has a 'see' also
panel, which is directly relevant to that particular page's main
content, yet is in a separate column; there are other sites which list
related articles in the main column.  Conversely, the '606 Debate' box
could be deemed to be part of 'site furniture' on every page (not
specific to that page's content); it could plausibly be placed in one of
the columns at the side.

While there is some content which is page-specific and almost always
going to be laid out with the main content (such as pull quotes), and
some content which is site-wide and almost always going to be laid out
separately (such as tag clouds), there are much which could be either.  

If the BBC moved the '606 Debate' box to being at the bottom of the left
column (under 'Related BBC site'), do you think it should be marked up
differently from where it currently is?  Or could the mark-up be left
the same and layout be purely a matter for CSS?

> something designed to strip away all the extraneous material from a
> page whilst leaving the content ... would want to remove sidebars
> whilst leaving pullouts (although possibly rearraging them).

That's a good point.  Is it an argument for <main>?  An <aside> _inside_
<main> could be kept, whereas one _parallel_ to <main> wouldn't?


Received on Wednesday, 2 September 2009 13:22:48 UTC