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Re: suggestion for abolition of <hgroup>

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2010 15:10:45 +0100
To: Bruce Lawson <brucel@opera.com>
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20101130151045086650.689a1a28@xn--mlform-iua.no>
+1 for looking at the useufullnes of hgroup again.

Bruce Lawson, Tue, 30 Nov 2010 08:04:48 +0800:
   ...
> Personally, I don't see people currently using h1+h2 for title and 
> subtitle anyway (the usecase that hgroup serves); I se
> 
> <h1>My wonderful site</h1>
> <p class=subtitle>Rainbows and butterflies</p>

+1. It is very logical to use <p> in a two-level heading.

Additionally, HTML5's describes h1-h6 as follows: [1] 

	«These elements represent headings for their sections.»  

Whereas an *accurate* description would be to say that they EITHER 
represent section headings OR (inside <hgroup>) levels inside a leveled 
section heading.

Reading Sam's latest blog post [2], it seems to me that h1-h6 inside 
<hgroup> is an example of 

  «different meanings depending on whether or not its usage is
  surrounded by parenthesis [read: hgroup] or not»

> If the usecase of h1+h2 is considered prevalent enough or desirable 
> enough to make the subtitle h2 out of the outline, can we make the 
> outlining algorithm magically assume that, when there are 2 or more 
> headings h1..h6 adjacent in a <header>, that's an implied <hgroup>?
> 
> I can't see a use-case for multiple adjacent headings in a header 
> that wouldn't be heading+subtitle(s).

Well, to me it happens quite frequently, especially early in a work, 
that I create a section heading and a subsection heading without adding 
any text between the two, and without intending that the two are 
concatenated in an outline algorithm.

I would suggest 2 alternatives to that particular algorithm change that 
you proposed:

EITHER: introduce a container element particular for h1-h6 elements. 
Content inside this element would be ignored by the algorithm.
   
OR: redefine/rename the hgroup element. 

  Name change: The current, cryptic name emphasizes the element's 
participation in the outline algortithm. The name 'hgroup' is 
paradoxical: although it is called a heading group, it still is 
permitted to let the content of <hgroup> be a single h1-h6 element, for 
instance. A name such as <h>, with the same content model as today, 
should be simpler for authors. (Or, perhaps <hlist>? Or <hl>, for 
"heading leveled"? )

  Model change:  Why not permit <p> inside <h>? Then authors would be 
able to do what you have documented that they already do. (It is not 
necessary to rename the element for this content model change. However, 
as long as the elemetn is called 'hgroup', it might seem illogical to 
allow <p> insdie it.)

  Your primary issues seems to be that a) authors do not understand 
<hgroup> and b) you would like to help authors to create multilevel 
headings. And I think these reasons justifies evaluating a 
redefinition/renaming of <hgroup>.

[1] 
http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/sections#the-h1-h2-h3-h4-h5-and-h6-elements
[2] http://intertwingly.net/blog/2010/11/25/Hobgoblin-of-Little-Minds
-- 
leif halvard silli
Received on Tuesday, 30 November 2010 14:11:20 UTC

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