Re: Change Proposal to replace hgroup with a simple element

On Mon, 07 Nov 2011 00:38:32 +0100, Kornel Lesiński <>  

> I agree with Lars Gunther that reuse of <h1-h6> for subheadings causes  
> nothing but trouble, and subheadings can be marked up in a more  
> straightforward manner.
> I'd like to propose a new element that IMHO is much easier to understand  
> and use correctly, satisfies all major use cases of <hgroup> and does  
> not break outline in legacy UAs.
> The proposal is in the wiki:
> ----
> Change Proposal
>     Replace <hgroup> with an element that has a simple content model and  
> backwards compatibility.
> Rationale
>       * <hgroup> overloads meaning of <h1-h6>, making them either  
> headings included in document
>         outline or not, depending on context created by hgroup and other  
> headings. No other
>         element in HTML creates such ambiguous context-dependent meaning.
>       * Name and usage of <hgroup> can be confused with <header>, since  
> both appear in headers
>         and group elements.
>       * <hgroup>'s content model disallows adding extra <div>s around  
> multiple subheadings, which
>         may be needed as styling hooks.
>       * Existing content on the web does not use as complex multi-level  
> subheadings as <hgroup>
>         was intended to support. There is no need to precisely mark up  
> levels of subheadings, as
>         the whole title is meant to be read in (document) order and  
> subheadings are not used for
>         sectioning/navigation.
> Details
>     <hsub> element is a subheading. It represents a subheading for its  
> section (i.e. it is
>     associated with the heading in the same section that the <hsub> is  
> in). The algorithm for
>     associating <hsub> with a section is the same as for <h1-h6>, except  
> <hsub> does not imply
>     new sections.

So basically it's associated with a section in the same way as <p>.

>     <hsub> element has same content model as <h1-h6>.
>     Optionally: <hsub> can be allowed to be nested inside <h1-h6>, which  
> allows full title to be
>     seen as a header in legacy UAs and makes it easy to style heading  
> and subheading using CSS.
>    Examples
>   <body>
>   <h1>Title</h1>
>   <hsub>Subtitle</hsub>
>   <h1>Second Title</h1>
>   <div>
>       <hsub>Second Subtitle 1</hsub>
>       <hsub>Second Subtitle 2</hsub>
>   </div>
>   </body>
>   <article>
>       <hsub>The Magical</hsub>
>       <h1>Title</h1>
>       <hsub>That Has</hsub>
>       <hsub>Multiple Subtitles</hsub>
>   </article>
>    Styling
>     The most common usage of subheadings can be styled simply with h1 +  
> hsub CSS selector.
>     Authors can make complex headers easier to select by wrapping  
> headings and subheadings in
>     <header>. Relaxed content model allows "styling hook" elements to be  
> added as necessary.
>    Authoring errors
>     Mistakes in usage of <hsub> cannot break document outline, which is  
> a significant improvement
>     over <hgroup>.
>     At worst, in a rather rare case of subtitle preceeding the title,  
> subtitle may end up
>     associated with an earlier heading:
>   <h1>Unrelated title</h1>
>   <p>Content</p>
>   <hsub>Preceeding subtitle</hsub>
>   <h1>Title</h1>
>     However, this kind of mistake can be easily eliminated by use of  
> <section>/<acticle>
>     elements:
>   <section>
>     <hsub>Preceeding subtitle</hsub>
>     <h1>Title</h1>
>   </section>
> Risks
>     Removal of the <hgroup> element.

FWIW, I think this proposal is better than the <p>-in-<header> proposal  
(which changes meaning of <p> based on placement) and the <subline>  
proposal (which allows <h2> in <subline> so still breaks the outline in  
legacy impl).

My only concern with this proposal is whether <hsub> should be allowed  
"anywhere" or if it should be restricted in some way (e.g. require a  
heading in its section, don't allow it in implied sections unless it is  
follows the heading element directly).

Simon Pieters
Opera Software

Received on Monday, 7 November 2011 06:39:08 UTC