W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > January 2014

Re: revisiting heading advice

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Sun, 5 Jan 2014 21:02:38 +0100
To: Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Cc: HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20140105210238918550.9d4f2f3f@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Steve Faulkner, Sun, 5 Jan 2014 17:31:02 +0000:
> Currently the spec  says its OK to use all h1's in a document or all (h6's)
> for that matter as the heading rank is derived from the nesting level of a
> heading within sections, not from the numerical value in the elements name.
> 
> Unfortunately while the above may be true in theory its not true in
> practice.

What about h1-h6 inside blockquote elements? Take this snippet from the 
example of that section:

]]<blockquote>
  <h3>Bla</h3>
  </blockquote>
  <p>Baz</p>
  <h2>Quux</h2>
  <section>
  <h3>Thud</h3> [[

1: Why did the editor place a *h3* element inside the blockquote? As a 
sectioning root, its level would (in theory) regardless be level 1.

2: Are headings inside blockquote confusing to users? The answer 
probably depends on whether the AT/UA properly makes the blockquote 
context clear to the users. OTOH, if that h3 *was* ”reset” to level 1, 
then that level jump could probably have the effect on the user that 
he/she gets notified that something happened. In other words: Switching 
to level 1 would probably help making the user aware that this heading 
does not belong to the outline of *this* page. 

3: The alternative workaround to changing it to h1, would be to change 
the blockquote’s h3 element to a h4, h5 or h6 element, to *at least* 
avoid the issue that, in an outline, the subsequent elements, in the 
outline becomes ”children” of the heading of the blockquote. (I don’t 
know if AT have that problem, but I know that the pre-HTML5 outliner 
that is built into iCab have that problem.)

> The current text in the spec can lead to authors creating  flat document
> outlines:
> 
> "Sections may contain headings of any rank, and authors are strongly
> encouraged to use headings of the appropriate rank for the section's
> nesting level."
> 
http://www.w3.org/html/wg/drafts/html/master/sections.html#headings-and-sections

> 
> I am thinking that it may be better to have a normative requirement on
> authors:
> 
> "Authors SHOULD use headings of the appropriate rank for the section's
> nesting level."

Yes. But I think it should be made very clear that this is a measure 
that should be taken because the mechanism described in the spec is not 
implemented yet. Or else it isn’t understandable.

But, I would also encourage you to think about whether one should give 
advice about which heading (level) to use inside blockquote and other 
sectioning roots (such as td), in view of how things are *actually* 
implemented.
-- 
leif halvard silli
Received on Sunday, 5 January 2014 20:03:10 UTC

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