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[whatwg] Giving the <body> tag a new meaning.

From: Ashley Sheridan <ash@ashleysheridan.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 01 Mar 2011 21:08:45 +0000
Message-ID: <1299013725.3097.16.camel@localhost.localdomain>
On Tue, 2011-03-01 at 12:32 -0800, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:

> On Tue, Mar 1, 2011 at 12:09 PM, usuario <soyhobo at gmail.com> wrote:
> > The real issue is with change, never is too late.
> > Many of the new elements in html5 are for semantic purposes. Being now a
> > <header> and a <footer>, there is only one left thing that's pretty obvious.
> >
> > I am not proposing the body tag for disappear, but allow it for a new
> > implementation. And perhaps in say 10 years, discontinue it as document
> > start element, when the change be widely spread.
> >
> > The reason? a better semantics advantages.
> 
> So, what is the problem you're trying to solve?  Semantics are useless
> on their own; we only care about semantics insofar as they help us to
> solve problems.  For example, the new sectioning elements help
> somewhat in styling and code readability, and make the page easier to
> automatically navigate, so things like screen-readers can consume the
> pages more easily.
> 
> What problem is caused by the current <body> tag that you'd like to fix?
> 
> It may be helpful to read
> <http://wiki.whatwg.org/wiki/FAQ#Is_there_a_process_for_adding_new_features_to_a_specification.3F>,
> which explains the process by which we add new features to HTML.
> 
> ~TJ


I agree.

Usuario, in the example you've given the newly proposed version of the
<body> tag only encloses content that isn't otherwise encompassed by the
<header> or <footer>, meaning it serves no purpose to distinguish it
from the header and footer because those specific tags are already doing
that.

The body tag holds all the content that is presented to the user. After
a long look at a wide variety of websites, the <header> and <footer>
(among other) tags were added to mark those areas of a website out
against the actual content. This basically means that anything that
isn't a header or a footer is main content. Of course there are things
like <article> and <section> to further break things down.

Think about it a bit like a word-processed document for a moment. In
that, all content is deemed to be main content apart from page headers
and footers which can be added in. Within the content you can mark up
various text as a header or otherwise. A web page isn't too dissimilar,
although it allows for far more semantic meaning to be given to content.
What you must remember is that the new HTML5 tags aren't just for easier
styling but to allow better parsing by non-humans, be it a search
engine, screen reader or some content archiver.

-- 
Thanks,
Ash
http://www.ashleysheridan.co.uk
Received on Tuesday, 1 March 2011 13:08:45 UTC

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