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

From: Ashley Sheridan <ash@ashleysheridan.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 01 Mar 2011 22:12:35 +0000
Message-ID: <1299017555.3097.34.camel@localhost.localdomain>
On Tue, 2011-03-01 at 21:59 +0000, usuario wrote:
> Let me put it in others words. Following the last example.
> Here is the way i see it,
> Everything inside a word document IS CONTENT (not body). In that document we
> may have or not a header, or a footer, but we always "should" have a body,
> in this word document, for convenience purposes text by default is intended
> to be body (hence no need to mark it as that).
> In HTML, as you say, everything by default is body (about the same a a word
> document).

In a word-processed document the header and footer are separate from the
main content (what you keep erroneously calling the body), but are still
part of the document content as a whole

>  But the thing is that in HTML5, WE ARE making distinctions among
> *header* and *footer* content. My only counter here is why aren't we making
> distinctions of body content too?

We are, by creating the header and footer. It's a bit like the way you
style alternate table rows; you set the default style for the table and
give a class only to the odd rows. The even ones just inherit the
default, no need to explicitly give the even ones a class too. By not
being part of the header or footer, the rest of the web page content is
the regular main content of the page.

> Is this semantic to you?
> <body>
>     <header></header>
>     <footer></footer>
> </body>
> There is an obvious (may be not dangerous) semantic issue there. Why in the
> world a footer can be inside a body, aren't they siblings of a document?
> To me (but hope you too), something semantic would be this:
> <content>
>     <header></header>
>     <body></body>
>     <footer></footer>
> </content>

As explained, for legacy reasons <body> is what you're calling <content>

> I've been requested to solve a problem. Former has never been a problem, web
> as worked well in that way. I just am setting out a new way of thinking
> about html. Being more declarative.
> 2011/3/1 Ashley Sheridan <ash at ashleysheridan.co.uk>
> >  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 14:12:35 UTC

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