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Re: [whatwg] A plea to Hixie to adopt <main>

From: Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2012 10:30:41 +0000
Message-ID: <CA+ri+Vm=iH-ujUHOWSW-CM6+rYeb49p5NZcyMe++BfWPmpdH9Q@mail.gmail.com>
To: zzzzbov@gmail.com
Cc: Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>, whatwg <whatwg@whatwg.org>
Hi Tim,

> Are you saying we should not introduce a <main> element...
> I don't believe I ever said anything about not introducing a
> <main>element. I'm very much on the fence about it. I've been trying
> to carefully
> balance the pros and cons to avoid a biased judgement. Here are some of
> what I've come up with.
> Pro: Adding a <main> element will provide a semantic element that
> developers can use to indicate primary content of a document.
> Con: Adding a <main> element adds redundancy to the [role="main"]
> attribute.

I don't see why this is a con, if main is mapped to role=main in the
browser it means that authors won't have to. Also adding
aside/article/footer etc adds redundancy to the matching ARIA roles.

> Pro: Adding a <main> element will allow developers to use a format such as:
> <body>
>   <header />
>   <main />
>   <footer />
> </body>
> which tends to be quite clean and understandable (the easier it is to read
> code, the easier it is to fix code).
> Con: Implementing the <main> element in a backwards compatible manner
> requires JavaScript.

it is/was the same for any of the new structural elements.

> Pro: Assistive technologies can use the <main> element as a means to
> rapidly navigate to the primary content.
> Con: The <main> element can only be used once per page. Pages with multiple
> content areas, or fragmented content would need to pick a single content
> region as primary, or not use the element. This restriction will likely
> cause more confusion than if multiple <main> elements were allowed.

>From the data it does not appear that authors are confused about use of
role=main or the use of semantic id values to designate the main content

Authors do not appear to have an issue with marking up <div id="main"> and
using it once per page.  I think that the restrictions make it easier to
use and understand rather than harder.

> Pro: The <main> element can only be used once per page. This forces the
> author to decide exactly where the main focus of the page lies, rather than
> relying on assumptions.
> Con: The <main> element is supposed to exclude content that is repetitious
> across pages, but content is often interspersed with blocks of
> advertisements, modules, CTAs and the like.

authors can use more granular elements within the <main> element, to
structure content, example:

<aside> advertisements</aside>

can you provide some examples of the sort of pages you are talking about?
It would be useful.

> Personally, I'd rather see <main> be more about marking up content in
> general, such as in this example which is invalid given the current state
> of the spec:
> <article id=1>
>   <header />
>   <main />
>   <footer />
> </article>
> <article id=2>
>   <header />
>   <main />
>   <footer />
> </article>
> ...although this would probably fit better as a <content> element, and
> would require a whole other line of discussion that can wait for another
> day.

Indeed, this appears to be something different from what the <main> element
is designed for.

Received on Thursday, 15 November 2012 10:31:57 UTC

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