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[whatwg] Thoughts on the <nav> element

From: Reinier Kaper <rp.kaper@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Mar 2015 10:49:53 -0400
Message-ID: <CAAz96OtJHfOwBPcAg_yQ5sx=pAaDHCvU6SvqqDqWDVDLHkRiVA@mail.gmail.com>
To: whatwg@whatwg.org
Hey guys,

I've been worrying (maybe too much) about the <nav> element lately.
In my experience, it has become more of a burden than a help when it comes
to the document outline.

The <nav> element forces a new outline section, therefore requiring a
heading and (implicitly) requiring a heading to precede the <nav> element
as its parent.

Main navigation tends to be at the (physical) top of the document, forcing
a heading to precede it is not only impractical, but also irrelevant.

Let me demonstrate with a practical example:

<body>

 <header>
  <nav>
   <h2>Navigation></h2>
   <ul>...</ul>
  </nav>
 </header>

 <main>
  <h1>Page/article title</h1>
  <p>...</p>
 </main>

 <footer>...</footer>
</body>

This will break the outline, as the nav element (regardless of the heading
used) will create a new part of the outline and "missing" a preceding
heading.

Unless you have a fixed position navigation/header this will not fly from a
styling perspective and simply makes no sense. It's completely normal to
start with the header of a site/page, including the (global) nav, instead
of the site/page title.

I would like to see a discussion as to making the nav not sectioning
content, but behave more like other semantical elements that don't force
part of the outline.

If more examples are required I can create a small Gist or something.

Thoughts?

Kind regards,
Reinier Kaper.
Received on Tuesday, 24 March 2015 14:50:22 UTC

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