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Re: [whatwg] Thoughts on the <nav> element

From: Reinier Kaper <rp.kaper@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2015 22:55:38 -0400
Message-ID: <CAAz96OtfdxNCPXzZu=hshKYCH20KS7irY2aU-ONag7paoWRFHg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Andrea Rendine <master.skywalker.88@gmail.com>
Cc: WHATWG List <whatwg@whatwg.org>
I'm (obviously) +1 on this.

Navs are great semantically, but very, very impractical as sectioning
I'd rather see them being implemented more loosely. You can always add a
heading if that's justified or practical. But implying it forces the ugly
and pretty useless structure Andrea outlines.

A very common occurence is:
[Untitled body]
  1. Navigation
1. Page/article title

Simply because the main nav (that is not tied to the page, but is global)
HAS to come before the main element.

I'm not sure how easy/hard it is to do some sort of automated test on the
top X sites, to see what the outlines are, which elements are used and how
we can propose better solutions, but that would be immensly helpful.

Reinier Kaper.

On 27 March 2015 at 22:42, Andrea Rendine <master.skywalker.88@gmail.com>

> After a mail confrontation with Reinier, as well as some very simple models
> I saw at work, I have to admit that I support this idea.
> <nav> has a strong semantic value, for sure. It deserves UAs to easily
> highlight navigation elements.
> Thus said, is it really needed that <nav> necessarily defines a section? I
> think not.
> A first point is what Reinier underlined. With a structure as follows:
> [header with no heading elements]
> [navigation]
> [main with its own heading elements]
> an author would end up with an ugly and impractical (as stated by Reinier
> himself) structure: an untitled body, a navigation, and a main content
> presenting a heading, which is no longer the page content title as it was
> logically intended. Some authors (I'm among them) prefer different
> structures with one title for the page and one for main content, but
> defining <main> element as *not* sectioning allows a more agile
> structure... actually made non viable by a sectioning <nav> placed before
> <main> (and note that this is both a layout choice AND one dictated by
> logic, as site navigation is not to be considered part of the main
> content).
> On the other hand, consider a long navigation element enclosed in an
> <aside>. The spec suggests it can group a series of <nav> elements, but
> even a single <nav> list qualifies as "content tangentially connected to
> the page topic". But <aside> is sectioning content too, and when using a
> single <nav> in <aside>, it forces an unnecessary further nesting
> [body]
>   [aside]
>     [nav]
> also forcing authors to put different titles when they want to avoid the
> poor default choice of "Untitled <xxx> element".
> Having a strong semantic doesn't necessarily mean defining a section for
> the document, as emerged for <main> element too. I previously suggested
> that <main> itself could become a sectioner, but I have to retract because
> this solution is highly impractical... yes, as well as sectioning <nav>.
> This element is not even logically suitable to define anything - it just
> helps users retrieving navigational structures. Then, if authors need to
> *also* use it as a sectioner, nobody can stop them from defining it as a
> section, either implicitly (through a heading element) or explicitly
> (wrapping it in a strongly sectioning elements such as <aside>).
Received on Saturday, 28 March 2015 02:56:04 UTC

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