[html5] <nav> for external links?

Bjartur Thorlacius svartman95 at gmail.com
Sat Apr 30 09:33:15 PDT 2011

On 4/29/11, Brandon Hale <absolutehalo at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hey guys,
> Dismiss me if I sound like an amatuer but I wanted to make a comment and
> follow it with questions (in relation to this topic of course).
> Comment:
> I have always interpreted <head> to envelop information that the browser
> does not present to the user but interprets for the sake of the user
> (styles, scripts, meta, etc.). I have always interpreted <body> to envelop
> the information that the browser presents directly to the user.
> If that is a correct interpretation, I don't think it makes sense to place
> navigational links in <head>. Reading this discussion has me wondering if
> the <head> and <body> tags themselves are not semantically proper. Several
> of my peers and I just discussed wether or not both <head> and <body> are
> slowly becoming the wrong terms to use. No doubt our discussions about
> websites are becoming more and more more about "application" and less and
> less about "document". I couldn't help but wonder if <head> and <body> are
> slowly being deprecated just by the natural progression of the technology.
Yes, if HTML were to be designed today this would probably be quite
different. I don't think, however, that navigational links should be
categorized with the main content of the page, nor necessarily
presented directly to the user.

> Questions (in comment form):
> Is there any drawbacks or major reasons why <head> could not take on a more
> meaningful name like <meta> (Granted that element is already in play but I
> wonder if it makes greater sense to have <meta></meta> defined as a
> "container" for all the information the browser needs to interpret for the
> user.
Any changes would have to be backwards compatible. Currently, you can
simply omit the <head> opening and closing tags (in full conformance
with HTML 4.01). You'll have a hard time renaming existing elements,
in special considering that modern browsers might implicitly open
<body> upon encountering the unimplemented element (potentially
breaking assumptions).

> Further, what stipulations or arguments are present for or against <body>
> becoming <content></content>. At that point, <nav> being placed in the
> content are makes sense (as well as <header>, <aside>, <footer>, etc).
Well, you'll have to read threads of the WHATWG ML archives. There
have been proposals for this.

> A dev team peer had a bit of a different take. He suggested that perhaps any
> info that is not direct html content could exist the same way as <!DOCTYPE>
> and lives "outside" the DOM, while <html> could take the place of <body>.
AIUI, the doctype is a node in the DOM:
Quoting http://www.w3.org/TR/DOM-Level-2-Core/core.html#ID-1841493061
> DOCUMENT_TYPE_NODE:	The node is a DocumentType.

What exactly do you mean by "not direct html content?"

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