[html5] Basic question on some html5 tags

Jukka K. Korpela jukka.k.korpela at kolumbus.fi
Mon Feb 27 04:06:46 PST 2012

2012-02-27 13:37, TD wrote:

> I have discovered the following tags: header and footer.
> While I understand that these tags help to structure the content of our
> pages - which is always a good thing -, I don't really understand their
> usefulness.

They don't help to structure the content in any particular way; they are 
just supposed to be more concise _notations_ in markup.

> Is it for accessiblity reasons: is it used by some special software?

Probably not. It's just _possible_ that some screen readers would offer 
a "skip header" function, but I don't expect this to happen.

> Is it for seo reasons: is our content better referenced if we use it?

Hardly. Search engines _could_ treat <footer> as less important content, 
for example, but they have had the such a possibility with <div 
id="footer"> for a long time, and in the foreseeable future, <div 
id="footer"> will be much more common than <footer>.

> Are there some other reasons that make it really useful and enough
> important to give up old way of structuring code:(<div id="header">,
> <div id="footer"> etc ...)

The new tags are supposed to make coding easier. Of course this won't 
happen for many many years, if you pay due attention to old browsers as 
long as they survive. For real robustness, you would need to use _both_ 
the new tags _and_ the old way, e.g.

<header><div id=header>...</div></header>

and what would be the point then? But you can use this approach if you 
have some faith on emerging useful support to such new tags in browsers, 
assistive software, and search engines.

Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

More information about the Help mailing list