[html5] What is the point about nav, header, footer and aside elements?

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Wed Nov 28 12:27:24 PST 2012

On Thu, 29 Nov 2012, Bryce * wrote:
> I really don't think you understand the notion of semantics with regards 
> to tags. You're taking your understanding of semantics and imagining 
> that "semantic" tags would directly describe the content, rather than 
> the loose manner in which it is used - web semantics describe the TYPE 
> of content contained within the tags rather than a description of the 
> -actual- content. <nav> contains navigation, <header> <footer> describe 
> that the content contained is part of the header, or footer. <article> 
> is an article of information, <section> is a section within the site 
> that contains related info. et al.

That is correct.

> If you can show me one tag that is capable of specifically describing 
> any one piece of content in any webpage ever created without an 
> attribute descriptor, then I'll take on-board your understanding of 
> "semantics".

The term "semantics" as used in the context of HTML elements is what you 
describe in your first paragraph. The elements, via their definitions in 
the spec, describe what kind of content is there. For example, you can 
find what the headings are by looking for <h1> elements (amongst others). 
By following the table model algorithm, you can generate the data model 
that describes how <td> elements and <th> elements relate to each other in 
the 2-dimensional table grid. And so forth.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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