[html5] Using <section> and <h1> … Theoretical?

Micky Hulse mickyhulse.lists at gmail.com
Thu May 8 18:10:31 PDT 2014

Today I got the latest Yoast newsletter in my inbox:


>From that newsletter issue, there's this quote:

"In HTML5, each sectioning tag (for instance`<section>` and
`<article>`) starts again with an H1. This was done to make it easier
to combine several components onto one page and still have a valid
outline. It makes sense from a clearly theoretical perspective, but
it's lots harder to understand and we generally recommend against
using it."

Really, I don't understand what's so hard about "understanding" how to
use <section> and <h1> (plus the other heading levels) to build an
HTML5 document, but that's besides the point …

Anyway, the above newsletter links to this article:

"The HTML5 Document Outline"

Here's why I'm e-mailing the WHTWG list …

Honestly, that's the first time I've heard anyone hating on HTML5
<section> and <h1> elements. Up until now, I thought everyone was on
board with that approach (generally speaking). I thought sections and
headings, like the way I've been coding things for over a year now, is
how HTML5 documents are to be crafted.

This comment really threw me for a loop:


If you follow the link Steve Faulkner posted, it looks like he ended
up adding "this note" to the MDN WIKI:

"Note: The HTML5 outline algorithm as described below is not
implemented in user agents, as a consequence, users who make use of
heading semantics are exposed to the HTML 4 document structure. The
description of problems solved by HTML5 is theoretical only."

– <https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/Guide/HTML/Sections_and_Outlines_of_an_HTML5_document>

I don't know why, but it just seems kinda odd to see that as a big red
warning message at the top of that page. I dunno … While it may be
true, it doesn't seem helpful.

Also, wouldn't that confuse newcomers to HTML5?

Is it just me, or is Steve, and the Yoast guy, going against the flow here?

Personally, I like the new way of doing things (even if it is "theoretical").

Thoughts? Should I consider crafting my documents more like I did in
HTML4 (for the sake of SEO and screen readers)???

Honestly, I'm kinda confused.

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