[whatwg] <h1> to <h6> in <body>
mpt at myrealbox.com
Fri Apr 1 02:17:44 PST 2005
Ian Hickson wrote:
> Note that the difference between <title> and <h1> is not that <title>
> is expected to include author information or whatever.
You personally may not expect it, but that is the inevitable and
unsurprising effect of it being used as "a context-free label to be used
to describe the page elsewhere", in the absence of simply-specified and
-supported markup for author, publisher, parent, and so on.
> The example I gave earlier, of a Wikipedia page, shows the difference
> I meant:
> <title>Main Page - Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia</title>
> <h1>Main Page</h1>
That example shows what I was talking about: <title> being used to
contain non-title data -- the publisher in this case -- separated by
arbitrary (and therefore difficult-to-parse) punctuation from the title
> Another example:
> <title>Introduction to the mating rituals of bees</title>
And that's an unrealistic example, because it's treating two definitions
of the word "Introduction" as if they were the same. (As a heading by
itself, "Introduction" means an introductory section; but "Introduction
to X" means a basic presentation of X.) As you collect more realistic
examples, you'll find that they follow the pattern I described.
> The point is that the <title> has to stand alone and represent the
> document when taken out of context, whereas the <h1> is the header of
> a document _in the context of the page_, i.e. when people already know
> what the basic subject area is.
> Thus the <title> is not in any sense the parent of the <h1> or other
Not in Web pages designed to work with HTML 4 browsers, no. But if
you're requiring new browsers to present some rel= values, you could
take advantage of that to let <title> really be a title.
> > It is a bad idea for the meaning of an element to be markedly
> > different from the meaning of its name. That is likely to cause
> > confusion, non-conformance, and disrespect for the spec in general.
> While I agree with this in general, and while I am aware of a huge
> number of cases where the HTML language faito follow ls this design
> principle, I don't see its relevance in this particular case.
The relevance is that it is exactly what you were planning to do with
> > Authors have been encouraged to misuse <title> so far for a
> > different reason: the lack of a well-defined standard for presenting
> > the other information they want shown in document summaries. So a
> > better idea would be to explicitly define a very limited number of
> > rel= attributes (as you already plan to do) to contain the non-title
> > data that authors most often put in <title> -- mainly author and
> > publisher -- and perhaps allow the rel= attribute to be placed in
> > elements other than <link> and <a>.
> While this sounds like a good idea in principle, I don't see how it
> affects my point (in terms of the examples above).
The point is that you can do that to avoid entrenching a mismatch
between the meaning of the <title> element and the meaning of its name.
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