[whatwg] <h1> to <h6> in <body>

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Fri Apr 1 02:58:12 PST 2005

On Fri, 1 Apr 2005, Matthew Thomas wrote:
> > Another example:
> >
> >    <title>Introduction to the mating rituals of bees</title>
> >    ...
> >    <h1>Introduction</h1>
> 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.)

Sorry, that was a bad example indeed. I should have written:

    <title>Introduction to The Mating Rituals of Bees</title>

...(as in, the site is "The Mating Rituals of Bees").

Another related example:

    <title>Dances used during bee mating rituals</title>
    <h1>The Dances</h1>

The point is the <title> is doing a completely different job than the 
<h1>. Their jobs are related, naturally, but they one cannot be replaced 
by the other.

> As you collect more realistic examples, you'll find that they follow the 
> pattern I described.

While I agree that many real-world examples include author and publisher 
metadata in their titles, I do not agree that this is the be all and end 
all of differences between <h1> and <title>.

> > Thus the <title> is not in any sense the parent of the <h1> or other 
> > headers.
> 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.

<title> _is_ a title. I don't understand what is wrong with the situation 
as it stands now. Why would we want to change the semantics of <title> 
between HTML4 and HTML5? How is what I describe <title> to be, not a 

Also, note that the backwards-compatibility thing is very relevant here. 
People aren't going to stop using <title> to include information that is 
important out-of-context simply because in newer UAs you might be lucky 
and have the UA generate that information for you. Legacy UAs still need 
that infotmation in the <title>.

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

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