[whatwg] Re: 1 webpage != 1 document

Jep Castelein jep at backbase.com
Wed Aug 17 01:54:52 PDT 2005

Am I right in saying that <section> and especially <article> could 
promote the use of multiple documents in 1 webpage? If yes, I guess it 
would be useful if search engines would index all documents separately 
and not just the entire page. I don't know how search engines are 
supposed to display the deeplinks: with hashes maybe?


fantasai wrote:
> Bronwyn Boltwood wrote:
>> Over on the pmwiki-users mailing list, we're having a discussion about
>> the use of heading tags in the sidebar and document structure.  You
>> can read the thread at
>> http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.comp.web.wiki.pmwiki.user/16355.  In
>> short, the pmwiki-users list is trying to decide how do we keep
>> headings used in the sidebar from wrecking the outline structure, and
>> from "outvoting" the page's real name in search engine indexes.  So
>> far the consensus is to stop using heading in the sidebar, and fake
>> them with some other element.  I feel that this is a lesser evil,
>> rather than a semantic improvement.
>> As I see it, the root problem here is that the model of a what webpage
>> is says that it's one document.  But when did you last see a
>> well-designed live webpage that contained *just* one document?  If the
>> W3C's site was constructed like that, we could only find other W3C
>> pages if they were linked in the body text, because there would be no
>> navigation links.  Logically speaking, navigation is never the page
>> content proper unless the page is a sitemap.
>> Best practice in web design demands plenty of site-related content in
>> every page, such as the masthead and navigation bar(s).  There may
>> also be document-related secondary content, like a sidebar for a
>> magazine story.  Evidently, real webpages contain more than just one
>> document each.
>> Does anyone else agree that the "1 webpage = 1 document" idea is flawed? 
>> What if we had a way to mark content separate from the page's primary
>> document, so that user agents can recognize these site-related and
>> document-related chunks, and consider their heading structure
>> separately from that of the primary document?
> You might want to take a look at what the WHATWG is doing with the
> Web Apps 1.0 drafts. The sectioning elements and heading structure in
> particular seem to address this problem. If you have suggestions for
> improvement, of course you are strongly encouraged to comment on the
> mailing list.
>   http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#sections
>   http://www.whatwg.org/mailing-list
> ~fantasai

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