[whatwg] Clarify how to indicate document hierarchy

Spartanicus spartanicus.3 at ntlworld.ie
Mon Feb 12 02:17:32 PST 2007

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis at googlemail.com> wrote:

>SimpleBits quiz: http://tinyurl.com/create.php 

You need to input something and post the result for that to work.

>After text fallbacks, heading elements are arguably the single most
>important accessibility feature HTML offers. They allow assistive
>technology users to jump between sections of a document, rather than
>being forced to listen to or read the entire stream.

Imo there is considerable wishful thinking behind that thought. IIRC no
current AT AU facilitates navigating for example from one <h2> to the
next <h2>, they only allow navigating to the next or previous header.
That significantly reduces the potential usefulness of header
navigation. But IMO the real killer is the chicken and egg situation
that very few pages have been marked up to facilitate useful header
navigation. Consequently as a user you'd have to be something of a
masochist to try and use header navigation whilst surfing. In turn there
is little incentive on UA developers to improve their header navigation

>WHATWG's specifications should establish clear guidelines about how
>document hierarchy can be indicated.

Should a specification also be an authoring course? IMO it is
appropriate for a spec to contain single illustrations/examples of a
given element usage, and such examples should IMO follow common best
authoring practice if one exists, but IMO it is not appropriate to
expand a spec into an authoring course. 

The issues you mentioned have been a pet subject of mine for some time,
however I'd be amongst the first to acknowledge that the real world
practical benefits of what I advocate (which seems to align with your
views) could be negligible. This, combined with the fact that, as you
noted, there are differing views on what constitutes best authoring
practice is another argument that this is not something a specification
should get involved with.


(email whitelist in use, non list-server mail will not be seen)

More information about the whatwg mailing list