[whatwg] Clarify how to indicate document hierarchy

Spartanicus spartanicus.3 at ntlworld.ie
Mon Feb 12 09:56:59 PST 2007

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

>> 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.
>Even being able to skip from heading to heading is vast improvement, but
>I'm delighted to say you're wrong about current AT capabilities. This
>isn't a full survey but:
>JAWS does:


Thanks for the research, this is good news.

>> But IMO the real killer is the chicken and egg situation
>> that very few pages have been marked up to facilitate useful header
>> navigation. 
>Seems to me a lot of pages uses header navigation.

Headers being used in web documents does not mean that they form a
useful navigation mechanism. 

>(Hixie will presumably have some statistics on this.) 

The usefulness cannot be derived from the data produced by a markup
parsing bot.

>> Should a specification also be an authoring course? 
>You mean should a specification indicate best practice or only required

IMO a spec should primarily describe the building blocks, i.e. the
available elements and if needed illustrate their usage with minimal
context. How to use those elements to build a page or site is up to
authors. It depends on variables such UA features and support, UA market
share, user behaviour, fashions, fads and other slippery modalities.
This IMO is not something a spec should get involved with.

>It should indicate both IMHO, and in many places both the
>HTML4 specification and the WHATWG drafts do just that.

I see no guidance of the type you requested in the HTML4 spec. Whilst I
can understand your desire for this type of advocacy, a language
specification is IMO not a good place for such.


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