[whatwg] article: do we really need this?

fantasai fantasai.lists at inkedblade.net
Mon Mar 5 17:17:43 PST 2007

Elliotte Harold wrote:
> Has there been any extensive discussion of the article element in Web 
> Apps 1.0? It is currently described as:
> "represents a section of a page that consists of a composition that 
> forms an independent part of a document, page, or site. This could be a 
> forum post, a magazine or newspaper article, a Web log entry, a 
> user-submitted comment, or any other independent item of content."
> It seems sort of wishy washy. Most of the time what I think of as an 
> "article" is a separate page with its own URL. This use case seems to be 
> handled better by section, perhaps with a role attribute. Maybe a 
> section is less independent than an article, but that's going to be a 
> very fuzzy distinction, and really hard to explain, teach, and validate.
> Is there some obvious use case for this element? Mostly to me it just 
> seems to needlessly clutter the spec, especially  once you consider how 
> it relates to potential sibling sections. I think I'd prefer to just 
> drop it and stick with section.

This element would be extremely useful to someone with a screen reader.
It would create an implied UA hook for "skip to main content", for one.
With multiple postings within a page, it would create a reliable way of
"skimming" the main sections (by reading the first bit of content on each
posting), even when there are no headers or when the postings themselves
have internal sectioning and headers (especially if those are inconsistent).

For printing, the <article> element would make it easy to cut out
extraneous content and print just the main content of a web page.


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