[whatwg] article: do we really need this?

Matthew Raymond mattraymond at earthlink.net
Wed Mar 7 18:17:23 PST 2007

Elliotte Harold wrote:
> Not much. <section class="article"> is perfectly fine. My mind just 
> happened to be in another spec at the moment where there were roles and 
> not classes, so I happened to mention role where I [probably] should have 
> said class.

   I don't really care for predefined classes. Classes strike me as
being an extension mechanism to HTML, so it makes little sense to me to
have their custom semantics enshrined in a specification.

> It's not really a question of whether article makes sense. The question 
> is whether it makes *enough* sense. There are arguments for it, but 
> they're very weak. I do not see a community crying out for this.

   Well, I for one have use <div class="content"> for essentially the
same thing all the time, so it'd be nice to have for me at least.

> I don't 
> think it's going to help anybody all that much, and I'm afraid it's 
> going to end up like address: a poorly understood, rarely used element 
> that's misused more often than it's used properly.

   I can think of only one way it might be abused:

| In the Time Magazine article <article>It is the Bunny!</article>...

   However, considering how little other inline elements of that kind
are used, I doubt this will be a problem.

> I suspect I could ask the same question of a few other elements as well. 
> time and meter come to mind. They at least don't have any obvious 
> equivalents already in the spec, and are obvious enough they perhaps 
> won't be frequently misused; but do authors actually need these? Will 
> they use them?

   I think <time> has a good use case. (Full Disclosure: <time> is based
 on similar earlier concepts I developed.) Meter has use cases, but I
don't know how strong they are. I think <article> has at least as strong
a use case as <address>, but I agree that's not saying much.

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