[whatwg] The div element

html at nczonline.net html at nczonline.net
Thu Feb 28 15:07:30 PST 2008

I'm still not clear to me how <section/> is anything more than a <div/>. HTML4 said: "The DIV and SPAN elements, in conjunction with the id and class attributes, offer a generic mechanism for adding structure to documents" (http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/struct/global.html#edef-DIV). Isn't that the very thing that <section/> is trying to do? Provide structure? I don't see that it offers anything over and above what <div/>s do now, except for confusing developers as to which is more appropriate to use.


>Geoff Pack wrote:
>> Why does the HTML5 spec say "The div element represents nothing at all" ?
>> [http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#the-div]
>Personally I'd describe it more along the lines of:
>"The div element is a generic way of representing document structure, 
>but offers no further semantics.  Where appropriate, elements with more 
>specific meanings (such as section or aside) should be used instead. 
>Use of the div element may be appropriate for extended features not 
>covered by this specification, for example a new type of user interface 

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