[whatwg] Question on (new) header and hgroup

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Fri Jul 3 12:18:15 PDT 2009

On Fri, 3 Jul 2009, Kornel wrote:
> On 2 Jul 2009, at 05:44, Ian Hickson wrote:
> > That would have been another option (it wouldn't handle multiple-level 
> > subheadings well, but that's not a big deal), but I'm not really 
> > convinced it's enough of an improvement to change the way the spec is 
> > written. It also has poorer graceful degradation behaviour, IMHO.
> I expect it will be used between <hx> and <p>, both of which are block 
> elements, so it will render fine in HTML 4 browsers. Default styling 
> won't be perfect, but default font size of headers isn't good for 
> subheaders either.

Since HTML5 allows phrasing content in between flow content, I don't think 
we should rely on this. This kind of thing will be common:

     <h1>My Wonderful Blog</h1>
     <h2>Witty comment goes here</h2>
    Last update: <time>2009-01-01</time>

...which wouldn't degrade well with <subheading>

> It won't break document outline in older browsers, unlike multiple 
> headers in <hgroup>.

I don't think that's a particularly big concern, since outlines are rarely 
made today.

On Fri, 3 Jul 2009, Kornel wrote:
> IMHO <hgroup> is more difficult to use and has potential to break 
> document outline, so it would need more complicated error recovery than 
> <subheading>.

In practice defining <hgroup> was actually pretty easy. (I don't think 
<subheading> would be particularly hard either.)

> The discussion started because <hgroup> was difficult to understand and 
> could be confused with <header>.
> It increases complexity of document outline algorithm and authoring by 
> changing meaning and rank of <hx> in context of <hgroup>.

Both options have their disadvantages, certainly.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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