[whatwg] Headings and sections, role of H2-H6

Boris Zbarsky bzbarsky at MIT.EDU
Fri Apr 30 07:11:11 PDT 2010

On 4/30/10 8:02 AM, Nikita Popov wrote:
> I personally prefer using <h1-6> and do not see, why always using <h1>
> may be better.

If you're the only author, sure (maybe; see below).

If you're one of several co-authors on a document, with sectioning 
structure in flux, and you're supposed to produce one of the sections 
but don't know how deeply nested your section will be in the final 
document, then how are you supposed to use <h1-6> correctly?

Similarly, if you have a document being edited by one author, sections 
being changed, etc, it's easy for the 1-6 to get out of sync with 
reality.  Sane document-preparation systems auto-number and auto-size 
the headings for you.  This is just an attempt to have that in HTML.

> What would make much more sense, is to omit the rank fully, so only only
> has to write <h>.

Yes, and I'm fairly certain that's been discussed in the past.  But <h1> 
already exists, and people already use it and the new uses will degrade 
gracefully in UAs not supporting the new spec text much better than uses 
of <h> would.

> Beyond that, using <h> instead of <h1> would even be more backwards
> compatible to the HTML 4 use of headings.

But not to existing HTML4 UAs...


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