[whatwg] Have tabstrip / tab elements been discussed?

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis bhawkeslewis at googlemail.com
Sat Aug 28 16:00:07 PDT 2010

On 28 Aug 2010, at 23:39, E.J. Zufelt wrote:
> I am suggesting that a different tab page would not be "navigation" in the common sense, as the user is not leaving the current page, just switching contexts within the application.

But the draft is explicit that links in a "nav" element might only switch contexts within the current page:

"The nav element represents a section of a page that links to other pages or to parts within the page"


It's not idiosyncratic to call tabpage-switching "navigation". Here's an example from the Yahoo! Design Pattern Library:


> Another example might be where a tabstrip is used informationally, without attached behavior, to indicate perhaps which step of a process a user is currently on.

I can imagine this being styled to look like a tabstrip, but I would not call a UI component that did not actually allow users to switch contexts to be a tabstrip.

I'd suggest simply using a list here like so:

        <h1>Order progress</h1>
            <li>Name and address</li>
            <li><span>Current step: </span>Order details</li>
            <li>Payment information</li>

With CSS, the "span" can be hidden (e.g. offscreen) and the current step marked with different colors and bold text, for example.

> A list of tabs differs from a list of links, because when selecting a tab the user expects the change to stay within a greater context.  If I am logged into a CMS and viewing a blog article, tabs may be View, Edit, Track Changes, etc.  As a tabstrip I expect these actions to be meaningful within the current context of the article.

These sound more like commands in a toolbar than a tablist. Couldn't you use the "menu" element?


Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis

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