[whatwg] <comment> element in HTML5 Spec?

Andy Mabbett andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk
Tue Dec 14 10:01:16 PST 2010

Perhaps what is needed is some kind of "in-reply-to" attribute:

<article id="beer">I like beer</article>
<article id="firstreply" in-reply-to="beer">Me too!</article>

or even:

<article id="beer">I like beer
    <article id="firstreply" in-reply-to="beer">Me too!</article>

On 14 December 2010 17:41, Richard Summers <Richard.Summers at bbc.co.uk> wrote:
> Thanks for the feedback guys, really appreciate it.
> Using <article> elements within other <article> elements feels a bit like
> we'd just be replacing <div> for <article>, it seems to remove some of the
> logical distinction between different types of content.
> As the use-case would potentially be huge (previously stated impact to
> Blogs/Message Boards/News outlets), is there any more mileage in perhaps
> using a <feedback> (or similar) element, as suggested by Bruce Hyslop?
> A <feedback>,or similar, (<response>?) element would distinguish content as
> a response to an article, and therefore denote that it serves a different
> purpose to the main content in the <article> element.
> Thoughts?
> Rich
> On 13/12/2010 19:23, "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 10:49 AM, Richard Summers
>> <Richard.Summers at bbc.co.uk> wrote:
>>> Hi gang,
>>> I wonder if anyone can help me...
>>> I attended  great talk today by Bruce Lawson from Opera about HTML5. I was
>>> wondering, is there any plan to implement a <comment> element within the
>>> HTML5 spec? I¹m suggesting this as a complimentary element to the <article>
>>> element.
>>> I believe it could be useful as it could be used to differentiate between
>>> audience generated content and article-author generated content. This could
>>> enable search engines to differentiate between the 2 types of content, and
>>> weigh them differently in different searches. Semantically and structurally,
>>> something like this seems to make sense.
>>> This would mean huge implications for all the blogs out there, and the
>>> increasing number of commenting systems on News outlets.
>>> Cool, let me know if this has already been covered, or if it¹s not a good
>>> idea, why? :)
>> The idea is potentially interesting.  Right now, the correct way to
>> mark up comments is to just put each in an <article> of their own (as
>> each is a piece of independent content).
>> What benefits could be brought along by instead using <comment>?  I
>> can think of a few potential benefits:
>> 1. Differentiating between the main article and user-generated content
>> in response (you bring this up).  Would this be useful for search
>> engines?  I'm not sure.  Would it be useful to weight comment content
>> differently from article content?  Perhaps weight links in comments
>> less than links in the rest of the page?
>> 2. Providing a bit more information to screen-readers that may
>> navigate by headings or sections, to make it easier to skip to or over
>> the comments on a post.
>> 3. Make the authoring pattern a bit more obvious - rather than having
>> to learn that it's okay and recommended to nest <article>s like that,
>> authors could just naturally gravitate towards using <article> and
>> <comment> together.
>> One thing to note - <comment> has already been used by IE6 and earlier
>> as an alternative to the <!-- --> syntax for HTML comments.  They
>> apparently stopped supporting this in IE7, though (I can confirm that
>> it no longer does anything special in IE8), so we probably don't have
>> to worry about it.  No other browser does anything special for it, it
>> seems, so the compat impact is apparently small enough to be ignored.
>> ~TJ
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Andy Mabbett

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