[whatwg] <comment> element
nikhilesh at gmail.com
Tue Dec 13 20:37:43 PST 2011
I wanted to see if WHATWG had had any discussions on a semantic element for
user-generated comments. It's an idea I wanted to propose myself. Found this
Shaun Moss started and this
1 year ago. Has there been further discussion on this after September 6?
My takeaway from these discussions has been:
1. Semantically, user comments are indeed a different type of content.
At least as much as <footer>, if not more so.
2. IE < 9 treats <comment> as an HTML comment. So the new element will
have to be called something else. <cmnt> was proposed.
3. Two new elements may be required:
1. to denote a single comment e.g. <cmnt>
2. to denote a collection of comments, perhaps also including the
chrome and widgets used for commenting e.g. <commentsarea>
4. Use cases for the new element(s) include
1. Users being able to hide comments and comment areas. (I'd like to t
2. Easier syndication of both the comments and the parent <article>
(because parent is now unencumbered/uncorrupted by user comments)
3. A signal to search engines analogous to rel=nofollow ("Yes this
content is on my website but I can't attest to its quality")
4. Screen readers can navigate comments more easily..or skip them
5. The problems with using nested <article>s for comments are:
1. A nested <article> does not necessarily mean a user-generated
comment. So it's ambiguous.
2. For threaded conversations, there would be a lot of nesting.
Nesting in and of itself is not a bad thing but when trying to syndicate
the original (parent) <article>, this becomes difficult. A <cmnt
for="thearticle"> is more elegant.
3. A webmaster may want to structure markup in a way that makes
nesting difficult. e.g. <article id="thearticle">..</article><div
for="thearticle">BS!!</cmnt></commentsarea>. In such cases, forcing the
comments to be nested <article>s would require unnecessary CSS
to make it look right.
1. Use <article type=comment>
2. A new attribute "in-reply-to" can be used. e.g. <article
id="themainarticle">Moms rock</article><article id="comment1"
7. More suggestions for the name of the elements:
1. <usercomment>, <opinion>, <opin>, <publiccomment>, <ucomment> (U
for user), <feedback>, <response>
2. <commentsarea>, <opinionsarea>, <commentset>, <discussion>
What's the process for introducing new elements into the spec? It must be
non-trivial ..a new element is a pretty big deal. Do people discuss on the
mailing list, agree it must be done and then some people volunteer to write
the spec? I want to help (if the more knowledgeable minds in the group
agree these new elements are a good idea).
Diffen. Discern. Decide.
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