[whatwg] <comment> element in HTML5 Spec?

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Tue Jul 19 17:34:42 PDT 2011

On Thu, 28 Apr 2011, Jonas Sicking wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 28, 2011 at 2:41 PM, Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch> wrote:
> > On Mon, 13 Dec 2010, Richard Summers wrote:
> >>
> >> 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.
> >
> > There already is one: <article>! We defined it such that if you nest 
> > them, the nested ones are defined to be comments. There are some 
> > examples of this in the spec.
> >
> >
> > On Mon, 13 Dec 2010, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
> >>
> >> 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?
> >
> > This is already possible: a nested <article> has this semantic.
> This seems like a very unintuitive solution. If this really is a use 
> case that is worth addressing, I think it would be worth coming up with 
> a dedicated element. In general, elements that have different meaning 
> depending on in which context they appear usually doesn't feel very 
> intuitive and thus likely something that people will miss or get wrong.

<article> has just one meaning: content that it would make sense to 
syndicate; or to put it another way, content for which a CMS could 
reasonably have a dedicated permalink page. When it's nested in another, 
it just means that the inner article is a response to the outer one, in 
the same way that a <section> in another <section> is a subsection of the 
first, or that an <h1> in a particular <section> is a heading for that 
section. I don't think this is a different meaning.

On Thu, 28 Apr 2011, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
> I agree.  In particular, I want to sometimes nest articles without one 
> article being a comment on the outer one.

Could you describe such a case? I'm finding it hard to imagine a situation 
where an article literally nests another, without <aside> being more 

> The <body> element is supposed to be the "default article" for the page, 
> too - it would be odd if <article>-in-<body> acted differently from 
> <article>-in-<article>.

I don't think it's accurate to consider <body> to be equivalent to 
<article>. You wouldn't syndicate much of what is in a <body>, only the 
article itself (e.g. you wouldn't syndicate the footer, site nav, etc).

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

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