[whatwg] Elements to markup article headings

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Mon Jul 9 13:42:21 PDT 2012

On Sun, 22 Apr 2012, Andrés Sanhueza wrote:
> There are some analog conventions that does make sense to standardize in 
> different markup languages. This is not necessarily the job of the HTML5 
> team, but it may have those issues in mind. There are a few regarding 
> the heading of newspaper articles, specific names differs, but meaning 
> is the same:
> —The kicker / running head: a phrase that goes right before the
> heading, usually a short teaser or the name of a section.
> —The headline: the article title.
> —The drop deck / lead /lede: the paragraph that gives a short abstract
> of the article.
> —The byline: the line that contains meta info like the author, and/or
> the date of the article. This can go before the lead, after it or at
> the end of the article.
> There have been some discussion regarding each one which have been
> more or less clarified. The way to markup that with the current
> standard:
> <article>
> <header>
> <hgroup>
> <h2>Kicker</h2>
> <h1>Headline</h1>
> </hgroup>
> <p><b>Deck</b></p>
> </header>
> <footer>Byline</footer>
> [...]
> </article>

That seems fine. I would maybe go for:

     <address>Byline with e-mail address</address>
    <p><b>Lede</b> rest of first paragraph</p>

...but there's a variety of possibilities here.

> It looks fine, but I'm not entirely convinced by the tag for the byline, 
> mainly because, even when it could be place differently or even multiple 
> times inside a newspaper article, when it appears at the beginning it 
> could make more sense to have it between the <header>, but that is not 
> possible due to the rule of not having <header> tags with <footer> 
> descendants and vice-versa.

The byline doesn't have to be in the <footer>; as the spec says: "Bylines 
and other information that could be suitable for both a header or a footer 
can be placed in either (or neither). The primary purpose of these 
elements is merely to help the author write self-explanatory markup that 
is easy to maintain and style; they are not intended to impose specific 
structures on authors."

> That does makes sense when sticking to what the names of the elements 
> imply, yet conceptually I see no reason a <footer> as in "textual 
> metadata of a section" can't be inside a <header> ("lead of a section").

It's mostly for sanity's sake. People tend to consider their headers and 
footers as separate peers, so we like to have the validator check that 
they didn't accidentally end up nested.

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

More information about the whatwg mailing list