[whatwg] A plea to Hixie to adopt <main>

Kang-Hao (Kenny) Lu kanghaol at oupeng.com
Wed Nov 7 10:13:58 PST 2012

(12/11/08 1:48), James Graham wrote:
> I think that finding the main content of a page has clear use cases. We
> can see examples of authors working around the lack of this feature in
> the platform every time they use a "skip to main" link, or (less
> commonly) aria role=main. I believe we also see browsers supporting
> role=main in their AT mapping, which suggests implementer interest in
> this approach since the solutions are functionally isomorphic (but with
> very different marketing and usability stories).
> I think the argument that the Scooby Doo algorithm is deficient because
> it requires many elements of a page to be correctly marked up, compared
> to <main> which requires only a single element to get the same
> functional effect, has merit. 

Hixie's another argument, if I understand correctly, is to use <article>
in place of this role. I think the Web is probably full of mis-used
<article> already such that using the first <article> in document order
has no chance to work out, but it would nice if this can be verified,
even though I can already imagine that an author is unlikely to mark up
the main content with <article> when the main content isn't an article
in English sense.

> The observation that having one element on a page marked — via class
> or id —  "main" is already a clear cowpath enhances the credibility
> of the suggested solution. On the other hand, I agree that now
> everyone heading down the cowpath was aiming for the same place; a
> <div class=main> wrapping the whole page, headers, footers, and
> all is clearly not the same as one that identifies the extent of the
> primary content.

Right. So, assuming "skip to main" is the only use case for <main>,
which I am not sure if Steve agrees, I think the proposal should use
strong wording to prevent such misuse and the proposal should include
one example of such misuse and explains it.

Web Specialist, Oupeng Browser, Beijing
Try Oupeng: http://www.oupeng.com/

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