[whatwg] A plea to Hixie to adopt <main>
zzzzbov at gmail.com
Wed Nov 14 17:17:34 PST 2012
> the smiley led me to believe it may not have been a real concern.
I've been using a smiley as my signature for some time now, although I am
new to the whatwg mailing list, so I do understand the confusion.
> Are you fundamentally distrusting the author in all semantic markup?
In some circumstances, yes. Most of the work I've done so far has been in
environments where programmers write code, and editors write content.
Typically the content is via a CMS. If the editor is good but the
programmer is not, the content is still worth having even if its surrounded
by rubbish markup. From a data analytics and processing standpoint, there's
no reason to discard good content just because its held in bad code in the
same way that there's no reason to accept bad content just because its well
> Why then did we introduce <article>, <header>, <nav>, <aside>, <footer>
etc when we can't trust the author to put the correct content in there? I
don't really see the difference.
Steve made a good point about user agents being able to tune into semantic
elements for assistive tech. But I would guess (with no data to support my
claim) that most programmers *want* to do things the right way. I find
that, semantically, most of the time most websites are mostly correct.
Headings tend to be in <h#> elements, paragraphs tend to be in <p>
elements, etc. Heuristic analysis of content can take advantage of semantic
markup by giving it a heavier weight than, say...a <div> element, but that
doesn't mean the heuristics are any less complex.
On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 7:23 PM, Silvia Pfeiffer
<silviapfeiffer1 at gmail.com>wrote:
> Apologies for misunderstanding - the smiley led me to believe it may not
> have been a real concern. I did answer in good faith though, so back to the
> You are absolutely correct that an algorithmic approach would still be
> necessary to resolve the situation when <main> is not provided in the same
> way that browsers create a <body> tag when it's not provided or a <head>
> etc. Scooby-Doo seems both simple enough and appropriate for this.
> >> I'm sure a lot of other people had to solve this problem as well and
> >> done so in their own special way. Explicit author markup would make
> such a
> >> task so much easier.
> > I was disagreeing with that point because there's no way to implicitly
> trust the author, in the same way that search engines can't trust <meta
> > name="keywords" />
> Are you fundamentally distrusting the author in all semantic markup? Why
> then did we introduce <article>, <header>, <nav>, <aside>, <footer> etc
> when we can't trust the author to put the correct content in there? I don't
> really see the difference.
> On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 5:21 PM, Tim Leverett <zzzzbov at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > Hope you're not just trolling
>> I was just trying to make the point that an algorithmic approach to
>> finding the main content of a document would still be necessary with or
>> without the <main> element.
>> On Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 7:03 PM, Silvia Pfeiffer <
>> silviapfeiffer1 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 4:25 AM, Tim Leverett <zzzzbov at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> > Explicit author markup would make such a task so much easier.
>>>> Only if every author marked up their code correctly. If some authors
>>>> use incorrect markup, then an algorithm would still be necessary for
>>>> determining if each usage was correct.
>>> Hope you're not just trolling.
>>> From a browser perspective, if there is one <main> element and it sits
>>> within <body>, that would be sufficiently correct.
>>> Whether it's semantically correct for a particular application, that's
>>> not something the HTML spec should or could deal with. We don't protect
>>> people from putting the wrong text in tags - not in microdata, not in
>>> <article> or anywhere else. An application may care - or they may trust the
>>> author and if the author cares enough, they will fix up their markup if it
>>> doesn't achieve the right goal.
>>> But I'm sure you were just trolling... ;-)
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