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

Silvia Pfeiffer silviapfeiffer1 at gmail.com
Wed Nov 14 18:52:01 PST 2012

On Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 12:17 PM, Tim Leverett <zzzzbov at gmail.com> wrote:

> > 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
> formatted.
> > 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 agree.

> 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.

Are you saying we should not introduce a <main> element because where there
is no <main> element we may need to come up with a complex heuristic to
determine where it should have been?


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