[whatwg] Is <main> now an official HTML5 element?

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Wed Feb 13 09:06:52 PST 2013

On Wed, 13 Feb 2013, Ian Yang wrote:
> I saw the SitePoint article "Introducing the New HTML5 <main> 
> Element<http://www.sitepoint.com/html5-main-element/>" yesterday. Does 
> that mean <main> element has been approved by all editors of the working 
> group?

<main> is currently in the HTML standard. That doesn't mean much, though. 
What means something is that <main> is now implemented by two browsers in 
their development builds. Once they ship in final versions, that's the 
point at which we know that the feature is part of the platform.

> However, in spec, it still says that <main> element is not a sectioning
> element.

Correct. Broadly speaking, sectioning elements are those with headings; 
<main> doesn't typically have a heading, it contains the content after the 
heading, distinguishing it from the content that is "merely" heading and 
navigation and so forth.

> That means, in document outline, main content will form another
> tree structure instead of appearing under the original website tree
> structure.

I'm not sure what you mean here. The main content doesn't appear in the 
outline; the outline only contains the headers, essentially.

> Can we have somebody advise on this? Is there a special consideration to 
> not making <main> a sectioning element?

There's already corresponding sectioning elements to indicate something 
that is "main" content -- <article> or <section>, depending on what 
exactly the content is.

The spec goes into some detail about this, including with examples, here:


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

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