[whatwg] use cases for untitled article and section elements

Ian Yang ian at invigoreight.com
Tue Jan 15 04:51:19 PST 2013

On Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 8:33 PM, Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela at cs.tut.fi>wrote:

> 2013-01-15 14:15, Ian Yang wrote:
> > The one came into my mind is blog comments, which are often
>> coded using untitled <article>s. But personally I think that is wrong
>> because every sectioning element should have a heading.
> Using headings is generally a very good authoring principle, but there are
> exceptions. Small comments rarely benefit from titles (headings).
> A very different example is a novel. A novel is almost always divided into
> sections, and sections may have subsections (visually separated e.g. using
> extra empty space or maybe "***"). The sections may or may not have title.
> Often they have just numbers, presented as titles like "Chapter 1", so they
> are more or less pseudo-titles (and could be replaced by CSS-generated
> content). Subsections almost never have headings.
> So what a browser could do, with a novel that uses <section>, is to
> provide an outline of the structure, possibly so that along with numbers,
> there are short excerpts from the start of each section or subsection.
> Yucca

Imho, there is a reason for each sectioning element to have a heading. If a
content doesn't need a heading, then it should not be coded using
sectioning element.

Because blog comments are coded using <article>s, at least their "author
name"s should be contained within <h1>s so that in the document outline
they are presented clearly. For example, <h1>Mike Smith says</h1>, or
<h1>Commenter: Mike Smith</h1>, or just <h1>Mike Smith</h1>.

Every section of a novel needs a heading, too. Otherwise in the document
outline we will see a bunch of "Untitled Section"s.

Kind Regards,
Ian Yang

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