[whatwg] use cases for untitled article and section elements

Jukka K. Korpela jkorpela at cs.tut.fi
Tue Jan 15 06:37:58 PST 2013

2013-01-15 15:44, Steve Faulkner wrote:

>   this example: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/377471/article.html
> results in this outline:
> what is the use of the untitle articles?
>      Example of article use from HTML 5.1 spec
>          Bacon on a crowbar
>              Untitled ARTICLE
>                  Untitled ARTICLE
>                      Untitled ARTICLE
>                          Untitled ARTICLE
>                              Untitled ARTICLE
>                  Untitled ARTICLE
> what is the use of the untitled articles?

They indicate nesting, nothing more. It seems that the <article> element 
is being defined to suit the needs of displaying discussion threads, 
even making <article> elements oddly nested.

When a contribution comments on another contribution, neither is 
logically part of the other. They are related, not nested. Blockquotes, 
on the other hand, may be nested, especially in e-mail messages in a 
particular style (quote the full message being replied to, after your 
own message).

It is difficult to see what the idea of the example is, but it says: 
"The article element is used for each post, to mark up the threading." I 
wonder if threads would deserve markup of their own, possible defined in 
somewhat more abstract terms. But nested lists would be more natural 
(and would create acceptable default rendering even in oldest browsers).

> or of the 133 untitled articles on
> http://html5doctor.com/designing-a-blog-with-html5/
> what is the use case for using <article> in this case over the use of
> other markup such as lists?
> what does it provide?

Not much, but there is generally little evidence of actual benefits from 
using <article>. In principle, though, you might want to use <article> 
inside a <li> or <td> element, for example, to indicate that the content 
is syndicatable.

Regarding the use of heading markup, I don't see why it would be useful 
to turn author names, time stamps, and things like that (which are more 
of metadata than headings for the content) into headings. In an 
application that shows a document outline, you can extract part of the 
start of a <section> or <article> or snapshot on some other basis, if 


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