Bug 19741 - Wrong advice on headings should be removed
Wrong advice on headings should be removed
Status: RESOLVED FIXED
Product: HTML WG
Classification: Unclassified
Component: HTML5 spec
unspecified
PC All
: P2 normal
: ---
Assigned To: steve faulkner
HTML WG Bugzilla archive list
: a11y
: 19742 (view as bug list)
Depends on:
Blocks:
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Reported: 2012-10-27 21:12 UTC by Charles McCathieNevile
Modified: 2013-03-04 07:09 UTC (History)
7 users (show)

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Description Charles McCathieNevile 2012-10-27 21:12:58 UTC
in http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/headings-and-sections.html#headings-and-sections there is a non-normative statement suggesting authors prefer the use of sections and repeated h1 elements over the use of the odler numbered headings.

This is in conflict with the statement at the end of http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/the-aside-element.html#the-h1,-h2,-h3,-h4,-h5,-and-h6-elements that authors should choose what suits them.

It is clearly bad advice in the absence of the outline algorithm working, and even were that widely implemented it breaks backward compatibility.

It is not clear that the value of this advice justifies this cost in theory, and it is clear that in the current situation there is little value and high cost.
Comment 1 steve faulkner 2012-10-27 21:16:20 UTC
*** Bug 19742 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 2 Ian 'Hixie' Hickson 2012-10-29 22:11:55 UTC
The two pieces of advice mentioned above don't contradict each other. You can use <section> with legacy <h2>-<h6> elements fine.
Comment 3 steve faulkner 2012-10-30 10:40:19 UTC
(In reply to comment #0)
> in
> http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/headings-and-sections.html#headings-and-
> sections there is a non-normative statement suggesting authors prefer the
> use of sections and repeated h1 elements over the use of the odler numbered
> headings.
> 
> This is in conflict with the statement at the end of
> http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/the-aside-element.html#the-h1,-h2,-h3,-h4,-h5,-
> and-h6-elements that authors should choose what suits them.
> 
> It is clearly bad advice in the absence of the outline algorithm working,
> and even were that widely implemented it breaks backward compatibility.
> 
> It is not clear that the value of this advice justifies this cost in theory,
> and it is clear that in the current situation there is little value and high
> cost.

The advice: 

"Sections may contain headings of any rank, but authors are strongly encouraged to either use only h1 elements, or to use elements of the appropriate rank for the section's nesting level."

needs to be removed, as it is recommends authoring for non existent consumers and breaks structural semantics for existing consumers, suggest this text instaed:

"Sections may contain headings of any rank, but authors are strongly encouraged to use elements of the appropriate rank for the section's nesting level."
Comment 4 steve faulkner 2012-10-30 12:13:54 UTC
(In reply to comment #2)
> The two pieces of advice mentioned above don't contradict each other. You
> can use <section> with legacy <h2>-<h6> elements fine.

Whether the the 2 pieces of advice is contradictory or not is irrelevant, the issue is that the advice is bad advice and should be removed. The advice does not reflect the current, histroical or practical future reality of best practice for coding heading structures.
Comment 5 Ian 'Hixie' Hickson 2012-10-30 17:53:55 UTC
The sentence you quote is just saying not to use both.
Comment 6 steve faulkner 2012-10-30 18:54:31 UTC
(In reply to comment #5)
> The sentence you quote is just saying not to use both.

yeah you are right , have been misreading it all along.

makes little difference to suggestion to change it though, as it appears confusing to more than just me, and the spec should advise aganst using just <h1>'s for previously stated reasons.
Comment 7 Charles McCathieNevile 2012-11-22 14:16:24 UTC
(In reply to comment #5)
> The sentence you quote is just saying not to use both.

No, "...authors are strongly encouraged to either use only h1 elements, or..." says that just using h1 is one of the recommended options. It should not be recommended.

The requested fix is to remove the text "either use only h1 elements, or".
Comment 8 steve faulkner 2013-02-14 13:27:50 UTC
EDITOR'S RESPONSE: This is an Editor's Response to your comment. If you are
satisfied with this response, please change the state of this bug to CLOSED. If
you have additional information and would like the Editor to reconsider, please
reopen this bug. If you would like to escalate the issue to the full HTML
Working Group, please add the TrackerRequest keyword to this bug, and suggest
title and text for the Tracker Issue; or you may create a Tracker Issue
yourself, if you are able to do so. For more details, see this document:

   http://dev.w3.org/html5/decision-policy/decision-policy.html

Status: Accepted
Change removed advice recommending use of h1 elements as the utline algorithm has virtually no implementations and as a result use of h1 elements flattens document outlines for users who actually consume the heading semantics. While use of elements of the appropriate rank for the section's nesting level is backwards compatible
Rationale: agreed with comment 1.
Comment 9 steve faulkner 2013-03-04 07:09:07 UTC
commit for bug resolution https://github.com/w3c/html/commit/556da56c44a2be0cabb9eccbe51fe583fcdf4332