RE: H1 semantics

Klaus Harbo (
Thu, 12 Aug 1993 14:11:40 +0200

Nathan Torkington writes:

> I see I didn't make myself clear enough :(. I meant that people seem
> to be under the impression that
> <H1>globglob</H1>
> textytexty
> <H1>globglobglobglobglob</H1>
> is in some sense a definition of a semantic region that lies between
> the </H1> and the next <H1> tags and thus that headings are semantic
> rather than presentation tags. I would classify this sort of heading
> as being a presentation-mainly quasi-semantic tag. If a region has a
> heading associated with it, it should be defined as a region ie
> <REGION><H1>heading1</H1>
> text of the region
> </REGION><REGION><H1>next heading</H1>

I think I know what you mean.

HOWEVER, I my view (as I think I've stated before, only then with
regard to P elements) HTML ought to be redesigned to have richer
structure, ie. using containers much more. The present HTML DTD makes
document instances flat, being mostly a sequence of elements.

<!ENTITY % h1contents (h1title,(A|P|H2|%text;|....)+)>
<!-- this sketch only serves to demonstrate
that H2 elements would nest in H1 elements. -->

or possibly

<!ENTITY % h1contents (title,(A|P|H2|%text;|....)+)>
<!-- with a generic title element -->

would change your Nathan's suggestion

> <REGION><H1>heading1</H1>
> text of the region
> </REGION><REGION><H1>next heading</H1>


> <H1><H1TITLE>heading1</H1TITLE>
> text of the region
> </H1>

which is much nicer, which - again - illustrates the desirability of
using container rather than sequencing everything.

Going over this mail, I realize that I agree with the people that
Nathan mentioned in the mail I followed up to: That H1 *should*
"define a region", it is the present DTD that is wrong on this point.

-- This does not change the fact that you cannot misinterpret the
current DTD on this point.


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