[thelist] Coding standards.... [headers]

Barney Carroll barney at textmatters.com
Mon Dec 11 10:03:57 CST 2006

Julian Rickards wrote:
> Based on my opinion of this topic, I would wonder what larger topic do your
> H3's belong to.

Honestly? The purpose of the author's use of headers here seems pretty 
clear to me (then again I do know him and he isn't a published writer!):

In this context, the h1 is a chapter title. It contains information 
about everything to follow up until the next h1.

The chapter needs breaking up into smaller parts, for each instantiation 
of *ML technology, in chronological order.

Prior to the first 'sub-chapter', there is an introduction (it would be 
terrible to dump the reader in without at least saying what is to 
follow) - but this introduction is a guide to the whole of what follows 
and, whereas not part of any sub-division, is definitely part of the h1. 
This is customary to the point where it is unnecessary to have what you 
might want to be an h2 stating 'Introduction', especially at this size.

The introduction needs to give the reader advance warning of specific 
notions that may be needed to properly understand the content to follow. 
These are two distinct points which should certainly not be h2s - that 
would disrupt the clear semantic flow of h2s as they are presently used 
in the article. Neither do they want their own containing h2, which 
would do the same thing - and to put them within the next existent h2 
defeats the point.

Of course as web designers we should be concerned about every aspect of 
semantics, and need to look below the surface - but when this is 
rendered in HTML through most browsers without even any CSS, it would 
make perfect sense.

Julian Rickards wrote:
 > One other comment about your title content as shown below, I would
 > recommend that the [page name] be placed to the left of the
 > [site name] so that if the title is going to be cut off, it will be
 > the site name that is cut off, not the page name. Also, it is easier
 > to find if a page is the one you are looking for if the page name is
 > first and not second.

That makes a lot of sense actually, but could be construed as running 
counter to tradition in more significant a way than what I'm suggesting 
as running order of h#s... In terms of our existing culture of documents 
as opposed to that of the free-floating information designer.

The impression I get is that what we have here is information architects 
become concerned with the job of information designers! I believe you 
need both to create a truly successful website of any complexity. It 
especially helps when they are two separate individuals!


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