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

Barney Carroll barney at textmatters.com
Mon Dec 11 11:37:10 CST 2006

Joel D Canfield wrote:
> picture me, standing in front of an audience speaking. "Our first item
> is blah. Our third item is blah blah blah. There was no second item."

But if the purpose of the number following 'h' is to denote sequence, 
then am I doubly flawed in having 5 '2nd' items?

> I'm trying to understand your perspective, but it keeps coming back to
> the appearance that you're focusing on, um, appearance. Yes?

Not appearance... I know I pointedly disagreed with the notion of hs as 
a tree schema, and also with the use of the term 'importance'... But 
those are perhaps the best raw general terms to describe the semantic 
structure I'm talking about!

Visual indication is what I always think about first. This is perhaps a 
flaw (more a focus, I re-assure myself... hehehe) of my being a visual 
designer with a background in typography and book design. I'm fascinated 
  with alternative representation, semantics generally and especially 
screen readers, but yes, semantic sense must at some point be derived 
through visuals on by behalf. In fact, I think it's very healthy for 
sighted people to think this way. It gives some cultural reference 
points that aren't so abstract.

If that document were to be a speech, I would deliver my h1 with a 
marked pause afterwards - it would also be my first utterance except for 
maybe a personal introduction. My introduction would be in the same key 
as all the actual nitty gritty. "However I would like to draw your 
attention to... The Document Object Model" - this would be said with 
some emphasis, but no way near as much as the h2 to follow, which is 
clearly separate from the introduction. It makes absolute sense, too.

Lists? Bulleted lists should never contain that much free prose. There 
is a distinct header and two separate phrases beneath. Impossible with 
ul and ol - possible but incorrect (I believe) with dds - that would be 
unanimously non-semantic to the core.

Believe me, written material in this format has existed for ages and 
attracts no raised eye-brows. It is essential for educational material 
especially, I believe.

Barney Carroll
Text Matters

Information design: we help explain things using
language | design | systems | process improvement
phone +44 (0)118 918 2382  email barney at textmatters.com
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