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

Matt Warden mwarden at gmail.com
Tue Dec 12 17:27:54 CST 2006

On 12/11/06, Barney Carroll <barney at textmatters.com> wrote:
> 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?

It is clearly not sequence. I think Joel just made a poor example and
indeed was trying to convey depth rather than sequence.

> 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.

This is all presentation. It has nothing to do with the document
structure, only how you're deciding to deliver it.

> 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.

Bullets are again entirely presentational. You use lists when you have
a list of things, regardless of whether you believe it makes "sense"
to show a bullet next to it. If I want to present a list of the 10
best paragraphs ever written, this would be an ordered list. I would
probably hide the bullet, but that is presentation decision.

H1-H6 indicate depth in a document. Saying you can skip a header is
akin to saying you can do this:

1 Sandwiches
      1._.1 Introductory point 1
      1._.2 Introductory point 2
   1.2 Burgers
      1.2.1 Cheeseburgers are...
      1.2.2 Hamburgers are...
   1.3 Subs

What the heck is 1._.1?!

There is a 1.1. If you choose to hide it, that is a presentation decision.

Matt Warden
Cleveland, OH, USA

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