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

Barney Carroll barney at textmatters.com
Wed Dec 13 05:38:01 CST 2006

Jens Brueckmann wrote:
> "HTML, H2 elements should follow H1 elements, H3 elements should
> follow H2 elements, etc. Content developers should not 'skip' levels
> (e.g., H1 directly to H3)."
> [1] http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10-HTML-TECHS/#document-headers
> Cheers,
> jens.

This seals it as far as best practice is concerned!

- Authors as I imagine them might feel constrained by this tiered 
tree-branch pattern that all web documents should be able to be 
represented by.

- Information architects doubtless love this idea, but then they have no 
business inside the document.

- 'Content developers', on the other hand... (heeheehee)

The truth is, the w3 has the best intentions here, and I think it'd just 
be counter-productive for me to seriously advocate a post-modernist 

What I'm ultimately concerned with is that notions of what is clean and 
sensible and ordered in terms of a coded document's structure are being 
used as key guides as to how a human document should be arranged and 

However, things aren't as bad as I might make them out; if the 'content 
developer' does not have a distinct notion of how to go about writing, 
compiling or editing a document, this is a good generic piece of advice. 
In fact, in any kind of authorship apart from poetry, fiction and 
post-modern prose, the ability to adhere to this model is compulsory for 
the sake of everything (except actually reading the work!).

Those people who have a strong enough notion of what they're writing to 
go against this advice should do so of that conviction and not from a 
general lack of guidance.

I still find it a bit tragic that the w3 should take it upon itself to 
tell us how to write, and that as a consequence the shape of the web to 
come is made that bit more uniform (or 'standardised's evil twin) - 
essentially this dictates what kind of content can appear on the web. It 
has no practical applications, and is not, in the purest sense, a coding 

Great thread guys, gave me a lot of insights and allowed me to elucidate 
my own ideas that bit more.


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