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Proper usage of headings?

 
 
Geoff Hague
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      08-24-2004
Hi all...

I understand that headings should be used to delineate various sections and
sub-sections within a website (and *not* just to adjust font-sizing and
weights). I've been using the "outline" view in the W3C Validator to get a
sense of how my headings are laying out the structure of my
site-in-progress. Looking at the outlines produced by the Validator, I got
to thinking about the proper usage of, specifically, the <h1> heading.

I have a side-bar on my site with static content (appearing on all pages of
the site). The side-bar contains to sections labeled "Mailing List" and
"Upcoming Shows", both of which I've set as headings using <h1>.
Strictly-speaking, I'd imaging that the "main content" of each page (that
which doesn't appear in the side-bar, but actually apears in the main column
of the site) should also be given an <h1> heading (which seems reasonable to
me, as each page of my site always has three main parts: the "main content"
column, the "Mailing List" box and the "Upcoming Shows" box.

However, I don't want to actually have an <h1> heading at the top of my
main-content column, as I feel that the styling I've applied to my
navigation bar (and also to the page's "Title") provides
more-than-sufficient informativeness (is that a word?) regarding what the
main-content column is.

I guess my question here is: Should I still plop in an <h1> heading at the
top of each page's main column, so that the site's outline is completely
logical and might help (from what I understand) with speech-based browsers,
and then style the heading "display: None;" so it doesn't actually show up
in normal browsers?

Or am I basically making a big deal out of nothing at all, and I shouldn't
worry about it?

Thanks!


 
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Jukka K. Korpela
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      08-24-2004
"Geoff Hague" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> I have a side-bar on my site with static content (appearing on all
> pages of the site). The side-bar contains to sections labeled
> "Mailing List" and "Upcoming Shows", both of which I've set as
> headings using <h1>.


But they aren't level 1 headings for the current page, are they?

> Strictly-speaking, I'd imaging that the "main
> content" of each page (that which doesn't appear in the side-bar, but
> actually apears in the main column of the site) should also be given
> an <h1> heading


Yes, and only it. Except in special occasions (like a truly bilingual
page), there should be only one level 1 heading on a page. This logically
follows from its being the 1st level heading.

> However, I don't want to actually have an <h1> heading at the top of
> my main-content column, as I feel that the styling I've applied to my
> navigation bar (and also to the page's "Title") provides
> more-than-sufficient informativeness (is that a word?) regarding what
> the main-content column is.


Styling? CSS can and often will be ignored. And navigation bars are just,
well, for sailors to get drunk. They are mostly a useless plastic
duplication of an excuse for a site's table of content

> I guess my question here is: Should I still plop in an <h1> heading
> at the top of each page's main column, so that the site's outline is
> completely logical and might help (from what I understand) with
> speech-based browsers, and then style the heading "display: None;" so
> it doesn't actually show up in normal browsers?


No, stop making it a problem. Use <h1> markup for _the_ level 1 heading.
Don't use heading markup in a navigation bar, since it does not contain
headings for the page.

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html


 
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Adrienne
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-24-2004
Gazing into my crystal ball I observed "Geoff Hague"
<(E-Mail Removed)> writing in
news:aoMWc.198416$M95.67580@pd7tw1no:

> Hi all...
>
> I understand that headings should be used to delineate various sections
> and sub-sections within a website (and *not* just to adjust font-sizing
> and weights). I've been using the "outline" view in the W3C Validator
> to get a sense of how my headings are laying out the structure of my
> site-in-progress. Looking at the outlines produced by the Validator, I
> got to thinking about the proper usage of, specifically, the <h1>
> heading.
>
> I have a side-bar on my site with static content (appearing on all
> pages of the site). The side-bar contains to sections labeled "Mailing
> List" and "Upcoming Shows", both of which I've set as headings using
> <h1>. Strictly-speaking, I'd imaging that the "main content" of each
> page (that which doesn't appear in the side-bar, but actually apears in
> the main column of the site) should also be given an <h1> heading
> (which seems reasonable to me, as each page of my site always has three
> main parts: the "main content" column, the "Mailing List" box and the
> "Upcoming Shows" box.
>
> However, I don't want to actually have an <h1> heading at the top of my
> main-content column, as I feel that the styling I've applied to my
> navigation bar (and also to the page's "Title") provides
> more-than-sufficient informativeness (is that a word?) regarding what
> the main-content column is.
>
> I guess my question here is: Should I still plop in an <h1> heading at
> the top of each page's main column, so that the site's outline is
> completely logical and might help (from what I understand) with
> speech-based browsers, and then style the heading "display: None;" so
> it doesn't actually show up in normal browsers?
>
> Or am I basically making a big deal out of nothing at all, and I
> shouldn't worry about it?
>
> Thanks!
>
>
>


In the sites that I do, <h1> has the same, or similar content as the
<title> element. I would not display:none only because sometimes, visitors
do not look at the title element (for whatever reason), and by using the
<h1> element, I know that they know where they are.

For example:
<div id="menu">
<dl>
<dt><a href="#content">Content</a></dt> [1]
<dd><a href="#subsection">Subsection</a></dd>
</dl>
</div>
<div id="content">
<h1>Title of this Page</h1>
<h2 id="subsection">A subsection</h2>
<p>This is something about the subsection.</p>
</div>


[1] I frequently use this so I don't run into notfound pages while in
development.
--
Adrienne Boswell
Please respond to the group so others can share
http://www.arbpen.com
 
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Kris
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-24-2004
In article <Xns954FE7145C6C5jkorpelacstutfi@193.229.0.31>,
"Jukka K. Korpela" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> > I guess my question here is: Should I still plop in an <h1> heading
> > at the top of each page's main column, so that the site's outline is
> > completely logical and might help (from what I understand) with
> > speech-based browsers, and then style the heading "display: None;" so
> > it doesn't actually show up in normal browsers?

>
> No, stop making it a problem. Use <h1> markup for _the_ level 1 heading.
> Don't use heading markup in a navigation bar, since it does not contain
> headings for the page.


<h1>Title of this page</h1>

....

<h2>Navigation</h2>

....

<h2>The latest news</h2>

....

<h2>Behind the scenes</h2>

....

I don't see why not.

--
Kris
<(E-Mail Removed)> (nl)
 
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Geoff Hague
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-24-2004
"Jukka K. Korpela" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:Xns954FE7145C6C5jkorpelacstutfi@193.229.0.31. ..
> "Geoff Hague" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> > I have a side-bar on my site with static content (appearing on all
> > pages of the site). The side-bar contains to sections labeled
> > "Mailing List" and "Upcoming Shows", both of which I've set as
> > headings using <h1>.

>
> But they aren't level 1 headings for the current page, are they?


No, I suppose not...

So, instead of this (which is what I essentially have now):

<h1>Current Page's Content</h1>
<h2>Subsection A</h2>
<h2>Subsection B</h2>
<h3>Sub-subsection</h3>
<h2>Subsection C</h2>
<h1>Mailing List</h1>
<h1>Upcoming Shows</h1>

.... I should *instead* have something like:

<h1>Current Page's Content</h1>
<h2>Subsection A</h2>
<h2>Subsection B</h2>
<h3>Sub-subsection</h3>
<h2>Subsection C</h2>
<h2>Mailing List</h1>
<h2>Upcoming Shows</h1>

?

I can understand the theoretical reasoning behind having only one <h1> per
page, but at the same time it seems counter-intuitive to me to include my
"Mailing List" and "Upcoming Shows" sections as sub-sections to the "Current
Page's Content".

Thanks for your response!
~Geoff


 
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jake
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-24-2004
In message <(E-Mail Removed)4all.nl>, Kris
<(E-Mail Removed)> writes
>In article <Xns954FE7145C6C5jkorpelacstutfi@193.229.0.31>,
> "Jukka K. Korpela" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>> > I guess my question here is: Should I still plop in an <h1> heading
>> > at the top of each page's main column, so that the site's outline is
>> > completely logical and might help (from what I understand) with
>> > speech-based browsers, and then style the heading "display: None;" so
>> > it doesn't actually show up in normal browsers?

>>
>> No, stop making it a problem. Use <h1> markup for _the_ level 1 heading.
>> Don't use heading markup in a navigation bar, since it does not contain
>> headings for the page.

>
><h1>Title of this page</h1>
>
>...
>
><h2>Navigation</h2>
>
>...
>
><h2>The latest news</h2>
>
>...
>
><h2>Behind the scenes</h2>
>
>...
>
>I don't see why not.
>


That sounds very reasonable -- and gives the best idea of the
layout/structure of the page.

The OP should be aware that anything styled 'display:none' will also be
invisible to most text-to-speech UAs.

regards.
--
Jake
 
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Mark Parnell
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-24-2004
On Wed, 25 Aug 2004 00:30:03 +0100, jake <(E-Mail Removed)>
declared in alt.html:

> The OP should be aware that anything styled 'display:none' will also be
> invisible to most text-to-speech UAs.


Unless it is specified for screen media, presumably? How good is support
for selecting media in aural UAs?

--
Mark Parnell
http://www.clarkecomputers.com.au
"Never drink rum&coke whilst reading usenet" - rf 2004
 
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jake
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-25-2004
In message <8qnst3uxiqxx.1w1kx3xqdmriy$(E-Mail Removed)>, Mark Parnell
<(E-Mail Removed)> writes
>On Wed, 25 Aug 2004 00:30:03 +0100, jake <(E-Mail Removed)>
>declared in alt.html:
>
>> The OP should be aware that anything styled 'display:none' will also be
>> invisible to most text-to-speech UAs.

>
>Unless it is specified for screen media, presumably? How good is support
>for selecting media in aural UAs?
>


So far as I know, the only UA that supports aural stylesheets is
linux-based Emacspeak.

I believe both users find this quite useful

regards
--
Jake
 
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Jukka K. Korpela
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      08-25-2004
"Geoff Hague" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> I can understand the theoretical reasoning behind having only one
> <h1> per page, but at the same time it seems counter-intuitive to me
> to include my "Mailing List" and "Upcoming Shows" sections as
> sub-sections to the "Current Page's Content".


Indeed, but then the problem is that the text "Current Page's Content"
shouldn't be an <h1> heading. It is not a heading for the entire page but
only for its table of content. So it would be best to have

<h1>...</h1>
<h2>Current Page's Content</h2>
<ul class="toc">
<li>Subsection A</li>
<li>Subsection B
<ul>
<li>Sub-subsection</li>
</ul></li>
<li>Subsection C</li>
</ul>
<h2>Mailing List</h1>
<h2>Upcoming Shows</h1>

And what you put in <h1>...</h1> should reflect the page as a whole, and
greatly depend on its content and purpose. It could be
<h1>Entomological Society of Erehwon</h1>
or
<h1>Studying insects at Erehwon, Calisota</h1>
or
<h1>We <img src="heart.gif" alt="love"> bugs!</h1>

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html


 
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Toby Inkster
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      08-25-2004
Mark Parnell wrote:

> How good is support for selecting media in aural UAs?


Super-shite.

--
Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
Contact Me ~ http://tobyinkster.co.uk/contact

 
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