Proper usage of headings?

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Geoff Hague, Aug 24, 2004.

  1. Geoff Hague

    Geoff Hague Guest

    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!
     
    Geoff Hague, Aug 24, 2004
    #1
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  2. "Geoff Hague" <> 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
     
    Jukka K. Korpela, Aug 24, 2004
    #2
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  3. Geoff Hague

    Adrienne Guest

    Gazing into my crystal ball I observed "Geoff Hague"
    <> 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
     
    Adrienne, Aug 24, 2004
    #3
  4. Geoff Hague

    Kris Guest

    In article <Xns954FE7145C6C5jkorpelacstutfi@193.229.0.31>,
    "Jukka K. Korpela" <> 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
    <> (nl)
     
    Kris, Aug 24, 2004
    #4
  5. Geoff Hague

    Geoff Hague Guest

    "Jukka K. Korpela" <> wrote in message
    news:Xns954FE7145C6C5jkorpelacstutfi@193.229.0.31...
    > "Geoff Hague" <> 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
     
    Geoff Hague, Aug 24, 2004
    #5
  6. Geoff Hague

    jake Guest

    In message <4all.nl>, Kris
    <> writes
    >In article <Xns954FE7145C6C5jkorpelacstutfi@193.229.0.31>,
    > "Jukka K. Korpela" <> 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
     
    jake, Aug 25, 2004
    #6
  7. Geoff Hague

    Mark Parnell Guest

    On Wed, 25 Aug 2004 00:30:03 +0100, jake <>
    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
     
    Mark Parnell, Aug 25, 2004
    #7
  8. Geoff Hague

    jake Guest

    In message <8qnst3uxiqxx.1w1kx3xqdmriy$>, Mark Parnell
    <> writes
    >On Wed, 25 Aug 2004 00:30:03 +0100, jake <>
    >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
     
    jake, Aug 25, 2004
    #8
  9. "Geoff Hague" <> 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
     
    Jukka K. Korpela, Aug 25, 2004
    #9
  10. Geoff Hague

    Toby Inkster Guest

    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
     
    Toby Inkster, Aug 25, 2004
    #10
  11. Geoff Hague

    Geoff Hague Guest

    "Jukka K. Korpela" <> wrote in message
    news:Xns95506FB4ACA51jkorpelacstutfi@193.229.0.31...
    > "Geoff Hague" <> 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>


    Okay, thanks. But in a sense, I think, I'm then back at my original state
    of uncertainty about what I should do. The heading "Current Page's Content"
    *is* what defines each page's content and purpose, so "Current Page's
    Content" is really the only <h1> heading that makes sense to me.... Making
    "Current Page's Content" an <h2> heading and adding an <h1> that says
    something like "Current Page's Content Plus Mailing List and Upcoming Shows"
    doesn't seem like a good idea.

    I don't know if this'll make anything clearer at all, but here's a link to
    the 'site-in-process':
    http://www.captainsoftheworld.com/modernrepublic/test/
    (check out the Shows section for the most extensive use of headings).

    (oh, and just as clarification... I noted in your example you set up a <ul>
    with class "toc". Please be aware I'm not really talking about a Table of
    Contents page or anything... when I refer to "Current Page's Content" I mean
    just that... the primary content/text/information on each individual page).

    Cheers!
    ~Geoff
     
    Geoff Hague, Aug 25, 2004
    #11
  12. Geoff Hague

    Mark Parnell Guest

    On Wed, 25 Aug 2004 08:23:50 +0100, jake <>
    declared in alt.html:

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


    Pity.

    > I believe both users find this quite useful ;-)


    So it's matching MSN TV for market share, then?

    --
    Mark Parnell
    http://www.clarkecomputers.com.au
    "Never drink rum&coke whilst reading usenet" - rf 2004
     
    Mark Parnell, Aug 26, 2004
    #12
  13. Geoff Hague

    jake Guest

    In message <1m4jsf97rjdp8$>, Mark Parnell
    <> writes
    >On Wed, 25 Aug 2004 08:23:50 +0100, jake <>
    >declared in alt.html:
    >
    >> So far as I know, the only UA that supports aural stylesheets is
    >> linux-based Emacspeak.

    >
    >Pity.
    >
    >> I believe both users find this quite useful ;-)

    >
    >So it's matching MSN TV for market share, then?
    >


    .... but growing .....

    --
    Jake
     
    jake, Aug 26, 2004
    #13
  14. "Geoff Hague" <> wrote:

    > Okay, thanks. But in a sense, I think, I'm then back at my original
    > state of uncertainty about what I should do.


    We all live in a looping subroutine,
    a looping subroutine,
    a looping subroutine...

    > The heading "Current
    > Page's Content" *is* what defines each page's content and purpose,


    Pardon? Every one of your pages is nothing but its own table of content?

    > Making "Current Page's Content" an <h2> heading and
    > adding an <h1> that says something like "Current Page's Content Plus
    > Mailing List and Upcoming Shows" doesn't seem like a good idea.


    Well, if the page contains its own table of content _plus_ something,
    then the table of content isn't correct since it does not contain that
    something.

    > I don't know if this'll make anything clearer at all, but here's a
    > link to the 'site-in-process':
    > http://www.captainsoftheworld.com/modernrepublic/test/


    Usually when people reveal some URLs, things magically get clearer. It
    seldom hurts, though it sometimes surprises (when we see that we had
    completely misunderstood the verbal explanations).

    > (check out the Shows section for the most extensive use of headings).


    Well, that page is about shows by Modern Republic, which appears to be
    a band (this should naturally be said on the main page), so the <title>
    element's content, "Modern Republic - Shows" could be used as a starting
    point when writing the <h1>. However if you have a logo that says
    "Modern Republic", then you could imaginably have just <h1>Shows</h1>,
    since the logo gives context. But you should really include the logo
    using <img>, not a background image - background images can be turned
    off, and they are of course not shown at all by nongraphic browsers, and
    there is no way to specify a textual alternative. Using <img> you can say
    <img alt="Modern Republic" src="..." width="..." height="...">

    The words "HOME", "SHOWS", "ABOUT" and "CONTACT" are just link texts, so
    any heading markup would be misleading.

    > (oh, and just as clarification... I noted in your example you set up
    > a <ul> with class "toc". Please be aware I'm not really talking
    > about a Table of Contents page or anything... when I refer to
    > "Current Page's Content" I mean just that... the primary
    > content/text/information on each individual page).


    But then why would you use a heading to say such things? The content just
    is there. A heading should _say_ something. I have no idea of what you
    are going to put on the page, so I can't suggest a heading. Generally,
    you only know what a heading should be when you have written the content,
    or at least clearly decided on what it shall be.

    --
    Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
    Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html
     
    Jukka K. Korpela, Aug 26, 2004
    #14
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