iface thoughts

iface thoughts

Markup Review

The personal web log of Abhijit Nadgouda. Abhijit has created the site using wordpress and it has all the standard bits and pieces that you’d expect. Even includes a handy little note to IE6 users to politely ask them to upgrade!

Again I’m intrigued to find out why people aren’t using multiple <h1> ‘s in their pages as this is perfectly valid according to the html5 spec. Do they think that they are likely to get punished by Google/Yahoo/MSN for doing so before the html5 spec is finalised? I would love to know your thoughts on this.

3 thoughts on “iface thoughts

bruce says

I’d hazard there are two reasons people aren’t using multiple H1s.

The first is that we simply aren’t used to it (even though it’s allowed in html 4, come to that).

The second is the reason I opted not to on my blog; although nesting h1s in various sections makes different heading levels according to the outlining algorithms, like many of the other HTML 5 tags, it isn’t actually “understood” by any user agents. So screenreaders and other assistive technologies will just see a srtuctureless site with no hierarchy of headings. (Here’s an excellent short video by a blind web developer on why headings are so important to screenreader users http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmUPhEVWu_E)

Although I want to experiment with html5 , I don’t want to make it inaccessible to people with disabilities while doing so.

html5gallery says


You raise some very important points here, the first I totally agree with.

I didn’t truly realise how much headings were used by people with disabilities until I saw Robin Christopherson at Future of Web Design this year.

So your second point I also kind of agree with, in that I think it’s a double edge sword. By this I mean if we don’t implement it screenreader user agents won’t do anything to aide it’s usage.

If screenreader user agents got more involved with sculpting the spec and implementing parts of it into Jaws for example could you see multiple h1s being more widely adopted? How would you expect to see this implemented? E.g. bring up a list of sections or articles rather than headings?

Definately something to consider when developing sites with html5.

bruce says

The screenreader vendors have been invited several times to participate in the speccing process (the last time at my express request). But apart from the participation of Apple (who make Voiceover on the Mac) none have chosen to do so.

I shall implement it when the spec is finished. Screenreaders are generally small companies who don’t have the resources to spend time implemnting things that could change any day (as header and hgroup did, and as the outlining algorithm might therefore do as well).

While they should of course be working with us on the specs, I wouldn’t expect them to start actually coding yet.

Got something constructive to say?