New Semantic Elements in HTML5
HTML5 is not just about making existing markup shorter (although it does a fair
amount of that). It also defines a number of new semantic elements. The following
elements are defined by the HTML5 specification:
element represents a generic section of a document or application. A section, in this context, is
a thematic grouping of content, typically with a heading. Examples of sections would be chapters, the various
tabbed pages in a tabbed dialog box, or the numbered sections of a thesis. A website’s home page could be
split into different sections for the introduction, news items, and contact information.
element represents a section of a page that links to other pages or to parts within the page: a section
with navigation links. Not all groups of links on a page need to be in a
element—only sections that consist
of major navigation blocks are appropriate for the
element. In particular, it is common for footers to have
a short list of links to various pages of a site, such as the terms of service, home page, and copyright page. The
element alone is sufficient for such cases, without a
element represents a self-contained composition in a document, page, application, or site that
is intended to be independently distributable or reusable, e.g., in syndication. This could be a forum post, a
magazine or newspaper article, a blog entry, a user-submitted comment, an interactive widget or gadget, or
any other independent item of content.
element represents a section of a page that consists of content that is tangentially related to the
content around the
element, and that could be considered separate from that content. Such sections
are often represented as sidebars in printed typography. The element can be used for typographical effects like
pull quotes or sidebars, for advertising, for groups of
elements, and for other content that is considered
separate from the main content of the page.
element represents the heading of a section. The element is used to group a set of
when the heading has multiple levels, such as subheadings, alternative titles, or taglines.
element represents a group of introductory or navigational aids. A
element is usually
intended to contain the section’s heading (an
element or an
element), but this is not required.
element can also be used to wrap a section’s table of contents, a search form, or any relevant logos.
element represents a footer for its nearest ancestor sectioning content or sectioning root element.
A footer typically contains information about its section such as who wrote it, links to related documents,
copyright data, and the like. Footers don’t necessarily have to appear at the end of a section, though they usually
do. When the
element contains entire sections, they represent appendixes, indexes, long colophons,
verbose license agreements, and other such content.
element represents either a time on a 24-hour clock or a precise date in the proleptic Gregorian
calendar, optionally with a time and a timezone offset.
element represents a run of text in one document marked or highlighted for reference purposes.
I know you’re anxious to start using these new elements, or you wouldn’t be reading
this chapter. But first we need to take a little detour.
New Semantic Elements in HTML5 | 41
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