[webkit-dev] Adding <main> element to WebCore

Maciej Stachowiak mjs at apple.com
Wed Nov 28 00:52:26 PST 2012

On Nov 27, 2012, at 8:39 PM, Brendan Eich <brendan at mozilla.org> wrote:

> I'm stunned that people are arguing this on webkit-dev.
> Just FYI, Mozillians with whom I have spoken generally agree that <main> does not meet the high bar required to add a new element to HTML.
> Shopping a patch to implementors, to get something into a standard spec by asserting de-facto status based on the patch(es) landing, is bad form.
> Back to the whatwg list!

Some points of information:

* This element does have a spec, which is likely to be published by the HTML WG soon:

* At a recent HTML WG face-to-face that included folks affiliated with Opera, Apple, Mozilla, Microsoft and Google, no one spoke against the <main> element, and some spoke mildly in favor, though this was without deep consultation with their respective orgs[*].

* Though Hixie and some others have opposed the <main> element on the whatwg list, no one has really spoken against it in the HTML WG.

My view is that this thread is seeking implementor support for a proposed standard (one that is using the HTML5 / whatwg html "applicable specifications" extension point in what seems to be the intended way). I see this as a valid step in trying to promote a standard, not an attempt to bypass the standards process. Of course, it is entirely possible that the feature won't find consensus in the WebKit community. So I think what Steve is doing here is fine.


[*] If Mozilla on the whole is agains adding this feature, that is relevant new information.

> /be
> Dominic Mazzoni wrote:
>> On Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 4:22 PM, Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch <mailto:ian at hixie.ch>> wrote:
>>    The use case for <main> is accessibility navigation. If authors use it
>>    incorrectly, the feature *doesn't work*. The element becomes
>>    pointless.
>> But it won't break accessibility. Worst case, it starts the screen reader user at an unusual point in the page. A single keystroke will bring the user back to the top of the page, so it's no big deal.
>> So I'm in favor of it, because it's easy for developers, there's a small positive accessibility benefit, and I don't see any harm if it's sometimes used incorrectly.
>> - Dominic
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