W3C

HTML 5

A vocabulary and associated APIs for HTML and XHTML

← 3 Semantics, structure, and APIs of HTML documentsTable of contents4.6 Text-level semantics →

4 The elements of HTML

4.1 The root element

4.1.1 The html element

Categories
None.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
As the root element of a document.
Wherever a subdocument fragment is allowed in a compound document.
Content model:
A head element followed by a body element.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
manifest
DOM interface:
interface HTMLHtmlElement : HTMLElement {};

The html element represents the root of an HTML document.

The manifest attribute gives the address of the document's application cache manifest, if there is one. If the attribute is present, the attribute's value must be a valid URL.

The manifest attribute only has an effect during the early stages of document load. Changing the attribute dynamically thus has no effect (and thus, no DOM API is provided for this attribute).

For the purposes of application cache selection, later base elements cannot affect the resolving of relative URLs in manifest attributes, as the attributes are processed before those elements are seen.

4.2 Document metadata

4.2.1 The head element

Categories
None.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
As the first element in an html element.
Content model:
One or more elements of metadata content, of which exactly one is a title element.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
interface HTMLHeadElement : HTMLElement {};

The head element represents a collection of metadata for the Document.

4.2.2 The title element

Categories
Metadata content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
In a head element containing no other title elements.
Content model:
Text.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
interface HTMLTitleElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute DOMString text;
};

The title element represents the document's title or name. Authors should use titles that identify their documents even when they are used out of context, for example in a user's history or bookmarks, or in search results. The document's title is often different from its first heading, since the first heading does not have to stand alone when taken out of context.

There must be no more than one title element per document.

The title element must not contain any elements.

The text DOM attribute must return the same value as the textContent DOM attribute on the element.

Here are some examples of appropriate titles, contrasted with the top-level headings that might be used on those same pages.

  <title>Introduction to The Mating Rituals of Bees</title>
    ...
  <h1>Introduction</h1>
  <p>This companion guide to the highly successful
  <cite>Introduction to Medieval Bee-Keeping</cite> book is...

The next page might be a part of the same site. Note how the title describes the subject matter unambiguously, while the first heading assumes the reader knows what the context is and therefore won't wonder if the dances are Salsa or Waltz:

  <title>Dances used during bee mating rituals</title>
    ...
  <h1>The Dances</h1>

The string to use as the document's title is given by the document.title DOM attribute. User agents should use the document's title when referring to the document in their user interface.

4.2.3 The base element

Categories
Metadata content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
In a head element containing no other base elements.
Content model:
Empty.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
href
target
DOM interface:
interface HTMLBaseElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute DOMString href;
           attribute DOMString target;
};

The base element allows authors to specify the document base URL for the purposes of resolving relative URLs, and the name of the default browsing context for the purposes of following hyperlinks. The element does not represent any content beyond this information.

There must be no more than one base element per document.

A base element must have either an href attribute, a target attribute, or both.

The href content attribute, if specified, must contain a valid URL.

A base element, if it has an href attribute, must come before any other elements in the tree that have attributes defined as taking URLs, except the html element (its manifest attribute isn't affected by base elements).

If there are multiple base elements with href attributes, all but the first are ignored.

The target attribute, if specified, must contain a valid browsing context name or keyword, which specifies which browsing context is to be used as the default when hyperlinks and forms in the Document cause navigation.

A base element, if it has a target attribute, must come before any elements in the tree that represent hyperlinks.

If there are multiple base elements with target attributes, all but the first are ignored.

The href and target DOM attributes must reflect the respective content attributes of the same name.

Categories
Metadata content.
If the itemprop attribute is present: flow content.
If the itemprop attribute is present: phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where metadata content is expected.
In a noscript element that is a child of a head element.
If the itemprop attribute is present: where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Empty.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
href
rel
media
hreflang
type
sizes
Also, the title attribute has special semantics on this element.
DOM interface:
interface HTMLLinkElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute boolean disabled;
           attribute DOMString href;
           attribute DOMString rel;
  readonly attribute DOMTokenList relList;
           attribute DOMString media;
           attribute DOMString hreflang;
           attribute DOMString type;
           attribute DOMString sizes;
};
HTMLLinkElement implements LinkStyle;

The link element allows authors to link their document to other resources.

The destination of the link(s) is given by the href attribute, which must be present and must contain a valid URL. If the href attribute is absent, then the element does not define a link.

The types of link indicated (the relationships) are given by the value of the rel attribute, which must be present, and must have a value that is a set of space-separated tokens. The allowed values and their meanings are defined in a later section. If the rel attribute is absent, or if the values used are not allowed according to the definitions in this specification, then the element does not define a link.

Two categories of links can be created using the link element. Links to external resources are links to resources that are to be used to augment the current document, and hyperlink links are links to other documents. The link types section defines whether a particular link type is an external resource or a hyperlink. One element can create multiple links (of which some might be external resource links and some might be hyperlinks); exactly which and how many links are created depends on the keywords given in the rel attribute. User agents must process the links on a per-link basis, not a per-element basis.

Each link is handled separately. For instance, if there are two link elements with rel="stylesheet", they each count as a separate external resource, and each is affected by its own attributes independently.

The exact behavior for links to external resources depends on the exact relationship, as defined for the relevant link type. Some of the attributes control whether or not the external resource is to be applied (as defined below). For external resources that are represented in the DOM (for example, style sheets), the DOM representation must be made available even if the resource is not applied. To obtain the resource, the user agent must resolve the URL given by the href attribute, relative to the element, and then fetch the resulting absolute URL. User agents may opt to only fetch such resources when they are needed, instead of pro-actively fetching all the external resources that are not applied.

The semantics of the protocol used (e.g. HTTP) must be followed when fetching external resources. (For example, redirects must be followed and 404 responses must cause the external resource to not be applied.)

Fetching external resources must delay the load event of the element's document until the task that is queued by the networking task source once the resource has been fetched (defined below) has been run.

The task that is queued by the networking task source once the resource has been fetched must, if the loads were successful, queue a task to fire a simple event called load at the link element; otherwise, if the resource or one of its subresources failed to completely load for any reason (e.g. DNS error, HTTP 404 response, a connection being prematurely closed, unsupported Content-Type), it must instead queue a task to fire a simple event called error at the link element. Non-network errors in processing the resource or its subresources (e.g. CSS parse errors, PNG decoding errors) are not failures for the purposes of this paragraph.

The task source for these tasks is the DOM manipulation task source.


Interactive user agents should provide users with a means to follow the hyperlinks created using the link element, somewhere within their user interface. The exact interface is not defined by this specification, but it should include the following information (obtained from the element's attributes, again as defined below), in some form or another (possibly simplified), for each hyperlink created with each link element in the document:

User agents may also include other information, such as the type of the resource (as given by the type attribute).

Hyperlinks created with the link element and its rel attribute apply to the whole page. This contrasts with the rel attribute of a and area elements, which indicates the type of a link whose context is given by the link's location within the document.

The media attribute says which media the resource applies to. The value must be a valid media query. [MQ]

If the link is a hyperlink then the media attribute is purely advisory, and describes for which media the document in question was designed.

However, if the link is an external resource link, then the media attribute is prescriptive. The user agent must apply the external resource to views while their state match the listed media and the other relevant conditions apply, and must not apply them otherwise.

The external resource might have further restrictions defined within that limit its applicability. For example, a CSS style sheet might have some @media blocks. This specification does not override such further restrictions or requirements.

The default, if the media attribute is omitted, is all, meaning that by default links apply to all media.

The hreflang attribute on the link element has the same semantics as the hreflang attribute on hyperlink elements.

The type attribute gives the MIME type of the linked resource. It is purely advisory. The value must be a valid MIME type, optionally with parameters.

For external resource links, the type attribute is used as a hint to user agents so that they can avoid fetching resources they do not support. If the attribute is present, then the user agent must assume that the resource is of the given type. If the attribute is omitted, but the external resource link type has a default type defined, then the user agent must assume that the resource is of that type. If the UA does not support the given MIME type for the given link relationship, then the UA should not fetch the resource; if the UA does support the given MIME type for the given link relationship, then the UA should fetch the resource. If the attribute is omitted, and the external resource link type does not have a default type defined, but the user agent would fetch the resource if the type was known and supported, then the user agent should fetch the resource under the assumption that it will be supported.

User agents must not consider the type attribute authoritative — upon fetching the resource, user agents must not use the type attribute to determine its actual type. Only the actual type (as defined in the next paragraph) is used to determine whether to apply the resource, not the aforementioned assumed type.

The stylesheet link type defines rules for processing the resource's Content-Type metadata.

Once the user agent has established the type of the resource, the user agent must apply the resource if it is of a supported type and the other relevant conditions apply, and must ignore the resource otherwise.

If a document contains style sheet links labeled as follows:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="A" type="text/plain">
<link rel="stylesheet" href="B" type="text/css">
<link rel="stylesheet" href="C">

...then a compliant UA that supported only CSS style sheets would fetch the B and C files, and skip the A file (since text/plain is not the MIME type for CSS style sheets).

For files B and C, it would then check the actual types returned by the server. For those that are sent as text/css, it would apply the styles, but for those labeled as text/plain, or any other type, it would not.

If one the two files was returned without a Content-Type metadata, or with a syntactically incorrect type like Content-Type: "null", then the default type for stylesheet links would kick in. Since that default type is text/css, the style sheet would nonetheless be applied.

The title attribute gives the title of the link. With one exception, it is purely advisory. The value is text. The exception is for style sheet links, where the title attribute defines alternative style sheet sets.

The title attribute on link elements differs from the global title attribute of most other elements in that a link without a title does not inherit the title of the parent element: it merely has no title.

The sizes attribute is used with the icon link type. The attribute must not be specified on link elements that do not have a rel attribute that specifies the icon keyword.

Some versions of HTTP defined a Link: header, to be processed like a series of link elements. If supported, for the purposes of ordering links defined by HTTP headers must be assumed to come before any links in the document, in the order that they were given in the HTTP entity header. (URIs in these headers are to be processed and resolved according to the rules given in HTTP; the rules of this specification don't apply.) [HTTP] [WEBLINK]

The DOM attributes href, rel, media, hreflang, and type, and sizes each must reflect the respective content attributes of the same name.

The DOM attribute relList must reflect the rel content attribute.

The DOM attribute disabled only applies to style sheet links. When the link element defines a style sheet link, then the disabled attribute behaves as defined for the alternative style sheets DOM. For all other link elements it always return false and does nothing on setting.

The LinkStyle interface is also be implemented by this element; the styling processing model defines how. [CSSOM]

4.2.5 The meta element

Categories
Metadata content.
If the itemprop attribute is present: flow content.
If the itemprop attribute is present: phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
If the charset attribute is present, or if the element's http-equiv attribute is in the Encoding declaration state: in a head element.
If the http-equiv attribute is present and in the Encoding declaration state: in a head element.
If the http-equiv attribute is present but not in the Encoding declaration state: in a noscript element that is a child of a head element.
If the name attribute is present: where metadata content is expected.
If the itemprop attribute is present: where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Empty.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
name
http-equiv
content
charset
DOM interface:
interface HTMLMetaElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute DOMString name;
           attribute DOMString httpEquiv;
};

The meta element represents various kinds of metadata that cannot be expressed using the title, base, link, style, and script elements.

The meta element can represent document-level metadata with the name attribute, pragma directives with the http-equiv attribute, and the file's character encoding declaration when an HTML document is serialized to string form (e.g. for transmission over the network or for disk storage) with the charset attribute.

Exactly one of the name, http-equiv, charset, and itemprop attributes must be specified.

If either name, http-equiv, or itemprop is specified, then the content attribute must also be specified. Otherwise, it must be omitted.

The charset attribute specifies the character encoding used by the document. This is a character encoding declaration. If the attribute is present in an XML document, its value must be an ASCII case-insensitive match for the string "UTF-8" (and the document is therefore required to use UTF-8 as its encoding).

The charset attribute on the meta element has no effect in XML documents, and is only allowed in order to facilitate migration to and from XHTML.

There must not be more than one meta element with a charset attribute per document.

The content attribute gives the value of the document metadata or pragma directive when the element is used for those purposes. The allowed values depend on the exact context, as described in subsequent sections of this specification.

If a meta element has a name attribute, it sets document metadata. Document metadata is expressed in terms of name/value pairs, the name attribute on the meta element giving the name, and the content attribute on the same element giving the value. The name specifies what aspect of metadata is being set; valid names and the meaning of their values are described in the following sections. If a meta element has no content attribute, then the value part of the metadata name/value pair is the empty string.

The name DOM attribute must reflect the content attribute of the same name. The DOM attribute httpEquiv must reflect the content attribute http-equiv.

4.2.5.1 Standard metadata names

This specification defines a few names for the name attribute of the meta element.

application-name

The value must be a short free-form string that giving the name of the Web application that the page represents. If the page is not a Web application, the application-name metadata name must not be used. User agents may use the application name in UI in preference to the page's title, since the title might include status messages and the like relevant to the status of the page at a particular moment in time instead of just being the name of the application.

description

The value must be a free-form string that describes the page. The value must be appropriate for use in a directory of pages, e.g. in a search engine.

generator

The value must be a free-form string that identifies the software used to generate the document. This value must not be used on hand-authored pages.

4.2.5.2 Other metadata names

Extensions to the predefined set of metadata names may be registered in the WHATWG Wiki MetaExtensions page.

Anyone is free to edit the WHATWG Wiki MetaExtensions page at any time to add a type. These new names must be specified with the following information:

Keyword

The actual name being defined. The name should not be confusingly similar to any other defined name (e.g. differing only in case).

Brief description

A short description of what the metadata name's meaning is, including the format the value is required to be in.

Link to more details
A link to a more detailed description of the metadata name's semantics and requirements. It could be another page on the Wiki, or a link to an external page.
Synonyms

A list of other names that have exactly the same processing requirements. Authors should not use the names defined to be synonyms, they are only intended to allow user agents to support legacy content.

Status

One of the following:

Proposal
The name has not received wide peer review and approval. Someone has proposed it and is using it.
Accepted
The name has received wide peer review and approval. It has a specification that unambiguously defines how to handle pages that use the name, including when they use it in incorrect ways.
Unendorsed
The metadata name has received wide peer review and it has been found wanting. Existing pages are using this keyword, but new pages should avoid it. The "brief description" and "link to more details" entries will give details of what authors should use instead, if anything.

If a metadata name is added with the "proposal" status and found to be redundant with existing values, it should be removed and listed as a synonym for the existing value.

Conformance checkers must use the information given on the WHATWG Wiki MetaExtensions page to establish if a value not explicitly defined in this specification is allowed or not. Conformance checkers may cache this information (e.g. for performance reasons or to avoid the use of unreliable network connectivity).

When an author uses a new type not defined by either this specification or the Wiki page, conformance checkers should offer to add the value to the Wiki, with the details described above, with the "proposal" status.

This specification does not define how new values will get approved. It is expected that the Wiki will have a community that addresses this.

Metadata names whose values are to be URLs must not be proposed or accepted. Links must be represented using the link element, not the meta element.

4.2.5.3 Pragma directives

When the http-equiv attribute is specified on a meta element, the element is a pragma directive.

The http-equiv attribute is an enumerated attribute. The following table lists the keywords defined for this attribute. The states given in the first cell of the rows with keywords give the states to which those keywords map.

State Keywords Notes
Content Language content-language Conformance checkers will include a warning
Encoding declaration content-type
Default style default-style
Refresh refresh

When a meta element is inserted into the document, if its http-equiv attribute is present and represents one of the above states, then the user agent must run the algorithm appropriate for that state, as described in the following list:

Content language state (http-equiv="content-language")

This pragma sets the document-wide default language. Until the pragma is successfully processed, there is no document-wide default language.

Conformance checkers will include a warning if this pragma is used. Authors are encouraged to use the lang attribute instead.

  1. If another meta element with an http-equiv attribute in the Content Language state has already been successfully processed (i.e. when it was inserted the user agent processed it and reached the last step of this list of steps), then abort these steps.

  2. If the meta element has no content attribute, or if that attribute's value is the empty string, then abort these steps.

  3. Let input be the value of the element's content attribute.

  4. Let position point at the first character of input.

  5. Skip whitespace.

  6. Collect a sequence of characters that are neither space characters nor a U+002C COMMA character (",").

  7. Let the document-wide default language be the string that resulted from the previous step.

For meta elements with an http-equiv attribute in the Content Language state, the content attribute must have a value consisting of a valid BCP 47 language code. [BCP47]

This pragma is not exactly equivalent to the HTTP Content-Language header, for instance it only supports one language. [HTTP]

Encoding declaration state (http-equiv="content-type")

The Encoding declaration state is just an alternative form of setting the charset attribute: it is a character encoding declaration. This state's user agent requirements are all handled by the parsing section of the specification.

For meta elements with an http-equiv attribute in the Encoding declaration state, the content attribute must have a value that is an ASCII case-insensitive match for a string that consists of: the literal string "text/html;", optionally followed by any number of space characters, followed by the literal string "charset=", followed by the character encoding name of the character encoding declaration.

If the document contains a meta element with an http-equiv attribute in the Encoding declaration state, then the document must not contain a meta element with the charset attribute present.

The Encoding declaration state may be used in HTML documents, but elements with an http-equiv attribute in that state must not be used in XML documents.

Default style state (http-equiv="default-style")

This pragma sets the name of the default alternative style sheet set.

  1. If the meta element has no content attribute, or if that attribute's value is the empty string, then abort these steps.

  2. Set the preferred style sheet set to the value of the element's content attribute. [CSSOM]

Refresh state (http-equiv="refresh")

This pragma acts as timed redirect.

  1. If another meta element with an http-equiv attribute in the Refresh state has already been successfully processed (i.e. when it was inserted the user agent processed it and reached the last step of this list of steps), then abort these steps.

  2. If the meta element has no content attribute, or if that attribute's value is the empty string, then abort these steps.

  3. Let input be the value of the element's content attribute.

  4. Let position point at the first character of input.

  5. Skip whitespace.

  6. Collect a sequence of characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO to U+0039 DIGIT NINE, and parse the resulting string using the rules for parsing non-negative integers. If the sequence of characters collected is the empty string, then no number will have been parsed; abort these steps. Otherwise, let time be the parsed number.

  7. Collect a sequence of characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO to U+0039 DIGIT NINE and U+002E FULL STOP ("."). Ignore any collected characters.

  8. Skip whitespace.

  9. Let url be the address of the current page.

  10. If the character in input pointed to by position is a U+003B SEMICOLON (";"), then advance position to the next character. Otherwise, jump to the last step.

  11. Skip whitespace.

  12. If the character in input pointed to by position is one of U+0055 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER U or U+0075 LATIN SMALL LETTER U, then advance position to the next character. Otherwise, jump to the last step.

  13. If the character in input pointed to by position is one of U+0052 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER R or U+0072 LATIN SMALL LETTER R, then advance position to the next character. Otherwise, jump to the last step.

  14. If the character in input pointed to by position is one of U+004C LATIN CAPITAL LETTER L or U+006C LATIN SMALL LETTER L, then advance position to the next character. Otherwise, jump to the last step.

  15. Skip whitespace.

  16. If the character in input pointed to by position is a U+003D EQUALS SIGN ("="), then advance position to the next character. Otherwise, jump to the last step.

  17. Skip whitespace.

  18. If the character in input pointed to by position is either a U+0027 APOSTROPHE character (') or U+0022 QUOTATION MARK character ("), then let quote be that character, and advance position to the next character. Otherwise, let quote be the empty string.

  19. Let url be equal to the substring of input from the character at position to the end of the string.

  20. If quote is not the empty string, and there is a character in url equal to quote, then truncate url at that character, so that it and all subsequent characters are removed.

  21. Strip any trailing space characters from the end of url.

  22. Strip any U+0009 CHARACTER TABULATION, U+000A LINE FEED (LF), and U+000D CARRIAGE RETURN (CR) characters from url.

  23. Resolve the url value to an absolute URL, relative to the meta element. If this fails, abort these steps.

  24. Perform one or more of the following steps:

    • Set a timer so that in time seconds, adjusted to take into account user or user agent preferences, if the user has not canceled the redirect, the user agent navigates the document's browsing context to url, with replacement enabled, and with the document's browsing context as the source browsing context.

    • Provide the user with an interface that, when selected, navigates a browsing context to url, with the document's browsing context as the source browsing context.

    • Do nothing.

    In addition, the user agent may, as with anything, inform the user of any and all aspects of its operation, including the state of any timers, the destinations of any timed redirects, and so forth.

For meta elements with an http-equiv attribute in the Refresh state, the content attribute must have a value consisting either of:

In the former case, the integer represents a number of seconds before the page is to be reloaded; in the latter case the integer represents a number of seconds before the page is to be replaced by the page at the given URL.

There must not be more than one meta element with any particular state in the document at a time.

4.2.5.4 Other pragma directives

Extensions to the predefined set of pragma directives may, under certain conditions, be registered in the WHATWG Wiki PragmaExtensions page.

Such extensions must use a name that is identical to a previously-registered HTTP header defined in an RFC, and must have behavior identical to that described for the HTTP header. Pragma directions corresponding to headers describing metadata, or not requiring specific user agent processing, must not be registered; instead, use metadata names. Pragma directions corresponding to headers that affect the HTTP processing model (e.g. caching) must not be registered, as they would result in HTTP-level behavior being different for user agents that implement HTML than for user agents that do not.

Anyone is free to edit the WHATWG Wiki PragmaExtensions page at any time to add a pragma directive satisfying these conditions. Such registrations must specify the following information:

Keyword

The actual name being defined.

Brief description

A short description of the purpose of the pragma directive.

Specification
A link to an IETF RFC defining the corresponding HTTP header.

Conformance checkers must use the information given on the WHATWG Wiki PragmaExtensions page to establish if a value not explicitly defined in this specification is allowed or not. Conformance checkers may cache this information (e.g. for performance reasons or to avoid the use of unreliable network connectivity).

4.2.5.5 Specifying the document's character encoding

A character encoding declaration is a mechanism by which the character encoding used to store or transmit a document is specified.

The following restrictions apply to character encoding declarations:

If an HTML document does not start with a BOM, and if its encoding is not explicitly given by Content-Type metadata, then the character encoding used must be an ASCII-compatible character encoding, and, in addition, if that encoding isn't US-ASCII itself, then the encoding must be specified using a meta element with a charset attribute or a meta element with an http-equiv attribute in the Encoding declaration state.

If an HTML document contains a meta element with a charset attribute or a meta element with an http-equiv attribute in the Encoding declaration state, then the character encoding used must be an ASCII-compatible character encoding.

Authors should not use JIS-X-0208 (JIS_C6226-1983), JIS-X-0212 (JIS_X0212-1990), encodings based on ISO-2022, and encodings based on EBCDIC. Authors should not use UTF-32. Authors must not use the CESU-8, UTF-7, BOCU-1 and SCSU encodings. [RFC1345] [RFC1468] [RFC2237] [RFC1554] [RFC1922] [RFC1557] [UNICODE] [CESU8] [UTF7] [BOCU1] [SCSU]

Authors are encouraged to use UTF-8. Conformance checkers may advise against authors using legacy encodings.

Authoring tools should default to using UTF-8 for newly-created documents.

Using non-UTF-8 encodings can have unexpected results on form submission and URL encodings, which use the document's character encoding by default.

In XHTML, the XML declaration should be used for inline character encoding information, if necessary.

4.2.6 The style element

Categories
Metadata content.
If the scoped attribute is present: flow content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
If the scoped attribute is absent: where metadata content is expected.
If the scoped attribute is absent: in a noscript element that is a child of a head element.
If the scoped attribute is present: where flow content is expected, but before any other flow content other than other style elements and inter-element whitespace.
Content model:
Depends on the value of the type attribute.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
media
type
scoped
Also, the title attribute has special semantics on this element.
DOM interface:
interface HTMLStyleElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute boolean disabled;
           attribute DOMString media;
           attribute DOMString type;
           attribute boolean scoped;
};
HTMLStyleElement implements LinkStyle;

The style element allows authors to embed style information in their documents. The style element is one of several inputs to the styling processing model. The element does not represent content for the user.

If the type attribute is given, it must contain a valid MIME type, optionally with parameters, that designates a styling language. If the attribute is absent, the type defaults to text/css. [RFC2318]

When examining types to determine if they support the language, user agents must not ignore unknown MIME parameters — types with unknown parameters must be assumed to be unsupported.

The media attribute says which media the styles apply to. The value must be a valid media query. [MQ] User agents must apply the styles to views while their state match the listed media, and must not apply them otherwise.

The styles might be further limited in scope, e.g. in CSS with the use of @media blocks. This specification does not override such further restrictions or requirements.

The default, if the media attribute is omitted, is all, meaning that by default styles apply to all media.

The scoped attribute is a boolean attribute. If set, it indicates that the styles are intended just for the subtree rooted at the style element's parent element, as opposed to the whole Document.

If the scoped attribute is present, then the user agent must apply the specified style information only to the style element's parent element (if any), and that element's child nodes. Otherwise, the specified styles must, if applied, be applied to the entire document.

The title attribute on style elements defines alternative style sheet sets. If the style element has no title attribute, then it has no title; the title attribute of ancestors does not apply to the style element. [CSSOM]

The title attribute on style elements, like the title attribute on link elements, differs from the global title attribute in that a style block without a title does not inherit the title of the parent element: it merely has no title.

All descendant elements must be processed, according to their semantics, before the style element itself is evaluated. For styling languages that consist of pure text, user agents must evaluate style elements by passing the concatenation of the contents of all the text nodes that are direct children of the style element (not any other nodes such as comments or elements), in tree order, to the style system. For XML-based styling languages, user agents must pass all the child nodes of the style element to the style system.

All URLs found by the styling language's processor must be resolved, relative to the element (or as defined by the styling language), when the processor is invoked.

Once the element has been evaluated, if it had no subresources or once all the subresources it uses have been fetched, the user agent must queue a task to fire a simple event called load at the style element. If the resource has a subresource that fails to completely load for any reason (e.g. DNS error, HTTP 404 response, the connection being prematurely closed, unsupported Content-Type), the user agent must instead queue a task to fire a simple event called error at the style element. Non-network errors in the processing of the element's contents or its subresources (e.g. CSS parse errors) are not failures for the purposes of this paragraph. The style element must delay the load event of the element's document until one of these tasks has been queued.

The task source for these tasks is the DOM manipulation task source.

This specification does not specify a style system, but CSS is expected to be supported by most Web browsers. [CSS]

The media, type and scoped DOM attributes must reflect the respective content attributes of the same name.

The DOM disabled attribute behaves as defined for the alternative style sheets DOM.

The LinkStyle interface is also be implemented by this element; the styling processing model defines how. [CSSOM]

4.2.7 Styling

The link and style elements can provide styling information for the user agent to use when rendering the document. The DOM Styling specification specifies what styling information is to be used by the user agent and how it is to be used. [CSSOM]

The style and link elements implement the LinkStyle interface. [CSSOM]

For style elements, if the user agent does not support the specified styling language, then the sheet attribute of the element's LinkStyle interface must return null. Similarly, link elements that do not represent external resource links that contribute to the styling processing model (i.e. that do not have a stylesheet keyword in their rel attribute), and link elements whose specified resource has not yet been fetched, or is not in a supported styling language, must have their LinkStyle interface's sheet attribute return null.

Otherwise, the LinkStyle interface's sheet attribute must return a StyleSheet object with the following properties: [CSSOM]

The style sheet type

The style sheet type must be the same as the style's specified type. For style elements, this is the same as the type content attribute's value, or text/css if that is omitted. For link elements, this is the Content-Type metadata of the specified resource.

The style sheet location

For link elements, the location must be the result of resolving the URL given by the element's href content attribute, relative to the element, or the empty string if that fails. For style elements, there is no location.

The style sheet media

The media must be the same as the value of the element's media content attribute, or the empty string, if the attribute is omitted.

The style sheet title

The title must be the same as the value of the element's title content attribute, if the attribute is present and has a non-empty value. If the attribute is absent or its value is the empty string, then the style sheet does not have a title (it is the empty string). The title is used for defining alternative style sheet sets.

The style sheet alternate flag

For link elements, true if the link is an alternative stylesheet. In all other cases, false.

The disabled DOM attribute on link and style elements must return false and do nothing on setting, if the sheet attribute of their LinkStyle interface is null. Otherwise, it must return the value of the StyleSheet interface's disabled attribute on getting, and forward the new value to that same attribute on setting.

The rules for handling alternative style sheets are defined in the CSS object model specification. [CSSOM]

4.3 Scripting

Scripts allow authors to add interactivity to their documents.

Authors are encouraged to use declarative alternatives to scripting where possible, as declarative mechanisms are often more maintainable, and many users disable scripting.

For example, instead of using script to show or hide a section to show more details, the details element could be used.

Authors are also encouraged to make their applications degrade gracefully in the absence of scripting support.

For example, if an author provides a link in a table header to dynamically resort the table, the link could also be made to function without scripts by requesting the sorted table from the server.

4.3.1 The script element

Categories
Metadata content.
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where metadata content is expected.
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
If there is no src attribute, depends on the value of the type attribute.
If there is a src attribute, the element must be either empty or contain only script documentation.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
src
async
defer
type
charset
DOM interface:
interface HTMLScriptElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute DOMString src;
           attribute boolean async;
           attribute boolean defer;
           attribute DOMString type;
           attribute DOMString charset;
           attribute DOMString text;
};

The script element allows authors to include dynamic script and data blocks in their documents. The element does not represent content for the user.

When used to include dynamic scripts, the scripts may either be embedded inline or may be imported from an external file using the src attribute. If the language is not that described by "text/javascript", then the type attribute must be present. If the type attribute is present, its value must be the type of the script's language.

When used to include data blocks, the data must be embedded inline, the format of the data must be given using the type attribute, and the src attribute must not be specified.

The type attribute gives the language of the script or format of the data. If the attribute is present, its value must be a valid MIME type, optionally with parameters. The charset parameter must not be specified. (The default, which is used if the attribute is absent, is "text/javascript".)

The src attribute, if specified, gives the address of the external script resource to use. The value of the attribute must be a valid URL identifying a script resource of the type given by the type attribute, if the attribute is present, or of the type "text/javascript", if the attribute is absent.

The charset attribute gives the character encoding of the external script resource. The attribute must not be specified if the src attribute is not present. If the attribute is set, its value must be a valid character encoding name, must be the preferred name for that encoding, and must match the encoding given in the charset parameter of the Content-Type metadata of the external file, if any. [IANACHARSET]

The async and defer attributes are boolean attributes that indicate how the script should be executed.

There are three possible modes that can be selected using these attributes. If the async attribute is present, then the script will be executed asynchronously, as soon as it is available. If the async attribute is not present but the defer attribute is present, then the script is executed when the page has finished parsing. If neither attribute is present, then the script is fetched and executed immediately, before the user agent continues parsing the page. The exact processing details for these attributes is described below.

The defer attribute may be specified even if the async attribute is specified, to cause legacy Web browsers that only support defer (and not async) to fall back to the defer behavior instead of the synchronous blocking behavior that is the default.

If the defer attribute may be specified, the src attribute must also be specified.

Changing the src, type, charset, async, and defer attributes dynamically has no direct effect; these attribute are only used at specific times described below (namely, when the element is inserted into the document).

script elements have four associated pieces of metadata. The first is a flag indicating whether or not the script block has been "already executed". Initially, script elements must have this flag unset (script blocks, when created, are not "already executed"). When a script element is cloned, the "already executed" flag, if set, must be propagated to the clone when it is created. The second is a flag indicating whether the element was "parser-inserted". This flag is set by the HTML parser and is used to handle document.write() calls. The third and fourth pieces of metadata are the script block's type and the script block's character encoding. They are determined when the script is run, based on the attributes on the element at that time.

When a script element that is neither marked as having "already executed" nor marked as being "parser-inserted" experiences one of the events listed in the following list, the user agent must run the script element:

Running a script: When a script element is to be run, the user agent must act as follows:

  1. If either:

    • the script element has a type attribute and its value is the empty string, or
    • the script element has no type attribute but it has a language attribute and that attribute's value is the empty string, or
    • the script element has neither a type attribute nor a language attribute, then

    ...let the script block's type for this script element be "text/javascript".

    Otherwise, if the script element has a type attribute, let the script block's type for this script element be the value of that attribute.

    Otherwise, the element has a non-empty language attribute; let the script block's type for this script element be the concatenation of the string "text/" followed by the value of the language attribute.

    The language attribute is never conforming, and is always ignored if there is a type attribute present.

  2. If the script element has a charset attribute, then let the script block's character encoding for this script element be the encoding given by the charset attribute.

    Otherwise, let the script block's character encoding for this script element be the same as the encoding of the document itself.

  3. If scripting is disabled for the script element, or if the user agent does not support the scripting language given by the script block's type for this script element, then the user agent must abort these steps at this point. The script is not executed.

  4. If the element has no src attribute, and its child nodes consist only of comment nodes and empty text nodes, then the user agent must abort these steps at this point. The script is not executed.

  5. The user agent must set the element's "already executed" flag.

  6. If the element has a src attribute, then the value of that attribute must be resolved relative to the element, and if that is successful, the specified resource must then be fetched.

    For historical reasons, if the URL is a javascript: URL, then the user agent must not, despite the requirements in the definition of the fetching algorithm, actually execute the given script; instead the user agent must act as if it had received an empty HTTP 400 response.

    Once the resource's Content Type metadata is available, if it ever is, apply the algorithm for extracting an encoding from a Content-Type to it. If this returns an encoding, and the user agent supports that encoding, then let the script block's character encoding be that encoding.

    Once the fetching process has completed, and the script has completed loading, the user agent will have to complete the steps described below. (If the parser is still active at that time, those steps defer to the parser to handle the execution of pending scripts.)

    For performance reasons, user agents may start fetching the script as soon as the attribute is set, instead, in the hope that the element will be inserted into the document. Either way, once the element is inserted into the document, the load must have started. If the UA performs such prefetching, but the element is never inserted in the document, or the src attribute is dynamically changed, then the user agent will not execute the script, and the fetching process will have been effectively wasted.

  7. Then, the first of the following options that describes the situation must be followed:

    If the document is still being parsed, and the element has a defer attribute, and the element has a src attribute, and the element does not have an async attribute
    The element must be added to the end of the list of scripts that will execute when the document has finished parsing.
    If the element has an async attribute and a src attribute
    The element must be added to the end of the list of scripts that will execute asynchronously.
    If the element has an async attribute but no src attribute, and the list of scripts that will execute asynchronously is not empty
    The element must be added to the end of the list of scripts that will execute asynchronously.
    If the element has a src attribute and has been flagged as "parser-inserted"
    The element is the pending external script. (There can only be one such script at a time.)
    If the element has a src attribute
    The element must be added to the end of the list of scripts that will execute as soon as possible.
    Otherwise
    The user agent must immediately execute the script block, even if other scripts are already executing.

Fetching an external script must delay the load event of the element's document until the task that is queued by the networking task source once the resource has been fetched (defined below) has been run.

When a script completes loading: If the script element was added to one of the lists mentioned above and the document is still being parsed, then the parser handles it. Otherwise, the UA must run the following steps as the task that the networking task source places on the task queue:

If the script element was added to the list of scripts that will execute when the document has finished parsing:
  1. If the script element is not the first element in the list, then do nothing yet. Stop going through these steps.

  2. Otherwise, execute the script block (the first element in the list).

  3. Remove the script element from the list (i.e. shift out the first entry in the list).

  4. If there are any more entries in the list, and if the script associated with the element that is now the first in the list is already loaded, then jump back to step 2 to execute it.

The scripts in the list of scripts that will execute when the document has finished parsing can also get executed prematurely if the innerHTML attribute is set on a node in the document.

If the script element was added to the list of scripts that will execute asynchronously:
  1. If the script is not the first element in the list, then do nothing yet. Stop going through these steps.

  2. Execute the script block (the first element in the list).

  3. Remove the script element from the list (i.e. shift out the first entry in the list).

  4. If there are any more scripts in the list, and the element now at the head of the list had no src attribute when it was added to the list, or had one, but its associated script has finished loading, then jump back to step 2 to execute the script associated with this element.

If the script element was added to the list of scripts that will execute as soon as possible:
  1. Execute the script block.

  2. Remove the script element from the list.

Executing a script block: When the steps above require that the script block be executed, the user agent must act as follows:

If the load resulted in an error (for example a DNS error, or an HTTP 404 error)

Executing the script block must just consist of firing a simple event called error at the element.

If the load was successful
  1. Initialize the script block's source as follows:

    If the script is from an external file

    The contents of that file, interpreted as string of Unicode characters, are the script source.

    For each of the rows in the following table, starting with the first one and going down, if the file has as many or more bytes available than the number of bytes in the first column, and the first bytes of the file match the bytes given in the first column, then set the script block's character encoding to the encoding given in the cell in the second column of that row, irrespective of any previous value:

    Bytes in Hexadecimal Encoding
    FE FF UTF-16BE
    FF FE UTF-16LE
    EF BB BF UTF-8

    This step looks for Unicode Byte Order Marks (BOMs).

    The file must then be converted to Unicode using the character encoding given by the script block's character encoding.

    If the script is inline and the script block's type is a text-based language

    The value of the DOM text attribute at the time the "running a script" algorithm was first invoked is the script source.

    If the script is inline and the script block's type is an XML-based language

    The child nodes of the script element at the time the "running a script" algorithm was first invoked are the script source.

  2. Pause until either any applicable style sheets have been fetched and applied, or the user agent has timed out and decided to not wait for those style sheets.

  3. Create a script from the script element node, using the the script block's source and the the script block's type.

    This is where the script is compiled and actually executed.

  4. Fire a simple event called load at the script element.

The DOM attributes src, type, charset, async, and defer, each must reflect the respective content attributes of the same name.

script . text [ = value ]

Returns the contents of the element, ignoring child nodes that aren't text nodes.

Can be set, to replace the element's children with the given value.

The DOM attribute text must return a concatenation of the contents of all the text nodes that are direct children of the script element (ignoring any other nodes such as comments or elements), in tree order. On setting, it must act the same way as the textContent DOM attribute.

In this example, two script elements are used. One embeds an external script, and the other includes some data.

<script src="game-engine.js"></script>
<script type="text/x-game-map">
........U.........e
o............A....e
.....A.....AAA....e
.A..AAA...AAAAA...e
</script>

The data in this case might be used by the script to generate the map of a video game. The data doesn't have to be used that way, though; maybe the map data is actually embedded in other parts of the page's markup, and the data block here is just used by the site's search engine to help users who are looking for particular features in their game maps.

When inserted using the document.write() method, script elements execute (typically synchronously), but when inserted using innerHTML and outerHTML attributes, they do not execute at all.

4.3.1.1 Scripting languages

A user agent is said to support the scripting language if the script block's type matches the MIME type of a scripting language that the user agent implements.

The following lists some MIME types and the languages to which they refer:

application/ecmascript
application/javascript
application/x-ecmascript
application/x-javascript
text/ecmascript
text/javascript
text/javascript1.0
text/javascript1.1
text/javascript1.2
text/javascript1.3
text/javascript1.4
text/javascript1.5
text/jscript
text/livescript
text/x-ecmascript
text/x-javascript
JavaScript. [ECMA262]
text/javascript;e4x=1
JavaScript with ECMAScript for XML. [ECMA357]

User agents may support other MIME types and other languages.

When examining types to determine if they support the language, user agents must not ignore unknown MIME parameters — types with unknown parameters must be assumed to be unsupported.

4.3.1.2 Inline documentation for external scripts

If a script element's src attribute is specified, then the contents of the script element, if any, must be such that the value of the DOM text attribute, which is derived from the element's contents, matches the documentation production in the following ABNF, the character set for which is Unicode. [ABNF]

documentation = *( *( space / tab / comment ) [ line-comment ] newline )
comment       = slash star *( not-star / star not-slash ) 1*star slash
line-comment  = slash slash *not-newline

; characters
tab           = %x0009 ; U+0009 TAB
newline       = %x000A ; U+000A LINE FEED
space         = %x0020 ; U+0020 SPACE
star          = %x002A ; U+002A ASTERISK
slash         = %x002F ; U+002F SOLIDUS
not-newline   = %x0000-0009 / %x000B-10FFFF
                ; a Unicode character other than U+000A LINE FEED
not-star      = %x0000-0029 / %x002B-10FFFF
                ; a Unicode character other than U+002A ASTERISK
not-slash     = %x0000-002E / %x0030-10FFFF
                ; a Unicode character other than U+002F SOLIDUS

This allows authors to include documentation, such as license information or API information, inside their documents while still referring to external script files. The syntax is constrained so that authors don't accidentally include what looks like valid script while also providing a src attribute.

<script src="cool-effects.js">
 // create new instances using:
 //    var e = new Effect();
 // start the effect using .play, stop using .stop:
 //    e.play();
 //    e.stop();
</script>

4.3.2 The noscript element

Categories
Metadata content.
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
In a head element of an HTML document, if there are no ancestor noscript elements.
Where phrasing content is expected in HTML documents, if there are no ancestor noscript elements.
Content model:
When scripting is disabled, in a head element: in any order, zero or more link elements, zero or more style elements, and zero or more meta elements.
When scripting is disabled, not in a head element: transparent, but there must be no noscript element descendants.
Otherwise: text that conforms to the requirements given in the prose.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The noscript element represents nothing if scripting is enabled, and represents its children if scripting is disabled. It is used to present different markup to user agents that support scripting and those that don't support scripting, by affecting how the document is parsed.

When used in HTML documents, the allowed content model is as follows:

In a head element, if scripting is disabled for the noscript element

The noscript element must contain only link, style, and meta elements.

In a head element, if scripting is enabled for the noscript element

The noscript element must contain only text, except that invoking the HTML fragment parsing algorithm with the noscript element as the context element and the text contents as the input must result in a list of nodes that consists only of link, style, and meta elements, and no parse errors.

Outside of head elements, if scripting is disabled for the noscript element

The noscript element's content model is transparent, with the additional restriction that a noscript element must not have a noscript element as an ancestor (that is, noscript can't be nested).

Outside of head elements, if scripting is enabled for the noscript element

The noscript element must contain only text, except that the text must be such that running the following algorithm results in a conforming document with no noscript elements and no script elements, and such that no step in the algorithm causes an HTML parser to flag a parse error:

  1. Remove every script element from the document.
  2. Make a list of every noscript element in the document. For every noscript element in that list, perform the following steps:
    1. Let the parent element be the parent element of the noscript element.
    2. Take all the children of the parent element that come before the noscript element, and call these elements the before children.
    3. Take all the children of the parent element that come after the noscript element, and call these elements the after children.
    4. Let s be the concatenation of all the text node children of the noscript element.
    5. Set the innerHTML attribute of the parent element to the value of s. (This, as a side-effect, causes the noscript element to be removed from the document.)
    6. Insert the before children at the start of the parent element, preserving their original relative order.
    7. Insert the after children at the end of the parent element, preserving their original relative order.

All these contortions are required because, for historical reasons, the noscript element is handled differently by the HTML parser based on whether scripting was enabled or not when the parser was invoked. The element is not allowed in XML, because in XML the parser is not affected by such state, and thus the element would not have the desired effect.

The noscript element must not be used in XML documents.

The noscript element is only effective in the the HTML syntax, it has no effect in the the XHTML syntax.

The noscript element has no other requirements. In particular, children of the noscript element are not exempt from form submission, scripting, and so forth, even when scripting is enabled for the element.

4.4 Sections

4.4.1 The body element

Categories
Sectioning root.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
As the second element in an html element.
Content model:
Flow content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
onafterprint
onbeforeprint
onbeforeunload
onblur
onerror
onfocus
onhashchange
onload
onmessage
onoffline
ononline
onpopstate
onredo
onresize
onstorage
onundo
onunload
DOM interface:
interface HTMLBodyElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute Function onafterprint;
           attribute Function onbeforeprint;
           attribute Function onbeforeunload;
           attribute Function onblur;
           attribute Function onerror;
           attribute Function onfocus;
           attribute Function onhashchange;
           attribute Function onload;
           attribute Function onmessage;
           attribute Function onoffline;
           attribute Function ononline;
           attribute Function onpopstate;
           attribute Function onredo;
           attribute Function onresize;
           attribute Function onstorage;
           attribute Function onundo;
           attribute Function onunload;
};

The body element represents the main content of the document.

In conforming documents, there is only one body element. The document.body DOM attribute provides scripts with easy access to a document's body element.

Some DOM operations (for example, parts of the drag and drop model) are defined in terms of "the body element". This refers to a particular element in the DOM, as per the definition of the term, and not any arbitrary body element.

The body element exposes as event handler content attributes a number of the event handler attributes of the Window object. It also mirrors their event handler DOM attributes.

The onblur, onerror, onfocus, and onload event handler attributes of the Window object, exposed on the body element, shadow the generic event handler attributes with the same names normally supported by HTML elements.

Thus, for example, a bubbling error event fired on a child of the body element of a Document would first trigger the onerror event handler content attributes of that element, then that of the root html element, and only then would it trigger the onerror event handler content attribute on the body element. This is because the event would bubble from the target, to the body, to the html, to the Document, to the Window, and the event handler attribute on the body is watching the Window not the body. A regular event listener attached to the body using addEventListener(), however, would fire when the event bubbled through the body and not when it reaches the Window object.

4.4.2 The section element

Categories
Flow content.
Sectioning content.
formatBlock candidate.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Flow content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
cite
DOM interface:
interface HTMLSectionElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute DOMString cite;
};

The section element represents a generic document or application section. A section, in this context, is a thematic grouping of content, typically with a heading, possibly with a footer.

Examples of sections would be chapters, the various tabbed pages in a tabbed dialog box, or the numbered sections of a thesis. A Web site's home page could be split into sections for an introduction, news items, contact information.

The cite attribute may be used if the content of the section was taken from another page (e.g. syndicating content from multiple sources on one page). The attribute, if present, must contain a valid URL referencing the original source. To obtain the corresponding citation link, the value of the attribute must be resolved relative to the element. User agents should allow users to follow such citation links.

The cite DOM attribute must reflect the element's cite content attribute.

The section element is not a generic container element. When an element is needed for styling purposes or as a convenience for scripting, authors are encouraged to use the div element instead. A general rule is that the section element is appropriate only if the element's contents would be listed explicitly in the document's outline.

In the following example, we see an article (part of a larger Web page) about apples, containing two short sections.

<article>
 <hgroup>
  <h1>Apples</h1>
  <h2>Tasty, delicious fruit!</h2>
 </hgroup>
 <p>The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree.</p>
 <section>
  <h1>Red Delicious</h1>
  <p>These bright red apples are the most common found in many
  supermarkets.</p>
 </section>
 <section>
  <h1>Granny Smith</h1>
  <p>These juicy, green apples make a great filling for
  apple pies.</p>
 </section>
</article>

Notice how the use of section means that the author can use h1 elements throughout, without having to worry about whether a particular section is at the top level, the second level, the third level, and so on.

4.4.3 The nav element

Categories
Flow content.
Sectioning content.
formatBlock candidate.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Flow content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The nav 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 nav element — only sections that consist of major navigation blocks are appropriate for the nav element. In particular, it is common for footers to have a list of links to various key parts of a site, but the footer element is more appropriate in such cases, and no nav element is necessary for those links.

In the following example, the page has several places where links are present, but only one of those places is considered a navigation section.

<body>
 <header>
  <h1>Wake up sheeple!</h1>
  <p><a href="news.html">News</a> -
     <a href="blog.html">Blog</a> -
     <a href="forums.html">Forums</a></p>
  <p>Last Modified: <time>2009-04-01</time></p>
  <nav>
   <h1>Navigation</h1>
   <ul>
    <li><a href="articles.html">Index of all articles</a></li>
    <li><a href="today.html">Things sheeple need to wake up for today</a></li>
    <li><a href="successes.html">Sheeple we have managed to wake</a></li>
   </ul>
  </nav>
 </header>
 <article>
  <p>...page content would be here...</p>
 </article>
 <footer>
  <p>Copyright © 2006 The Example Company</p>
  <p><a href="about.html">About</a> -
     <a href="policy.html">Privacy Policy</a> -
     <a href="contact.html">Contact Us</a></p>
 </footer>
</body>

In the following example, there are two nav elements, one for primary navigation around the site, and one for secondary navigation around the page itself.

<body>
 <h1>The Wiki Center Of Exampland</h1>
 <nav>
  <ul>
   <li><a href="/">Home</a></li>
   <li><a href="/events">Current Events</a></li>
   ...more...
  </ul>
 </nav>
 <article>
  <header>
   <h1>Demos in Exampland</h1>
   <nav>
    <ul>
     <li><a href="#public">Public demonstrations</a></li>
     <li><a href="#destroy">Demolitions</a></li>
     ...more...
    </ul>
   </nav>
  </header>
  <section id="public">
   <h1>Public demonstrations</h1>
   <p>...more...</p>
  </section>
  <section id="destroy">
   <h1>Demolitions</h1>
   <p>...more...</p>
  </section>
  ...more...
  <footer>
   <p><a href="?edit">Edit</a> | <a href="?delete">Delete</a> | <a href="?Rename">Rename</a></p>
  </footer>
 </article>
 <footer>
  <p><small>© copyright 1998 Exampland Emperor</small></p>
 </footer>
</body>

4.4.4 The article element

Categories
Flow content.
Sectioning content.
formatBlock candidate.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Flow content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
cite
pubdate
DOM interface:
interface HTMLArticleElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute DOMString cite;
           attribute DOMString pubDate;
};

The article element represents a section of a page that consists of a composition that forms an independent part of a document, page, or site. This could be a forum post, a magazine or newspaper article, a Web log entry, a user-submitted comment, or any other independent item of content.

An article element is "independent" in the sense that its contents could stand alone, for example in syndication.

When article elements are nested, the inner article elements represent articles that are in principle related to the contents of the outer article. For instance, a Web log entry on a site that accepts user-submitted comments could represent the comments as article elements nested within the article element for the Web log entry.

Author information associated with an article element (q.v. the address element) does not apply to nested article elements.

The cite attribute may be used if the content of the article was taken from another page (e.g. syndicating content from multiple sources on one page). The attribute, if present, must contain a valid URL referencing the original source. To obtain the corresponding citation link, the value of the attribute must be resolved relative to the element. User agents should allow users to follow such citation links.

The pubdate attribute may be used to specify the time and date that the article was first published. If present, the pubdate attribute must be a valid global date and time string value.

The cite DOM attribute must reflect the element's cite content attribute. The pubDate DOM attribute must reflect the element's pubdate content attribute.

4.4.5 The aside element

Categories
Flow content.
Sectioning content.
formatBlock candidate.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Flow content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The aside element represents a section of a page that consists of content that is tangentially related to the content around the aside element, and which could be considered separate from that content. Such sections are often represented as sidebars in printed typography.

The element can also be used for typographical effects like pull quotes.

It's not appropriate to use the aside element just for parentheticals, since those are part of the main flow of the document.

The following example shows how an aside is used to mark up background material on Switzerland in a much longer news story on Europe.

<aside>
 <h1>Switzerland</h1>
 <p>Switzerland, a land-locked country in the middle of geographic
 Europe, has not joined the geopolitical European Union, though it is
 a signatory to a number of European treaties.</p>
</aside>

The following example shows how an aside is used to mark up a pull quote in a longer article.

...

<p>He later joined a large company, continuing on the same work.
<q>I love my job. People ask me what I do for fun when I'm not at
work. But I'm paid to do my hobby, so I never know what to
answer. Some people wonder what they would do if they didn't have to
work... but I know what I would do, because I was unemployed for a
year, and I filled that time doing exactly what I do
now.</q></p>

<aside>
 <q> People ask me what I do for fun when I'm not at work. But I'm
 paid to do my hobby, so I never know what to answer. </q>
</aside>

<p>Of course his work — or should that be hobby? —
isn't his only passion. He also enjoys other pleasures.</p>

...

4.4.6 The h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, and h6 elements

Categories
Flow content.
Heading content.
formatBlock candidate.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
interface HTMLHeadingElement : HTMLElement {};

These elements represent headings for their sections.

The semantics and meaning of these elements are defined in the section on headings and sections.

These elements have a rank given by the number in their name. The h1 element is said to have the highest rank, the h6 element has the lowest rank, and two elements with the same name have equal rank.

4.4.7 The hgroup element

Categories
Flow content.
Heading content.
formatBlock candidate.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
One or more h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, and/or h6 elements.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The hgroup element represents the heading of a section. The element is used to group a set of h1h6 elements when the heading has multiple levels, such as subheadings, alternative titles, or taglines.

The point of hgroup is to mask an h2 element (that acts as a secondary title) from the outline algorithm.

For the purposes of document summaries, outlines, and the like, the text of hgroup elements is defined to be the text of the highest ranked h1h6 element descendant of the hgroup element, if there are any such elements, and the first such element if there are multiple elements with that rank. If there are no such elements, then the text of the hgroup element is the empty string.

Other elements of heading content in the hgroup element indicate subheadings or subtitles.

The rank of an hgroup element is the rank of the highest-ranked h1h6 element descendant of the hgroup element, if there are any such elements, or otherwise the same as for an h1 element (the highest rank).

The section on headings and sections defines how hgroup elements are assigned to individual sections.

Here are some examples of valid headings. In each case, the emphasized text represents the text that would be used as the heading in an application extracting heading data and ignoring subheadings.

<hgroup>
 <h1>The reality dysfunction</h1>
 <h2>Space is not the only void</h2>
</hgroup>
<hgroup>
 <h1>Dr. Strangelove</h1>
 <h2>Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb</h2>
</hgroup>

4.4.8 The header element

Categories
Flow content.
formatBlock candidate.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Flow content, but with no header or footer element descendants.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The header element represents a group of introductory or navigational aids.

A header element is intended to usually contain the section's heading (an h1h6 element or an hgroup element), but this is not required. The header element can also be used to wrap a section's table of contents, a search form, or any relevant logos.

Here are some sample headers. This first one is for a game:

<header>
 <p>Welcome to...</p>
 <h1>Voidwars!</h1>
</header>

The following snippet shows how the element can be used to mark up a specification's header:

<header>
 <hgroup>
  <h1>Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.2</h1>
  <h2>W3C Working Draft 27 October 2004</h2>
 </hgroup>
 <dl>
  <dt>This version:</dt>
  <dd><a href="http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/WD-SVG12-20041027/">http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/WD-SVG12-20041027/</a></dd>
  <dt>Previous version:</dt>
  <dd><a href="http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/WD-SVG12-20040510/">http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/WD-SVG12-20040510/</a></dd>
  <dt>Latest version of SVG 1.2:</dt>
  <dd><a href="http://www.w3.org/TR/SVG12/">http://www.w3.org/TR/SVG12/</a></dd>
  <dt>Latest SVG Recommendation:</dt>
  <dd><a href="http://www.w3.org/TR/SVG/">http://www.w3.org/TR/SVG/</a></dd>
  <dt>Editor:</dt>
  <dd>Dean Jackson, W3C, <a href="mailto:dean@w3.org">dean@w3.org</a></dd>
  <dt>Authors:</dt>
  <dd>See <a href="#authors">Author List</a></dd>
 </dl>
 <p class="copyright"><a href="http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Legal/ipr-notic ...
</header>

The header element is not sectioning content; it doesn't introduce a new section.

In this example, the page has a page heading given by the h1 element, and two subsections whose headings are given by h2 elements. The content after the header element is still part of the last subsection started in the header element, because the header element doesn't take part in the outline algorithm.

<body>
 <header>
  <h1>Little Green Guys With Guns</h1>
  <nav>
   <ul>
    <li><a href="/games">Games</a> |
    <li><a href="/forum">Forum</a> |
    <li><a href="/download">Download</a>
   </ul>
  </nav>
  <h2>Important News</h2> <!-- this starts a second subsection -->
  <!-- this is part of the subsection entitled "Important News" -->
  <p>To play today's games you will need to update your client.</p>
  <h2>Games</h2> <!-- this starts a third subsection -->
 </header>
 <p>You have three active games:</p>
 <!-- this is still part of the subsection entitled "Games" -->
 ...
Categories
Flow content.
formatBlock candidate.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Flow content, but with no heading content descendants, no sectioning content descendants, and no header or footer element descendants.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The footer element represents a footer for its nearest ancestor sectioning content. A footer typically contains information about its section such as who wrote it, links to related documents, copyright data, and the like.

Contact information belongs in an address element, possibly itself inside a footer.

Footers don't necessarily have to appear at the end of a section, though they usually do.

The footer element is inappropriate for containing entire sections. For appendices, indexes, long colophons, verbose license agreements, and other such content which needs sectioning with headings and so forth, regular section elements should be used, not a footer.

Here is a page with two footers, one at the top and one at the bottom, with the same content:

<body>
 <footer><a href="../">Back to index...</a></footer>
 <hgroup>
  <h1>Lorem ipsum</h1>
  <h2>The ipsum of all lorems</h2>
 </hgroup>
 <p>A dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod
 tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim
 veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex
 ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in
 voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla
 pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in
 culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.</p>
 <footer><a href="../">Back to index...</a></footer>
</body>

4.4.10 The address element

Categories
Flow content.
formatBlock candidate.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Flow content, but with no heading content descendants, no sectioning content descendants, and no header, footer, or address element descendants.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The address element represents the contact information for its nearest article or body element ancestor. If that is the body element, then the contact information applies to the document as a whole.

For example, a page at the W3C Web site related to HTML might include the following contact information:

<ADDRESS>
 <A href="../People/Raggett/">Dave Raggett</A>,
 <A href="../People/Arnaud/">Arnaud Le Hors</A>,
 contact persons for the <A href="Activity">W3C HTML Activity</A>
</ADDRESS>

The address element must not be used to represent arbitrary addresses (e.g. postal addresses), unless those addresses are in fact the relevant contact information. (The p element is the appropriate element for marking up postal addresses in general.)

The address element must not contain information other than contact information.

For example, the following is non-conforming use of the address element:

<ADDRESS>Last Modified: 1999/12/24 23:37:50</ADDRESS>

Typically, the address element would be included along with other information in a footer element.

The contact information for a node node is a collection of address elements defined by the first applicable entry from the following list:

If node is an article element
If node is a body element

The contact information consists of all the address elements that have node as an ancestor and do not have another body or article element ancestor that is a descendant of node.

If node has an ancestor element that is a article element
If node has an ancestor element that is a body element

The contact information of node is the same as the contact information of the nearest article or body element ancestor, whichever is nearest.

If node's Document has a body element

The contact information of node is the same as the contact information the body element of the Document.

Otherwise

There is no contact information for node.

User agents may expose the contact information of a node to the user, or use it for other purposes, such as indexing sections based on the sections' contact information.

Contact information for one sectioning content element, e.g. an aside element, does not apply to its ancestor elements, e.g. the page's body.

4.4.11 Headings and sections

The h1h6 elements and the hgroup element are headings.

The first element of heading content in an element of sectioning content represents the heading for that section. Subsequent headings of equal or higher rank start new (implied) sections, headings of lower rank start implied subsections that are part of the previous one. In both cases, the element represents the heading of the implied section.

Sectioning content elements are always considered subsections of their nearest ancestor element of sectioning content, regardless of what implied sections other headings may have created.

Certain elements are said to be sectioning roots, including blockquote and td elements. These elements can have their own outlines, but the sections and headings inside these elements do not contribute to the outlines of their ancestors.

For the following fragment:

<body>
 <h1>Foo</h1>
 <h2>Bar</h2>
 <blockquote>
  <h3>Bla</h3>
 </blockquote>
 <p>Baz</p>
 <h2>Quux</h2>
 <section>
  <h3>Thud</h3>
 </section>
 <p>Grunt</p>
</body>

...the structure would be:

  1. Foo (heading of explicit body section, containing the "Grunt" paragraph)
    1. Bar (heading starting implied section, containing a block quote and the "Baz" paragraph)
    2. Quux (heading starting implied section)
    3. Thud (heading of explicit section section)

Notice how the section ends the earlier implicit section so that a later paragraph ("Grunt") is back at the top level.

Sections may contain headings of any rank, but authors are strongly encouraged to either use only h1 elements, or to use elements of the appropriate rank for the section's nesting level.

Authors are also encouraged to explicitly wrap sections in elements of sectioning content, instead of relying on the implicit sections generated by having multiple headings in one element of sectioning content.

For example, the following is correct:

<body>
 <h4>Apples</h4>
 <p>Apples are fruit.</p>
 <section>
  <h2>Taste</h2>
  <p>They taste lovely.</p>
  <h6>Sweet</h6>
  <p>Red apples are sweeter than green ones.</p>
  <h1>Color</h1>
  <p>Apples come in various colors.</p>
 </section>
</body>

However, the same document would be more clearly expressed as:

<body>
 <h1>Apples</h1>
 <p>Apples are fruit.</p>
 <section>
  <h2>Taste</h2>
  <p>They taste lovely.</p>
  <section>
   <h3>Sweet</h3>
   <p>Red apples are sweeter than green ones.</p>
  </section>
 </section>
 <section>
  <h2>Color</h2>
  <p>Apples come in various colors.</p>
 </section>
</body>

Both of the documents above are semantically identical and would produce the same outline in compliant user agents.

4.4.11.1 Creating an outline

This section defines an algorithm for creating an outline for a sectioning content element or a sectioning root element. It is defined in terms of a walk over the nodes of a DOM tree, in tree order, with each node being visited when it is entered and when it is exited during the walk.

The outline for a sectioning content element or a sectioning root element consists of a list of one or more potentially nested sections. A section is a container that corresponds to some nodes in the original DOM tree. Each section can have one heading associated with it, and can contain any number of further nested sections. The algorithm for the outline also associates each node in the DOM tree with a particular section and potentially a heading. (The sections in the outline aren't section elements, though some may correspond to such elements — they are merely conceptual sections.)

The following markup fragment:

<body>
 <h1>A</h1>
 <p>B</p>
 <h2>C</h2>
 <p>D</p>
 <h2>E</h2>
 <p>F</p>
</body>

...results in the following outline being created for the body node (and thus the entire document):

  1. Section created for body node.

    Associated with heading "A".

    Also associated with paragraph "B".

    Nested sections:

    1. Section implied for first h2 element.

      Associated with heading "C".

      Also associated with paragraph "D".

      No nested sections.

    2. Section implied for second h2 element.

      Associated with heading "E".

      Also associated with paragraph "F".

      No nested sections.

The algorithm that must be followed during a walk of a DOM subtree rooted at a sectioning content element or a sectioning root element to determine that element's outline is as follows:

  1. Let current outlinee be null. (It holds the element whose outline is being created.)

  2. Let current section be null. (It holds a pointer to a section, so that elements in the DOM can all be associated with a section.)

  3. Create a stack to hold elements, which is used to handle nesting. Initialize this stack to empty.

  4. As you walk over the DOM in tree order, trigger the first relevant step below for each element as you enter and exit it.

    If the top of the stack is an element, and you are exiting that element

    The element being exited is a heading content element.

    Pop that element from the stack.

    If the top of the stack is a heading content element

    Do nothing.

    When entering a sectioning content element or a sectioning root element

    If current outlinee is not null, push current outlinee onto the stack.

    Let current outlinee be the element that is being entered.

    Let current section be a newly created section for the current outlinee element.

    Let there be a new outline for the new current outlinee, initialized with just the new current section as the only section in the outline.

    When exiting a sectioning content element, if the stack is not empty

    Pop the top element from the stack, and let the current outlinee be that element.

    Let current section be the last section in the outline of the current outlinee element.

    Append the outline of the sectioning content element being exited to the current section. (This does not change which section is the last section in the outline.)

    When exiting a sectioning root element, if the stack is not empty

    Run these steps:

    1. Pop the top element from the stack, and let the current outlinee be that element.

    2. Let current section be the last section in the outline of the current outlinee element.

    3. Finding the deepest child: If current section has no child sections, stop these steps.

    4. Let current section be the last child section of the current current section.

    5. Go back to the substep labeled finding the deepest child.

    When exiting a sectioning content element or a sectioning root element

    The current outlinee is the element being exited.

    Let current section be the first section in the outline of the current outlinee element.

    Skip to the next step in the overall set of steps. (The walk is over.)

    If the current outlinee is null.

    Do nothing.

    When entering a heading content element

    If the current section has no heading, let the element being entered be the heading for the current section.

    Otherwise, if the element being entered has a rank equal to or greater than the heading of the last section of the outline of the current outlinee, then create a new section and append it to the outline of the current outlinee element, so that this new section is the new last section of that outline. Let current section be that new section. Let the element being entered be the new heading for the current section.

    Otherwise, run these substeps:

    1. Let candidate section be current section.

    2. If the element being entered has a rank lower than the rank of the heading of the candidate section, then create a new section, and append it to candidate section. (This does not change which section is the last section in the outline.) Let current section be this new section. Let the element being entered be the new heading for the current section. Abort these substeps.

    3. Let new candidate section be the section that contains candidate section in the outline of current outlinee.

    4. Let candidate section be new candidate section.

    5. Return to step 2.

    Push the element being entered onto the stack. (This causes the algorithm to skip any descendants of the element.)

    Recall that h1 has the highest rank, and h6 has the lowest rank.

    Otherwise

    Do nothing.

    In addition, whenever you exit a node, after doing the steps above, if current section is not null, associate the node with the section current section.

  5. If the current outlinee is null, then there was no sectioning content element or sectioning root element in the DOM. There is no outline. Abort these steps.

  6. Associate any nodes that were not associated with a section in the steps above with current outlinee as their section.

  7. Associate all nodes with the heading of the section with which they are associated, if any.

  8. If current outlinee is the body element, then the outline created for that element is the outline of the entire document.

The tree of sections created by the algorithm above, or a proper subset thereof, must be used when generating document outlines, for example when generating tables of contents.

When creating an interactive table of contents, entries should jump the user to the relevant sectioning content element, if the section was created for a real element in the original document, or to the relevant heading content element, if the section in the tree was generated for a heading in the above process.

Selecting the first section of the document therefore always takes the user to the top of the document, regardless of where the first heading in the body is to be found.

The following JavaScript function shows how the tree walk could be implemented. The root argument is the root of the tree to walk, and the enter and exit arguments are callbacks that are called with the nodes as they are entered and exited. [ECMA262]

function (root, enter, exit) {
  var node = root;
  start: while (node) {
    enter(node);
    if (node.firstChild) {
      node = node.firstChild;
      continue start;
    }
    while (node) {
      exit(node);
      if (node.nextSibling) {
        node = node.nextSibling;
        continue start;
      }
      if (node == root)
        node = null;
      else
        node = node.parentNode;
    }
  }
}
4.4.11.2 Distinguishing site-wide headings from page headings

Given the outline of a document, but ignoring any sections created for nav and aside elements, and any of their descendants, if the only root of the tree is the body element's section, and it has only a single subsection which is created by an article element, then the heading of the body element should be assumed to be a site-wide heading, and the heading of the article element should be assumed to be the page's heading.

If a page starts with a heading that is common to the whole site, the document must be authored such that, in the document's outline, ignoring any sections created for nav and aside elements and any of their descendants, the tree has only one root section, the body element's section, its heading is the site-wide heading, the body element has just one subsection, that subsection is created by an article element, and that article's heading is the page heading.

If a page does not contain a site-wide heading, then the page must be authored such that, in the document's outline, ignoring any sections created for nav and aside elements and any of their descendants, either the body element has no subsections, or it has more than one subsection, or it has a single subsection but that subsection is not created by an article element, or there is more than one section at the root of the outline.

Conceptually, a site is thus a document with many articles — when those articles are split into many pages, the heading of the original single page becomes the heading of the site, repeated on every page.

4.5 Grouping content

4.5.1 The p element

Categories
Flow content.
formatBlock candidate.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
interface HTMLParagraphElement : HTMLElement {};

The p element represents a paragraph.

The following examples are conforming HTML fragments:

<p>The little kitten gently seated himself on a piece of
carpet. Later in his life, this would be referred to as the time the
cat sat on the mat.</p>
<fieldset>
 <legend>Personal information</legend>
 <p>
   <label>Name: <input name="n"></label>
   <label><input name="anon" type="checkbox"> Hide from other users</label>
 </p>
 <p><label>Address: <textarea name="a"></textarea></label></p>
</fieldset>
<p>There was once an example from Femley,<br>
Whose markup was of dubious quality.<br>
The validator complained,<br>
So the author was pained,<br>
To move the error from the markup to the rhyming.</p>

The p element should not be used when a more specific element is more appropriate.

The following example is technically correct:

<section>
 <!-- ... -->
 <p>Last modified: 2001-04-23</p>
 <p>Author: fred@example.com</p>
</section>

However, it would be better marked-up as:

<section>
 <!-- ... -->
 <footer>Last modified: 2001-04-23</footer>
 <address>Author: fred@example.com</address>
</section>

Or:

<section>
 <!-- ... -->
 <footer>
  <p>Last modified: 2001-04-23</p>
  <address>Author: fred@example.com</address>
 </footer>
</section>

4.5.2 The hr element

Categories
Flow content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Empty.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
interface HTMLHRElement : HTMLElement {};

The hr element represents a paragraph-level thematic break, e.g. a scene change in a story, or a transition to another topic within a section of a reference book.

4.5.3 The br element

Categories
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Empty.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
interface HTMLBRElement : HTMLElement {};

The br element represents a line break.

br elements must be empty. Any content inside br elements must not be considered part of the surrounding text.

br elements must be used only for line breaks that are actually part of the content, as in poems or addresses.

The following example is correct usage of the br element:

<p>P. Sherman<br>
42 Wallaby Way<br>
Sydney</p>

br elements must not be used for separating thematic groups in a paragraph.

The following examples are non-conforming, as they abuse the br element:

<p><a ...>34 comments.</a><br>
<a ...>Add a comment.</a></p>
<p><label>Name: <input name="name"></label><br>
<label>Address: <input name="address"></label></p>

Here are alternatives to the above, which are correct:

<p><a ...>34 comments.</a></p>
<p><a ...>Add a comment.</a></p>
<p><label>Name: <input name="name"></label></p>
<p><label>Address: <input name="address"></label></p>

If a paragraph consists of nothing but a single br element, it represents a placeholder blank line (e.g. as in a template). Such blank lines must not be used for presentation purposes.

4.5.4 The pre element

Categories
Flow content.
formatBlock candidate.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
interface HTMLPreElement : HTMLElement {};

The pre element represents a block of preformatted text, in which structure is represented by typographic conventions rather than by elements.

In the the HTML syntax, a leading newline character immediately following the pre element start tag is stripped.

Some examples of cases where the pre element could be used:

Authors are encouraged to consider how preformatted text will be experienced when the formatting is lost, as will be the case for users of speech synthesizers, braille displays, and the like. For cases like ASCII art, it is likely that an alternative presentation, such as a textual description, would be more universally accessible to the readers of the document.

To represent a block of computer code, the pre element can be used with a code element; to represent a block of computer output the pre element can be used with a samp element. Similarly, the kbd element can be used within a pre element to indicate text that the user is to enter.

In the following snippet, a sample of computer code is presented.

<p>This is the <code>Panel</code> constructor:</p>
<pre><code>function Panel(element, canClose, closeHandler) {
  this.element = element;
  this.canClose = canClose;
  this.closeHandler = function () { if (closeHandler) closeHandler() };
}</code></pre>

In the following snippet, samp and kbd elements are mixed in the contents of a pre element to show a session of Zork I.

<pre><samp>You are in an open field west of a big white house with a boarded
front door.
There is a small mailbox here.

></samp> <kbd>open mailbox</kbd>

<samp>Opening the mailbox reveals:
A leaflet.

></samp></pre>

The following shows a contemporary poem that uses the pre element to preserve its unusual formatting, which forms an intrinsic part of the poem itself.

<pre>                maxling

it is with a          heart
               heavy

that i admit loss of a feline
        so           loved

a friend lost to the
        unknown
                                (night)

~cdr 11dec07</pre>

4.5.5 The dialog element

Categories
Flow content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Zero or more pairs of one dt element followed by one dd element.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The dialog element represents a conversation, meeting minutes, a chat transcript, a dialog in a screenplay, an instant message log, or some other construct in which different players take turns in discourse.

Each part of the conversation must have an explicit talker (or speaker) given by a dt element, and a discourse (or quote) given by a dd element.

This example demonstrates this using an extract from Abbot and Costello's famous sketch, Who's on first:

<dialog>
 <dt> Costello
 <dd> Look, you gotta first baseman?
 <dt> Abbott
 <dd> Certainly.
 <dt> Costello
 <dd> Who's playing first?
 <dt> Abbott
 <dd> That's right.
 <dt> Costello
 <dd> When you pay off the first baseman every month, who gets the money?
 <dt> Abbott
 <dd> Every dollar of it.
</dialog>

Text in a dt element in a dialog element is implicitly the source of the text given in the following dd element, and the contents of the dd element are implicitly a quote from that speaker. There is thus no need to include cite, q, or blockquote elements in this markup. Indeed, a q element inside a dd element in a conversation would actually imply the people talking were themselves quoting another work. See the cite, q, and blockquote elements for other ways to cite or quote.

4.5.6 The blockquote element

Categories
Flow content.
Sectioning root.
formatBlock candidate.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Flow content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
cite
DOM interface:
interface HTMLQuoteElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute DOMString cite;
};

The HTMLQuoteElement interface is also used by the q element.

The blockquote element represents a section that is quoted from another source.

Content inside a blockquote must be quoted from another source, whose address, if it has one, should be cited in the cite attribute.

If the cite attribute is present, it must be a valid URL. To obtain the corresponding citation link, the value of the attribute must be resolved relative to the element. User agents should allow users to follow such citation links.

The cite DOM attribute must reflect the element's cite content attribute.

The best way to represent a conversation is not with the cite and blockquote elements, but with the dialog element.

This next example shows the use of cite alongside blockquote:

<p>His next piece was the aptly named <cite>Sonnet 130</cite>:</p>
<blockquote cite="http://quotes.example.org/s/sonnet130.html">
  <p>My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun,<br>
  Coral is far more red, than her lips red,<br>
  ...

4.5.7 The ol element

Categories
Flow content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Zero or more li elements.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
reversed
start
DOM interface:
interface HTMLOListElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute boolean reversed;
           attribute long start;
};

The ol element represents a list of items, where the items have been intentionally ordered, such that changing the order would change the meaning of the document.

The items of the list are the li element child nodes of the ol element, in tree order.

The reversed attribute is a boolean attribute. If present, it indicates that the list is a descending list (..., 3, 2, 1). If the attribute is omitted, the list is an ascending list (1, 2, 3, ...).

The start attribute, if present, must be a valid integer giving the ordinal value of the first list item.

If the start attribute is present, user agents must parse it as an integer, in order to determine the attribute's value. The default value, used if the attribute is missing or if the value cannot be converted to a number according to the referenced algorithm, is 1 if the element has no reversed attribute, and is the number of child li elements otherwise.

The first item in the list has the ordinal value given by the ol element's start attribute, unless that li element has a value attribute with a value that can be successfully parsed, in which case it has the ordinal value given by that value attribute.

Each subsequent item in the list has the ordinal value given by its value attribute, if it has one, or, if it doesn't, the ordinal value of the previous item, plus one if the reversed is absent, or minus one if it is present.

The reversed DOM attribute must reflect the value of the reversed content attribute.

The start DOM attribute must reflect the value of the start content attribute.

The following markup shows a list where the order matters, and where the ol element is therefore appropriate. Compare this list to the equivalent list in the ul section to see an example of the same items using the ul element.

<p>I have lived in the following countries (given in the order of when
I first lived there):</p>
<ol>
 <li>Switzerland
 <li>United Kingdom
 <li>United States
 <li>Norway
</ol>

Note how changing the order of the list changes the meaning of the document. In the following example, changing the relative order of the first two items has changed the birthplace of the author:

<p>I have lived in the following countries (given in the order of when
I first lived there):</p>
<ol>
 <li>United Kingdom
 <li>Switzerland
 <li>United States
 <li>Norway
</ol>

4.5.8 The ul element

Categories
Flow content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Zero or more li elements.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
interface HTMLUListElement : HTMLElement {};

The ul element represents a list of items, where the order of the items is not important — that is, where changing the order would not materially change the meaning of the document.

The items of the list are the li element child nodes of the ul element.

The following markup shows a list where the order does not matter, and where the ul element is therefore appropriate. Compare this list to the equivalent list in the ol section to see an example of the same items using the ol element.

<p>I have lived in the following countries:</p>
<ul>
 <li>Norway
 <li>Switzerland
 <li>United Kingdom
 <li>United States
</ul>

Note that changing the order of the list does not change the meaning of the document. The items in the snippet above are given in alphabetical order, but in the snippet below they are given in order of the size of their current account balance in 2007, without changing the meaning of the document whatsoever:

<p>I have lived in the following countries:</p>
<ul>
 <li>Switzerland
 <li>Norway
 <li>United Kingdom
 <li>United States
</ul>

4.5.9 The li element

Categories
None.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Inside ol elements.
Inside ul elements.
Inside menu elements.
Content model:
Flow content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
If the element is a child of an ol element: value
DOM interface:
interface HTMLLIElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute long value;
};

The li element represents a list item. If its parent element is an ol, ul, or menu element, then the element is an item of the parent element's list, as defined for those elements. Otherwise, the list item has no defined list-related relationship to any other li element.

The value attribute, if present, must be a valid integer giving the ordinal value of the list item.

If the value attribute is present, user agents must parse it as an integer, in order to determine the attribute's value. If the attribute's value cannot be converted to a number, the attribute must be treated as if it was absent. The attribute has no default value.

The value attribute is processed relative to the element's parent ol element (q.v.), if there is one. If there is not, the attribute has no effect.

The value DOM attribute must reflect the value of the value content attribute.

The following example, the top ten movies are listed (in reverse order). Note the way the list is given a title by using a figure element and its legend.

<figure>
 <legend>The top 10 movies of all time</legend>
 <ol>
  <li value="10"><cite>Josie and the Pussycats</cite>, 2001</li>
  <li value="9"><cite lang="sh">Црна мачка, бели мачор</cite>, 1998</li>
  <li value="8"><cite>A Bug's Life</cite>, 1998</li>
  <li value="7"><cite>Toy Story</cite>, 1995</li>
  <li value="6"><cite>Monsters, Inc</cite>, 2001</li>
  <li value="5"><cite>Cars</cite>, 2006</li>
  <li value="4"><cite>Toy Story 2</cite>, 1999</li>
  <li value="3"><cite>Finding Nemo</cite>, 2003</li>
  <li value="2"><cite>The Incredibles</cite>, 2004</li>
  <li value="1"><cite>Ratatouille</cite>, 2007</li>
 </ol>
</figure>

The markup could also be written as follows, using the reversed attribute on the ol element:

<figure>
 <legend>The top 10 movies of all time</legend>
 <ol reversed>
  <li><cite>Josie and the Pussycats</cite>, 2001</li>
  <li><cite lang="sh">Црна мачка, бели мачор</cite>, 1998</li>
  <li><cite>A Bug's Life</cite>, 1998</li>
  <li><cite>Toy Story</cite>, 1995</li>
  <li><cite>Monsters, Inc</cite>, 2001</li>
  <li><cite>Cars</cite>, 2006</li>
  <li><cite>Toy Story 2</cite>, 1999</li>
  <li><cite>Finding Nemo</cite>, 2003</li>
  <li><cite>The Incredibles</cite>, 2004</li>
  <li><cite>Ratatouille</cite>, 2007</li>
 </ol>
</figure>

If the li element is the child of a menu element and itself has a child that defines a command, then the li element will match the :enabled and :disabled pseudo-classes in the same way as the first such child element does.

4.5.10 The dl element

Categories
Flow content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Zero or more groups each consisting of one or more dt elements followed by one or more dd elements.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
interface HTMLDListElement : HTMLElement {};

The dl element represents an association list consisting of zero or more name-value groups (a description list). Each group must consist of one or more names (dt elements) followed by one or more values (dd elements).

Name-value groups may be terms and definitions, metadata topics and values, or any other groups of name-value data.

The values within a group are alternatives; multiple paragraphs forming part of the same value must all be given within the same dd element.

The order of the list of groups, and of the names and values within each group, may be significant.

If a dl element is empty, it contains no groups.

If a dl element contains non-whitespace text nodes, or elements other than dt and dd, then those elements or text nodes do not form part of any groups in that dl.

If a dl element contains only dt elements, then it consists of one group with names but no values.

If a dl element contains only dd elements, then it consists of one group with values but no names.

If a dl element starts with one or more dd elements, then the first group has no associated name.

If a dl element ends with one or more dt elements, then the last group has no associated value.

When a dl element doesn't match its content model, it is often due to accidentally using dd elements in the place of dt elements and vice versa. Conformance checkers can spot such mistakes and might be able to advise authors how to correctly use the markup.

In the following example, one entry ("Authors") is linked to two values ("John" and "Luke").

<dl>
 <dt> Authors
 <dd> John
 <dd> Luke
 <dt> Editor
 <dd> Frank
</dl>

In the following example, one definition is linked to two terms.

<dl>
 <dt lang="en-US"> <dfn>color</dfn> </dt>
 <dt lang="en-GB"> <dfn>colour</dfn> </dt>
 <dd> A sensation which (in humans) derives from the ability of
 the fine structure of the eye to distinguish three differently
 filtered analyses of a view. </dd>
</dl>

The following example illustrates the use of the dl element to mark up metadata of sorts. At the end of the example, one group has two metadata labels ("Authors" and "Editors") and two values ("Robert Rothman" and "Daniel Jackson").

<dl>
 <dt> Last modified time </dt>
 <dd> 2004-12-23T23:33Z </dd>
 <dt> Recommended update interval </dt>
 <dd> 60s </dd>
 <dt> Authors </dt>
 <dt> Editors </dt>
 <dd> Robert Rothman </dd>
 <dd> Daniel Jackson </dd>
</dl>

The following example shows the dl element used to give a set of instructions. The order of the instructions here is important (in the other examples, the order of the blocks was not important).

<p>Determine the victory points as follows (use the
first matching case):</p>
<dl>
 <dt> If you have exactly five gold coins </dt>
 <dd> You get five victory points </dd>
 <dt> If you have one or more gold coins, and you have one or more silver coins </dt>
 <dd> You get two victory points </dd>
 <dt> If you have one or more silver coins </dt>
 <dd> You get one victory point </dd>
 <dt> Otherwise </dt>
 <dd> You get no victory points </dd>
</dl>

The following snippet shows a dl element being used as a glossary. Note the use of dfn to indicate the word being defined.

<dl>
 <dt><dfn>Apartment</dfn>, n.</dt>
 <dd>An execution context grouping one or more threads with one or
 more COM objects.</dd>
 <dt><dfn>Flat</dfn>, n.</dt>
 <dd>A deflated tire.</dd>
 <dt><dfn>Home</dfn>, n.</dt>
 <dd>The user's login directory.</dd>
</dl>

The dl element is inappropriate for marking up dialogue. For an example of how to mark up dialogue, see the dialog element.

4.5.11 The dt element

Categories
None.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Before dd or dt elements inside dl elements.
Before a dd element inside a dialog element.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The dt element represents the term, or name, part of a term-description group in a description list (dl element), and the talker, or speaker, part of a talker-discourse pair in a conversation (dialog element).

The dt element itself, when used in a dl element, does not indicate that its contents are a term being defined, but this can be indicated using the dfn element.

If the dt element is the child of a dialog element, and it further contains a time element, then that time element represents a timestamp for when the associated discourse (dd element) was said, and is not part of the name of the talker.

The following extract shows how an IM conversation log could be marked up.

<dialog>
 <dt> <time>14:22</time> egof
 <dd> I'm not that nerdy, I've only seen 30% of the star trek episodes
 <dt> <time>14:23</time> kaj
 <dd> if you know what percentage of the star trek episodes you have seen, you are inarguably nerdy
 <dt> <time>14:23</time> egof
 <dd> it's unarguably
 <dt> <time>14:24</time> kaj
 <dd> you are not helping your case
</dialog>

4.5.12 The dd element

Categories
None.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
After dt or dd elements inside dl elements.
After a dt element inside a dialog element.
Content model:
Flow content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The dd element represents the description, definition, or value, part of a term-description group in a description list (dl element), and the discourse, or quote, part in a conversation (dialog element).

A dl can be used to define a vocabulary list, like in a dictionary. In the following example, each entry, given by a dt with a dfn, has several dds, showing the various parts of the definition.

<dl>
 <dt><dfn>happiness</dfn></dt>
 <dd class="pronunciation">/'hæ p. nes/</dd>
 <dd class="part-of-speech"><i><abbr>n.</abbr></i></dd>
 <dd>The state of being happy.</dd>
 <dd>Good fortune; success. <q>Oh <b>happiness</b>! It worked!</q></dd>
 <dt><dfn>rejoice</dfn></dt>
 <dd class="pronunciation">/ri jois'/</dd>
 <dd><i class="part-of-speech"><abbr>v.intr.</abbr></i> To be delighted oneself.</dd>
 <dd><i class="part-of-speech"><abbr>v.tr.</abbr></i> To cause one to be delighted.</dd>
</dl>

4.5.13 Common grouping idioms

4.5.13.1 Tag clouds

This specification does not define any markup specifically for marking up lists of keywords that apply to a group of pages (also known as tag clouds). In general, authors are encouraged to either mark up such lists using ul elements with explicit inline counts that are then hidden and turned into a presentational effect using a style sheet, or to use SVG.

Here, three tags are included in a short tag cloud:

<style>
@media screen, print, handheld, tv {
  /* should be ignored by non-visual browsers */
  .tag-cloud > li > span { display: none; }
  .tag-cloud > li { display: inline; }
  .tag-cloud-1 { font-size: 0.7em; }
  .tag-cloud-2 { font-size: 0.9em; }
  .tag-cloud-3 { font-size: 1.1em; }
  .tag-cloud-4 { font-size: 1.3em; }
  .tag-cloud-5 { font-size: 1.5em; }
}
</style>
...
<ul class="tag-cloud">
 <li class="tag-cloud-4"><a title="28 instances" href="/t/apple">apple</a> <span>(popular)</span>
 <li class="tag-cloud-2"><a title="6 instances"  href="/t/kiwi">kiwi</a> <span>(rare)</span>
 <li class="tag-cloud-5"><a title="41 instances" href="/t/pear">pear</a> <span>(very popular)</span>
</ul>

The actual frequency of each tag is given using the title attribute. A CSS style sheet is provided to convert the markup into a cloud of differently-sized words, but for user agents that do not support CSS or are not visual, the markup contains annotations like "(popular)" or "(rare)" to categorize the various tags by frequency, thus enabling all users to benefit from the information.

The ul element is used (rather than ol) because the order is not particular important: while the list is in fact ordered alphabetically, it would convey the same information if ordered by, say, the length of the tag.

The tag rel-keyword is not used on these a elements because they do not represent tags that apply to the page itself; they are just part of an index listing the tags themselves.