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Structuring content with HTML5

From: CSS: Page Layouts

Video: Structuring content with HTML5

In our last movie we extended the meaning of our content through using class and id attributes. Prior to HTML5, that was almost all we had in the way of adding semantic value to our code. However, HTML5 introduces a whole new set of elements that help us write more specific code, and we're going to check that out by updating our homepage to be HTML5. Now, to do that, I have the index.htm file open. It's actually found in the 02_07, but it's just continuing our last exercise, so if you still have that file open, you can just go ahead and modify that one as well.

Structuring content with HTML5

In our last movie we extended the meaning of our content through using class and id attributes. Prior to HTML5, that was almost all we had in the way of adding semantic value to our code. However, HTML5 introduces a whole new set of elements that help us write more specific code, and we're going to check that out by updating our homepage to be HTML5. Now, to do that, I have the index.htm file open. It's actually found in the 02_07, but it's just continuing our last exercise, so if you still have that file open, you can just go ahead and modify that one as well.

That's not a problem. Now, a little bit about HTML5 before we start. I know a lot of people are saying, okay, is HTML5 ready? Can we go ahead and use this as of this recording? I am recording this early in 2012. The answer is yes, we certainly can. We most certainly can use HTML5, especially the semantic elements. Maybe some of the more complicated API stuff, like canvas and things like that, you might want to wait until it matures a little bit more within the browsers. But the structural elements, absolutely, because there's an easy way to support the structural elements in older browsers. And as we start working in some of the labs, I will discuss that.

But for this movie, just focus on the fact that the HTML5 elements that we're going to be using help us organize and add meaning to our code. Okay. So the first thing I am going to do, I am just going to go through each one of these elements, and I am going to talk about whether or not an HTML5 element would be better choice for this. And the first element, when I look at this, it's pageHeader. It says, "Header content goes here," and we do have a header element in HTML5, so I am going to change this from a div tag to a header--and I have to remember to do that for both the opening and the closing tag. Now, we also are faced with the choice of should we remove the id and class attribute, because this is descriptive? It says, hey, this is header content.

And in some cases the answer to that is going to be, yes, and in some cases it is going to be no. In this case, the answer is going to be no, because elements may have headers. So, for example, you might have an article or a section that also has a header. So in that sense this might not be the only header on the page, and so because of that, I do still want to identify this as being the page's header, so I will keep the id for this particular element. I will do the same thing for nav. We do have a navigational element, n-a-v, so Nav. And I have to remember to change both the opening and the closing tag and, again, I'm going to leave the id in there as well.

Now, the two elements that we've used so far, header and nav, they're very descriptive in terms of what type of content that is. This is the header of the container that I am inside of. Navigation says this is a navigational aid, some type of menu, some type of construct like that. But we also have some more general-purpose content tags that we can use. So, for example, the content region right here that's sort of surrounding all three of these elements, I am going to change that from being a div tag to being a section. Now, a section of content basically says that this is grouped content, it all belongs together, but it's not something that I want to stand by itself, not freestanding.

Think about it this way: Would you syndicate this entire section? In this case, no, I would not. Now, I'm looking at my banner and I'm thinking, are there any of the HTML5 structural elements that can help me out here? And the answer to that is no. Sometimes div is exactly the right choice. In this case, I just need a generic grouping of content to say, hey, this is a banner. It doesn't need to be any specific section. It doesn't need to be an article, that sort of thing. But that's the other thing that I need to point out about these HTML5 structural elements is that if you look at the page as a table of contents, as maybe an outline that you could create, each of those particular tags creates a node within that outline, or an item in the table of contents.

The banner, I don't really-- it's not important enough for that. I don't want it to do that. So in this case I'm using sort of a generic div tag for that. Now, for the home article, Article content goes here, that sort of gives away the tag I want to use for that. I am just going to use article. Now, the article element, what that does is it basically surrounds a grouping of content that can stand on its own, that if it was read all by itself or syndicated by itself or exported out by itself would make sense and would just live on its own outside of this page. In this case, this article certainly would do that, so I am going to choose article.

Now, I am going to make another change here now. I am going to keep that id, but the element below it, the sidebar, we have a brand-new element that isn't necessarily called sidebar; it's called an aside. And I am going to replace, not only the div tag itself, but the id as well with just a generic aside tag. All right! So what is an aside? Well, an aside tag is related content. It's content that relates to siblings within its container. So in this case, because this article and the aside are inside this section, it's basically saying that this content and the aside relates to this article content without actually being a part of the article.

Now, we could, if we wanted to, give it an id. It wouldn't hurt to say sidebar or related content or something like that, but in this case I think the aside works all by itself without having to necessarily need an identifier for it. And as you can tell, a lot of these are judgment calls. Now, the next thing I am going to do is I am going to go down to my very last div tag and I am going to replace it with a footer. Once again, because the different articles and sections can have footers, so we might end up with, depending upon how complex our page gets, we might end up with multiple footers, so I am going to keep that id on there as well, all right. I am going to go ahead and save that page.

So now we have our basic page structure, and it's a lot richer in terms of its organization and semantic content. Now, I know one movie really isn't enough to really appreciate what HTML5 can do for your site, so if you're intrigued by this, I recommend going out and reading the HTML5 specification, which you can find on w3.org. Or you can go to the WHATWG homepage which is whatwg.org, WHATWG, if you want to read through the specification. And if you're interested in looking at a few more titles of this in the lynda.com Online Training Library, I have an HTML5 First Look title and an HTML5 Structure and Semantics course that might be worth checking out as well. All right! So in our next movie, we're going to finish up by taking a closer look at how page structure and layout relate to each other as we explore building the internal structure of our page.

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This video is part of

Image for CSS: Page Layouts
CSS: Page Layouts

71 video lessons · 40842 viewers

James Williamson
Author

 
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  1. 4m 20s
    1. Welcome
      54s
    2. How to use the exercise files
      3m 26s
  2. 1h 39m
    1. Box model review
      8m 47s
    2. Calculating element dimensions
      11m 11s
    3. Understanding margin collapse
      7m 59s
    4. Calculating em values
      7m 41s
    5. Calculating percentage values
      7m 51s
    6. Normal document flow
      13m 3s
    7. Controlling element display
      8m 53s
    8. Using CSS Resets
      7m 11s
    9. Fixed, fluid, and responsive layouts
      9m 9s
    10. CSS debugging tools
      6m 46s
    11. Using the Firebug Inspector and the WebKit Web Inspector
      11m 5s
  3. 53m 15s
    1. Page design workflow
      3m 6s
    2. Page design tools
      4m 56s
    3. Determining page structure
      7m 18s
    4. Creating image assets
      8m 58s
    5. Creating initial page structure
      7m 3s
    6. Adding meaning with classes and IDs
      5m 23s
    7. Structuring content with HTML5
      6m 6s
    8. Building internal structure
      10m 25s
  4. 1h 36m
    1. Floating elements
      7m 50s
    2. Clearing floats
      7m 28s
    3. Containing floats
      7m 50s
    4. Clearfix technique
      10m 38s
    5. Floating inline elements
      14m 34s
    6. Two-column floated layouts
      8m 17s
    7. Three-column floated layouts
      11m 30s
    8. Column height considerations
      7m 3s
    9. Creating equal-height columns
      10m 42s
    10. Floats: Lab
      5m 25s
    11. Floats: Solution
      5m 21s
  5. 51m 42s
    1. Relative positioning
      7m 59s
    2. Absolute positioning
      8m 59s
    3. Fixed positioning
      4m 23s
    4. Controlling stacking order
      8m 31s
    5. Clipping content
      8m 21s
    6. Controlling content overflow
      5m 38s
    7. Positioning elements: Lab
      3m 59s
    8. Positioning elements: Solution
      3m 52s
  6. 48m 46s
    1. Design considerations for fixed layouts
      3m 28s
    2. Establishing the layout grid
      7m 57s
    3. Defining column spacing
      9m 30s
    4. Applying the grid through CSS
      8m 56s
    5. Creating grid-based assets
      8m 26s
    6. Grid design resources
      6m 22s
    7. Building fixed layouts: Lab
      4m 7s
  7. 44m 35s
    1. Designing for flexible layouts
      2m 30s
    2. Calculating percentage values
      8m 45s
    3. Setting flexible width values
      6m 6s
    4. Making images flexible
      8m 10s
    5. Setting minimum and maximum widths
      7m 24s
    6. Building flexible layouts: Lab
      4m 53s
    7. Building flexible layouts: Solution
      6m 47s
  8. 49m 36s
    1. Responsive layout overview
      3m 49s
    2. Using media queries
      7m 16s
    3. Organizing styles
      8m 39s
    4. Making content responsive
      8m 33s
    5. Mobile design considerations
      7m 32s
    6. Building responsive layouts: Lab
      4m 23s
    7. Building responsive layouts: Solution
      9m 24s
  9. 1h 22m
    1. Creating multi-column text
      6m 36s
    2. Using borders to enhance design
      13m 59s
    3. Rounding corners
      6m 56s
    4. Adding drop shadows
      10m 35s
    5. Working with opacity
      6m 8s
    6. Utilizing the background property
      15m 5s
    7. Working with CSS sprites
      7m 58s
    8. Enhancing page design: Lab
      6m 22s
    9. Enhancing page design: Solution
      8m 38s
  10. 6m 25s
    1. Additional resources
      6m 25s

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