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The figure element represents some flow content, optionally with a caption, that is self-contained (like a complete sentence) and is typically referenced as a single unit from the main flow of the document.
You could look up the horse's mouth [w3.org...]
Note this is a link to the outdated W3C "HTML5" snapshot, which has now been superceded and is no longer maintained. W3C snapshots are for patent-lawyers, not developers. The most up to date copy of the HTML spec at the W3C is the "HTML5.1" editors draft:
Alternatively refer to the upstream WHATWG living standard which the W3C versions are (mainly) copied from, and which is always up to date:
If you find yourself using headings in a figcaption, it may be better to instead use <article> rather than <figure>, See:
W3C's HTML5.0 spec is not outdated. It was intended to be a restricted subset of HTML5 spec that contains only stable features, in order to give it W3C Recommendation status within 2014. Less stable features are postponed to a second stage of the spec, which is supposed to reach Recommendation status in the late 2016 or something.
So it's HTML5.0 that browsers will have to follow in the nearest future, while HTML5.1 will be still a draft with only experimental implementations
If implementers followed the HTML5.0 spec, there would never be 2 interoperable implementations of new features, so there would never be new stuff added to HTML
Implementers generally use the WHATWG version for this reason, and developers should do the same.
If it is wrong, how do developers distinguish these cases?
And if W3C makes changes in the spec that contradict the preferred spec for implementers and developers... so what is the purpose of the W3C spec itself?