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I am used to marking every part of the book with two attributes: 1) overall position in the book (e.g., "frontmatter") and 2) more specific type of the text (e.g., "chapter") in the first child element (e.g., section).

Typically:

<body epub:type="bodymatter">
  <section epub:type="chapter">

Here it is written modifications of the body element with semantics 1) collide with the ARIA model, 2) are now discouraged even for the epub:type attributes.

It was always unclear how to use the general sectioning of the book if the book is chunked into several files. For ARIA, it is recommended to use the semantics just for the very first file in the range. With epub:type semantics it was often recommended to use the attribute (e. g., "backmatter") repeatedly for all the docs related to the specific part. The first attitude is more logical for the reader and a book’s progress whereas the latter attitude is (I guess) more logical for automatic parsing.

Is the trio front/body/backmatter slowly becoming obsolete? Or is it sufficient to just use it for the landmarks?

I would be very grateful if anyone cleared this a bit.

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