HTML & CSS
I'm pretty inexperienced as far as html goes and even less so with html5.
HTML5 is pretty vague about the uses of <section>, <article>, <aside> and so on, so it's up to you, really. To me, though, items like that are good candidates for <article>, as that element is for distinct items that have a life of their own, so to speak. (Think of "article" in the sense of an "item" or "entity", like "an article of clothing".)
They be working on an actual dialog element. I think until then you can choose whichever markup you want: if you're sectioning the heck out of every chunk, then I suppose a dialog would also be one too. If not, then not.
Modal dialogs are a pain in the butt to make accessible for screen reader users and stuff like Dragon, so a native element would be sooooo nice.
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