W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-comments@w3.org > January 2008

Re: Abbreviation or Acronym?

From: <Wesley.Upchurch@semcoinc.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2008 12:18:36 -0600
To: public-html-comments@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFF3D8CA23.C81D7B28-ON862573D9.00622043-862573D9.0064C122@semcoinc.com>
According to the latest working draft: "The abbr element represents an 
abbreviation or acronym. The title attribute should be used to provide an 
expansion of the abbreviation. If present, the attribute must only contain 
an expansion of the abbreviation." 

It is my opinion (as opposed to that of the Working Group as a whole), 
that the title attribute serves the purpose of accessibility regardless of 
whether the text in the <abbr> tag is an abbreviation or an acronym, by 
defining the full meaning of it (which could be displayed on braille 
output devices, instead of the standard text, similar to how ALT tags work 
with images).

To demonstrate this point I'm giving you an example of both an 
abbreviation and an acronym:

<abbr title="The National Aeronautics and Space Administration
">NASA</abbr> will be launching a rocket in July.
We will meet on <abbr title="August">Aug</abbr> 1, 2008.

Notice that both of these would make sense to someone utilizing a screen 
reader or braille browser. 

In addition to the title tag making it unnecessary for to differentiate 
between abbreviations or acronyms, it is my also personal opinion that 
such a attribute wasn't included in HTML 5 because HTML is designed to 
describe the semantics of a document regardless of the language the 
document is written in.  The fact that contracted English braille has 
different rules for translating abbreviations and acronyms is specific to 
braille in the English language is probably another reason for not 
including such an attribute.

Hope this helps.

Wesley Upchurch
Received on Wednesday, 23 January 2008 18:20:44 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 6 January 2015 20:26:24 UTC