W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > January to March 2007

Re: Brainstorming - abbreviations

From: Guillaume Guerin <dev.deeder@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2007 20:42:47 +0100
To: public-html@w3.org
Message-Id: <1173987767.5706.37.camel@Godzilla>

(Oups, I forgot to add the mailing list adress :-° )

Hi Robert,

> I think most people don't understand because it is rarely explained
> clearly.  Ignorance of some is not a good reason to increase work (the
> proposition requires more typing to accomplish the same task).  At
> worst, under the current system, we have a few mislabeled strings.
> 
> Abbreviations and acronyms fill two completely different roles.  Because
> of this, having both is not a problem.

I totally agree with you on those points : an acronym is very different
than an abbreviation. Joining them implies to exclude one of the two
significations and if there's one who could eventually be excluded, imo
it's not <accronym> but <abbr> which is not used for what it had bin
made.

> Idealistically, the proposition is great.  In practice, I'd probably
> quit marking up acronyms altogether out of irritation.  Instead, I'd use
> the more traditional method: "HyperText Markup Language (or HTML)"

We shouldn't take the decision of keeping or not an element by watching
the percentage of people who use it. We must to ask the following
question 'Is this element useful?' and in this case the answer is
positive, due to the number of acronyms used nowadays.

> Further, Apple, for example, has hard-coded in some strings that are
> said in specific ways (e.g. "iPod" is said "eye pod" where Microsoft's
> TTS says "eep odd").  [...]
> 
> The pronounce feature would also have to take into account the nuances
> of the TTS engine.  Again, Apple tends to say capital letters as words,
> where others say them as letters.  For example, if I wrote "I want BOTH
> of them", Apple's would read "I want both of them" where some of the
> older Windows TTS would say "I want B. O. T. H. of them."  If, the
> acronym is recursive, like PHP or GNU, the pronounce attribute still
> might be read differently than how the author intended ("PHP Hypertext
> Preprocessor" may be read "P-uh-p Hypertext Preprocessor" instead of
> "P.H.P. ...").

I don't really know how screen readers interpret abbr and acronym
elements but it's sure that there are some imperfections in their
interpretations. For me, as an acronym should be defined only once,
their should read the uppercase letters first and the title element just
after. "H.T.M.L, Hypertext Markup Language" and just read the following
occurrences as letters.

For me the case of recursive acronyms is not a problem, just pronounce
consecutive uppercase letters in title attribute as letters.

Finally, I think that we should define the first instance of the acronym
with a title attribute and just surround the others of tags, without
attribute. So, each acronym is read as independent capital letters and
the first time only the screen reader define it.

-- 
Guillaume Guérin, Webdeveloper -- http://www.libert-fr.com/ 
"Numerical accessibility : more than good manners, it's an attitude"
Received on Thursday, 15 March 2007 19:43:15 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Thursday, 15 March 2007 19:43:16 GMT