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Re: Brainstorming - abbreviations

From: Matthew Ratzloff <matt@builtfromsource.com>
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2007 14:35:10 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <50004.152.157.114.66.1173994510.squirrel@webmail.builtfromsource.com>
To: public-html@w3.org

On Thu, March 15, 2007 1:40 pm, Colin Lieberman wrote:
> When we think about this question, we need to decide *why* this markup
> exists in the first place.
>
> Among other uses, I think one of the main points is so that everybody can
> approach the text on equal footing: When sighted readers come accross
> abbreviations in context, we don't think about the meaning. Why should a
> user of a screen reader have to take the time to figure out what's written
> just because his software didn't have a certain letter combination in its
> lookup tables?

Whenever there's the option of requiring hundreds of thousands of
designers, developers, and content creators to expend a not-insignificant
amount of effort to accommodate a special use case as opposed to a handful
of screen reader companies expending a moderate amount of effort to build
an indexed list of common abbreviations, I think the responsibility should
be on the handful of companies.

Some of the use cases proposed (parsing content and expanding all
abbreviations) are extreme edge cases, and there are better ways of
accomplishing the same thing if one really needs to do so.

Abbr and Acronym should be condensed into Abbr; Acronym is a subset of
Abbr (Abbr being an abbreviation of a word or phrase, and Acronym being an
abbreviation of a phrase).  Usage should be that only the first instance
of an unknown abbreviation is annotated; all subsequent instances should
not, under any circumstances, require Abbr tags.  Screen reading software
should be intelligent enough to render that abbreviation as specified in
the "title" attribute for the entire length the document.

-Matt
Received on Thursday, 15 March 2007 21:35:24 GMT

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