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Re: (marks, definitions, terms, abbreviations, and variables <m>, <dfn>, <abbr>, <term>) part of my review of 3.12 Phrase elements

From: Thomas Broyer <t.broyer@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2007 10:02:45 +0200
Message-ID: <a9699fd20707200102o79b96221nc054f92be2beecb2@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-html@w3.org

2007/7/20, Robert Burns:
> The draft mostly treats <dfn> as the definition and not the
> term (though there are places in the draft that seem to reverse that).

No the draft is clear:
"The dfn element represents the defining instance of a term. The
paragraph, description list group, or section that contains the dfn
element contains the definition for the term given by the contents of
the dfn element."

> The problem with adding the title to the <abbr> is that it would need
> to be added every time the abbreviation was used (so that a UA could
> associate every instance of Zat with the definition and the
> expansion).

Doh, right!
How about slightly changing the "defining term" algorithm [1] so that
<dfn> with a single <abbr> child having a title attribute have *two*
"defining terms": the <abbr> textContent and title attribute value.

[1] http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#defining

> > I'd rather introduce a <definition> element in this case:
> > <p><definition>The <dfn><abbr>Zat</abbr></dfn>, short for
> > Zat'ni'catel, is a
> > weapon</definition>; Jack used a one to make the boxes of evidence
> > disappear.</p>
> That would be fine too. The problem is that the use of <dfn> even in
> the HTML5 draft is not clearly meant for the term.

It's meant for the "defining instance of a term". Uses of the term
elsewhere in the document should use span, abbr, code, var, samp, or i
elements. See the last paragraph of #the-dfn starting with "The dfn
element enables automatic cross-references."
(Note that the source of the spec doesn't contain links and the
program used to assemble the source and produce the drafts uses this
algorithm to create cross-reference links. Compare
http://svn.whatwg.org/webapps/source with the draft)

Thomas Broyer
Received on Friday, 20 July 2007 08:02:49 UTC

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