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Re: [manual] Acronyms and initialisms

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2001 02:02:10 -0500 (EST)
To: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
cc: <spec-prod@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0112310152560.29945-100000@tux.w3.org>
Well, su[pposing non-linear presentation, or about 80 acronyms more than the
seven plus or minus two that I can learn in reading a spec, there is value in
being able to query an element for its title.

And not only for voice readers, who can set the acronym to get pronounced
according to what it is, but also to me as a visual suer with a smart browser
- the abbr and acronyms can be distinguished, and a mouseover puts the title
attribute in the status bar.

It is possible to go too far. marking up radar as an acronym would be a bit
odd in today's world, but in W3C specs I regularly find a collection of odd
acronyms and abbreviations that I don't recognise, or that I think are
something different.

And for people with (at least some kinds of) dyslexia, keeping track of
acronyms  can be especially difficult, and being able to have them spoken or
presented in full is a big help.



On Mon, 31 Dec 2001, Bjoern Hoehrmann wrote:

  * Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
  >After that I would simply mark it with the element and the title attribute:
  > <abbr title="Extensible Markup Language">XML</abbr>

  Where is the benefit to include the title attribute? Supposing linear
  reception of a resource, the reader is already aware of what XML stands
  for, repeating it each time increases document size and may confuse
  readers if you style abbr[title] differently (to provide a hint, that
  there is additional information available). Where is the benefit for
  voice browsers or braille readers, supposing they always present the
  expanded form of that abbreviation? In this case, we do we use
  abbreviated forms at all?

  I do agree that marking up abbreviations and acronyms is a good thing,
  but adding a title attribute may be counterproductive, for example, how

    <p>...<acronym title='Hamburg-Amerikanische
       Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft'>Hapag</acronym>-Lloyd <abbr
       class='Initialism' title='Aktiengesellschaft'

  help general or challanged users, unless they are interested in this
  company's history and background? And repeating this title attribute

Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1 617 258 5999
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Received on Monday, 31 December 2001 02:02:12 UTC

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