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Re: Abbreviations and expansion

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 31 Dec 2000 11:17:29 -0500 (EST)
To: WAI ER group <w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org>
cc: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0012311105310.26189-100000@tux.w3.org>
OK, so I thought for a bit.

One possible approach is to define a dictionary, somewhere on the Web. Then
you provide a reference to it as part of the metadata for a page. Then a
dictionary lookup system can go dereference things that are not real words
(or things that are - why not...).

How do you know something is a real word - from markup or from spelling?

How do you avoid getting a wrong answer in ambiguous cases, or looking up
something that isn't really an acronym, or not looking up something that is?

I think the answer to this one is that markup is a lot better. (You could
rely on people using upper case letters, but it doesn't always work. And is
not even correct, as I understand it, in Italian.) This means that a user
agent or add-on could expect to find an expansion of abbreviations that were
marked as such but not explicitly expanded in
the same document, or if not there in the dictionary for the document, or in
the dictionary referenced by the markup for the particular abbreviation.


Charles McCN

On Thu, 28 Dec 2000, Charles McCathieNevile wrote:

  Hi folks,

  There is a discussion going on in the WCAG group about abbreviations, and
  when/how to expand them. I figured that a part of this could be usefully done
  by a proxy service, or a real semantic web beasty.

  The basic idea is to provide some kind of dictionary that can use different
  collections of sources to look up an abbreviation and provide an expansion. A
  real abbreviation could also include a defining instance of an expansion in a
  page, that could then be used by such a beast. One of the benefits of this
  would be to automate the exapnasion process in authoring tools, which could
  be a useful place for these things to be implemented (the other of course is

  Any interest in the idea here?

  Charles McCN

Charles McCathieNevile    mailto:charles@w3.org    phone: +61 (0) 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative                      http://www.w3.org/WAI
Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia
until 6 January 2001 at:
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Received on Sunday, 31 December 2000 11:17:29 UTC

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