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Re: Abbreviations and Acronyms: [techs] Latest HTML Techniques Draft

From: Matt May <mcmay@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 09:27:20 -0800
Message-Id: <41D9C1EC-3A24-11D8-A6B2-000393B628BC@w3.org>
Cc: WAI-GL GL <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
To: gdeering@acslink.net.au

On Dec 24, 2003, at 10:01 AM, Geoff Deering wrote:
<abbr title="By the way">BTW</abbr>, I wonder how the linguists feel
>> about making acronym and abbreviation synonymous?
> I'm left scratching my head at times wondering what is going on with 
> decisions such as these.  I don't understand the logic behind this at 
> all.  For an organisation that wants to support a semantically rich 
> web I can't see it as a step forward, and for all those who put a lot 
> of time into marking up their documents in a meaningful way, what does 
> it say to them?

So far, I have yet to hear a good argument for the status quo. As it 
is, acronyms and abbreviations are a distinction without much 
difference, and even the difference is unclear and/or actively debated 
by its implementers. If it's not reliably implementable or 
understandable in the first place, it's a poor division to make, 
semantically speaking. So I'm for a single element in XHTML 2, in the 
interest of good semantics. XHTML 2 can say that abbr represents 
acronyms, abbreviations, initialisms, symbols, legends, whatever. I 
don't know why it needs to be more precise than that. The goal is to 
allow for expansion of shorthand expressions. What's the value in 
splitting hairs here?

Received on Monday, 29 December 2003 12:27:24 UTC

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