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top-down look at son-of-ABBR

From: Al Gilman <Alfred.S.Gilman@IEEE.org>
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2004 10:44:05 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

>From: Matt May <mcmay@w3.org>
>Subject: abbr in XHTML 2 was Re: I18N recommendations
>Date: Thu, 5 Feb 2004 11:42:33 -0800
>Since the discussion of what to do with abbreviations is going on, I'd 
>like to propose a little different direction.
>With the present approach, sites are littered with metadata related to 
>acronyms and abbreviations. The 99% case for the use of abbreviations is 
>that one expansion applies throughout a given site (e.g., HTML will not 
>mean anything other than Hypertext Markup Language on w3.org). More than 
>one expansion per page introduces wasted labor and inconsistency. Some 
>abbreviations, such as "US", may have millions of expansions Web-wide, and 
>some, like "cm", may require thousands of expansions in a single document.
>I think that the problem can be solved more elegantly (and may solve some 
>other problems we experience in accessibility land) with a linked 
>approach. I don't know if the meta or link element is sufficient for this, 
>or if another element is called for, but I believe that glossaries, 
>including abbreviations and other terms, should be maintained centrally, 
>and citations should reference a glossary or glossaries in a CSS-like cascade.
>Using this, authors could create their own list of terms, or borrow 
>commonly-used glossaries from authoritative sites. Some users, such as 
>those with low fluency in a language or learning disabilities, could 
>choose simplified or broader glossaries. User agents could then allow 
>expansion based on the presence of <abbr>, or a new element (say, <term>), 
>or even via whitespace. Multilingual definitions and pronunciations could 
>be held in the glossary file. Most importantly, though, it reduces the 
>amount of effort and potential for errors or inconsistency on the part of 
>A back-of-the-napkin example:
><link rel="glossary" href="glossary.html" />
><abbr title="University of St. Augustine">USA</abbr> is accredited by the 
>Florida Department of Education in the <abbr>USA</abbr>.
>USA United States of America Etats-Unis d'Amérique [...]
>[end glossary]
>Hope this helps.
Received on Wednesday, 25 February 2004 10:44:12 UTC

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