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Re: m-dashes and acronyms

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@access.digex.net>
Date: Sat, 31 Jan 1998 12:52:12 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <199801311752.MAA19858@access1.digex.net>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
to follow up on what David Poehlman said:

> I've learned fr instance that &#151; is a dash right?  or is it
> an m-dash.

I suspect it is an em-dash, that is to say a dash that is one Em
long.  The Em is a standard way to give lengths that are relative
to the type size you are using.

> anyway, maybe we need a way to pass the word "acronym" to the
> screen reader at least once for a strange one and it would be
> nice if there was some wy to mark up those &#xxx; characters to
> produce the correct sounds.

There are two issues here.  The way to pass the "acronym"
classification of something that would othewise be treated as a
word is illustrated by MSAA, I think.  Assuming that the HTML 4.0
representation of a document includes the markup

	<acronym title="Random Access Memory">RAM</acronym>

how would, for example, IE4 make this information available through
the MSAA interface?

Making sure this works comes is in the domain of the WAI-UI
group, by the way.  They will be working on standards for how
screen readers can get this information.

The second issue is "What is &#151, anyway?"  Here one has to ask
what is the code page in which #151 is the character desired.  As
I understand it, this is a reference in the standard Windows code
page.  If there is not ISO character entity for the character you
get from #151 in this code page then this is a bug and the people
from Windows and the people from ISO need to get together and
heal the breach.

How the screen reader learns that a given word is an acronym is
part of the job of the Browser Guidelines or WAI-UI working
group.

How we know that a given character reference is an em-dash is in
the area of internationalization, because internationalization is
the area where we have to deal with the fact that there are lots
of characters that aren't in ASCII.

Al Gilman
Received on Saturday, 31 January 1998 12:52:51 GMT

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