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Re: About ABBR

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <unagi69@concentric.net>
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 18:19:12 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: pjenkins@us.ibm.com
Cc: WAI Interest Group Emailing List <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
aloha, phil!

while i appreciate your quote taking the developer's practical view on 
this.unquote, determining whether or not to use ABBR (or recommend its use) 
based solely on current UA implementation is the wrong approach...  new 
features of HTML 4.0/4.01 need to be stressed by authoring tools and in 
authoring forums precisely in order to force the hand of UA developers to 
implement them..  it's a classic chicken and egg conundrum -- or, to put it 
even more obliquely, if an ABBR is defined on a page and no UA supports 
it's expansion, does it make a noise?

yes, passing the validation test is but the first step, but when do we stop 
saying quote wait until user agents support x, y, and z before you add x, 
y, and z to your pages unquote, and begin to build the momentum that will 
force developers into supporting the accessibility features which the PF 
working group has worked long and hard to get included into W3C-generated 
markup languages?

no, i don't know if it will work, since no user agents or screen-readers 
currently support switching languages in mid-stream, but unless those of us 
who are page authors begin to implement accessibility-oriented features 
such as ABBR, ACRONYM, and SUMMARY (for tables), what impetus do developers 
have to support these features?

moreover, it isn't just a case of switching language in mid-stream -- the 
use of CSS pseudo-elements (as outlined in the UAAG techniques document) to 
demarcate an inline natural language change will benefit a wide range of 
users, and not merely users with disabilities...


Phil wrote:
>How do you know if either will work if no user agents support it?  I
>understand passing a validator is helpful to determine the approach, but
>until someone implements it, who knows if it will work?
>I don't know of any product that supports either changing languages
>mid-stream nor picking up the title attribute on the ABBR element.  And, in
>this simple case it doesn't make a difference anyway does it?  LEADER
>pronounced in English or Spanish is about the same. I hope somewhere else
>on the page it is explained in plain Spanish that LEADER is the
>abbreviation for "Programa Europeo de Desarrollo Rural"
>Phill Jenkins

He that lives on Hope, dies farting
      -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1763
Gregory J. Rosmaita <unagi69@concentric.net>
    WebMaster and Minister of Propaganda, VICUG NYC
Received on Thursday, 17 February 2000 18:09:59 UTC

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