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Re: ABBR vs. ACRONYM

From: Jonathan Chetwynd <jay@peepo.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2000 21:55:49 -0000
Message-ID: <001101bf7e48$d7b6f4e0$73479fd4@omnibook>
To: <david@davidsaccess.com>, "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <unagi69@concentric.net>, "WAI Interest Group Emailing List" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
I'd like to second Davids opinion, enough is too much in this case.

jay@peepo.com

Jonathan Chetwynd
Special needs teacher / web accessibility consultant


----- Original Message -----
From: David M Clark <david@davidsaccess.com>
To: Gregory J. Rosmaita <unagi69@concentric.net>; WAI Interest Group
Emailing List <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2000 2:28 PM
Subject: RE: ABBR vs. ACRONYM


> Gregory, Kynn, Charles, et al....
>
> I have tried to sit back and be patient,  but this thread has gone far
> enough. You are discussing a Priority *3* checkpoint, and I cannot (read:
> will not) believe that there are not more critical issues that we need to
> come to consensus on.
>
> This thread makes me feels as if I am in the faculty club of (***insert
> favorite elite university****) sipping my favorite Port discussing how
many
> angels can dance on the head of a pin.
>
> The WCAG are about providing equal access to information. If an acronym is
> not understandable in its context, it is equally as inaccessible to
> everybody. Why should we be any different?
>
> If I was new to Web Access, and I subscribed to this list to get practical
> tips on web accessibility, this thread would turn me off completely.
> Admittedly, it does provide some intellectual fodder for us web access
> junkies, but it also makes a mockery out of our mission.
>
> Thanks,
>
> dc
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------
> David M. Clark
> Director of Accessibility
> halftheplanet.com
> Email: dclark@halftheplanet.com  URL: http://www.halftheplanet.com
> Boston Office: 617/859-3069 (phone/fax)
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
Behalf
> Of Gregory J. Rosmaita
> Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2000 8:28 PM
> To: pjenkins@us.ibm.com
> Cc: WAI Interest Group Emailing List
> Subject: RE: ABBR vs. ACRONYM
>
> aloha, phil!
>
> i'm extremely troubled when i hear representatives of developers say
things
> such as:
>
> quote
> If nothing does or nothing should happen with ABBR, then why mark it up?
> unquote
>
> the quote it isn't supported so why do it unquote approach is the very
> mind-set that the WAI exists to change...  when you advocate ignoring any
> markup which isn't currently supported by a quote mainstream unquote user
> agent, you are throwing the baby out with the bathwater...
>
> why should we forego using markup that isn't supported in mainstream user
> agents?  by such logic, no one should bother using LONGDESC, SCOPE, AXIS,
> and any of the other elements and attributes that are defined for HTML 4x,
> but which are either supported spottily, incompletely, inconsistently, or
> not at all...
>
> your point about the application of stylesheets to demarcate (visually or
> aurally) that (a) this is an abbreviation, (b) this is an acronym, and (c)
> that an expansion is available, is, however, well taken, and is a
> compelling argument against jettisoning one or the other...
>
> one might --  based on a visual or aural stylesheet, or via the use of
> inline pseudo-elements -- care to expand or not expand text enclosed in
> either the ACRONYM or ABBR tags, or allow one's user agent or adaptive
> technology to do so either by default or when queried, or to compile a
list
> of abbreviations and/or acronyms and their expansions, but in order to
> perform (or have one's software) perform any one (or any combination) of
> the actions listed above, one first needs to _know_ that expansions have
> been defined for the document currently being rendered...
>
> finally, what constitutes an abbreviation and what constitutes an acronym
> _is_ germane to the discussion, as they are not only very different
things,
> but pose different sets of problems for different groups of users...  the
> number of potential users affected by use of ACRONYM and ABBR is quite
> large, as they not only enhance accessibility, but are aids to non-native
> speakers of the natural language declared for the page being rendered, as
> well as general usability aids...
>
> gregory.
>
> At 02:17 PM 2/22/00 -0600, Phil wrote:
> >Emmanuelle wrote:
> > >I believe that none of both should be eliminated. In Spanish the
> distinction
> > >between acronym and abbreviation is very clear. ...
> > >
> > >... in Internet Explorer when in a page there is an
> > >identified acronym as such, if the pointer of the mouse is placed on
him
> its
> > >definition it can be read, that which doesn't happen with the
> abbreviations.
> > >And this is logical because the abbreviations are of common use in a
> > >language, ...
> >
> >PJ:
> >If nothing does or nothing should happen with ABBR, then why mark it up?
> >If the user agent should expand it [at the users request], just like
> >ACRONYM, then why have both? Perhaps it doesn't matter if both are
treated
> >the same by being expanded, even thought to some they are different
things.
> >If your point is that they should be treated differently, then how?  If
the
> >difference is that one should be expanded and the other not, then we are
> >back to my argument that it should not be marked-up. I don't know of any
> >ELEMENTS that are treated the same, at least none that haven't been
> >deprecated,  Many deprecated duplicate elements are still supported
anyway,
> >just no guarantees.
> >
> >Since user agent manufactures will maintain some backward compatibility
and
> >continue to handle both - who cares if we deprecate one?  We're not
solving
> >a problem by deprecating one or the other are we?
> >
> >I'm O.K. with having both even though they should / will be expanded the
> >same by compliant browsers.
> >
> >What ABBR and ACRONYM - are - is not important in this context.  How they
> >are specified to be treated is the important part.  I might want a list
of
> >them, I might want them expanded in different languages, I might want
them
> >highlighted per my style sheet, etc.  The user agent should let me do all
> >these things to both of them.  Is there an argument that they should in
> >fact be treated inherently different by the user agent?
> >
> >Regards,
> >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
>          <http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/vicug/index.html>
> --------------------------------------------------------
>
>
Received on Wednesday, 23 February 2000 16:58:58 GMT

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