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Markup RE: abbr/acronym - repetitive use

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 22 Nov 2001 19:42:38 -0500 (EST)
To: Jon Hanna <jon@spinsol.com>
cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0111221932320.26861-100000@tux.w3.org>
I agree, for the reasons stated, that using abbr and acronym elements
appropriately (along with the rest of the markup in a language) is important.
By appropriately I mean they should be used to markup any of the things that
they are designed to identify.

As I recall this was the original approach in WCAG, and it was "watered down"
because at the time there were very few browsers that supported the elements.
(I might be wrong, but reading drafts and the minutes would correct me).
A consequence of this which was not very surprising is that in talking to
User Agent developers about implementing it, they would say "what's the
point? They are hardly used, and even WCAG doesn't make it clear that they
are necessary..." (That's just anecdotal).

There are a few different players in making some markup language accesssible.
The designers of the language, the producers of content, (and the developers
of tools to help them) and the developers of user agents (e.g. browsers) to
read the content. On the one hand the real world is a place where
devcelopment has to be done by priorities, and for each thing that is done
there is another thing that has to be delayed. On the other hand, it is
important not to wait until the other two groups have got it perfect before
starting, because they also adopt the same strtegies (or should) aand
adopting that strategy means that we never get any development.

Use markup according to specification is often fairly complex. As well as
getting the syntax right (which it has taken tools about 10 years to get
mostly right) it is important to use the specification as it is written, not
just the little bit about syntax. For instance the HTML specification is very
clear that the use  of things like blockquote for indenting text or tables
for plain layout is counter to the specification. But for reasons good and
bad it is more difficult to automate this part of conformance to HTML in
tools, and it hasn't happened yet.

...when we live in a perfect world I'll be unemployed. But it won't be so
bad. In the meantime, my 2c worth about how to get a tiny bit closer <grin/>


On Thu, 22 Nov 2001, Jon Hanna wrote:
[some good explanantion, which was similar to what Kynn was saying at the
same time <grin/>]
  Ergo, use <abbr> and <acronym> all the time, not just on the first
Received on Thursday, 22 November 2001 19:42:39 UTC

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