W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > October to December 2005

RE: 4.2 WCAG 1.0 Checkpoint

From: Patrick Lauke <P.H.Lauke@salford.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2005 16:40:38 -0000
Message-ID: <3A1D23A330416E4FADC5B6C08CC252B9015C30B1@misnts16.mis.salford.ac.uk>
To: "wai-ig" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

> Eadie, David

> Whilst some authors would not include an expansion
> for commonly-used acronyms/abbreviations one might
> question their ability to decide what is common and
> understood by all. It might be the case that a common
> abbreviation whose meaning is understood by a web
> developer is not understood by a user who suffers
> from, for example, a learning or age-related impairment.

A valid point, but the original question really is: should
you use mark up an acronym/abbreviation with its expanded
Version if the expanded version is already adjacent to it.

It would be my view that no, that's superfluous.
> ask whether or not you should use an ABBR element for all
> occurences of an abbreviation in a web page.

Keep in mind that Internet Explorer does not support ABBR...

> Users who
> suffer from a learning or age-related impairment might benefit
> from such a strategy; as might someone who, as a result of the
> website's navigation strategy, has been allowed to link to the
> middle of a web page's content thus missing the first expanded
> form of the abbreviation.

Exactly. As the web is not a purely linear medium, and that
pages may not necessarily be read in full (e.g. a screen reader
user getting an overview of headings, then jumping to the relevant
heading and reading from there), it's difficult to pin down the
"first occurrence" of an abbreviation/acronym. I'd say it comes
down to consistency: decide which acronyms/abbreviations need to
be marked up as such (e.g. on a page aimed at politics students
relating to USA's foreign policy, should every single occurrence
of USA be marked up, or would it be reasonable to expect - depending
on target audience, of course - that it's a familiar acronym that
does not require marking up) and then be consistent throughout
the rest of the page/site.

Patrick H. Lauke
Web Editor / University of Salford
Web Standards Project (WaSP) Accessibility Task Force
Received on Tuesday, 22 November 2005 16:51:01 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 13 October 2015 16:21:33 UTC