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RE: 4.2 WCAG 1.0 Checkpoint

From: Roel Van Gils <roelvangils@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 09:39:05 +0100
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <43842aa6.6321b6fc.6fd0.1c6c@mx.gmail.com>

There is an easy workaround to make abbr elements appear correctly in
Internet Explorer:
Example: <abbr title="Blindenzorg Licht en Liefde">BLL</abbr>

When inserting one extra span, Internet Explorer will handle abbreviations
the same way as acronyms:
<abbr title="Blindenzorg Licht en Liefde"><span title="Blindenzorg Licht en

Now a tooltip appears when a user hover over the abbr and you can style it:
abbr, span.abbr { padding-bottom: 2px; border-bottom: 1px dashed gray;}

Depending on screanreader settings, title attributes will also be expanded
for disabled users.

I think adding one extra inner span to the abbr-tag is a much better
solution than choosing the *wrong* semantic element (as pointed out earlier,
an acronym and an abbreviation are really not the same).

The most interesting part of is that you can automate the process of adding
an extra span to every abbr by using a DOM script. You'll find one at


-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
Van: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] Namens
Patrick H. Lauke
Verzonden: dinsdag 22 november 2005 20:21
Aan: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Onderwerp: Re: 4.2 WCAG 1.0 Checkpoint

Christophe Strobbe wrote:

> At 17:40 22/11/2005, Patrick Lauke wrote:
> <blockquote>
> Keep in mind that Internet Explorer does not support ABBR...
> </blockquote>
> What exactly is the evidence for this statement?

> Does it mean that certain information is not in the DOM? That screen 
> readers can't access the title attribute of abbr because of lacking 
> support in IE (not the screen reader!)?

Well, Gez and Jon covered the answer, but I'd add: even *if* abbr was in
IE's DOM but the browser simply chose to completely ignore it, I'd
contentiously ask from a pragmatic point of view: what use would it be then
to the majority of web users if the browser didn't present them the expanded
abbreviation in any useful form? Particularly if we're talking (like David's
original remark) about "a learning or age-related impairment" - which does
not automatically mean "they're using a screen reader"?

Patrick H. Lauke
re.dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively [latin : re-, re-
+ dux, leader; see duke.] www.splintered.co.uk | www.photographia.co.uk
Web Standards Project (WaSP) Accessibility Task Force
Received on Wednesday, 23 November 2005 08:39:28 UTC

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