Re: [HTML 4.0 draft] (further) comments on ACRONYM

Aymeric Poulain Maubant (
Fri, 11 Jul 1997 19:03:25 +0200

Message-Id: <>
From: Aymeric Poulain Maubant <>
Subject: Re: [HTML 4.0 draft] (further) comments on ACRONYM 
In-reply-to: Your message of "Fri, 11 Jul 1997 11:40:36 EDT."
Date: Fri, 11 Jul 1997 19:03:25 +0200

Paul Prescod wrote:
> Aymeric Poulain Maubant wrote:
> > Bandwidth saving, lisibility of HTML sources, multiples definition
> > of a single acronym, correct behaviour for older browsers, definition
> > of acronyms shared by many documents are thus possible.
> It isn't clear to me what your plan is for sharing acronyms between
> documents. Most browsers do not support textual sharing of HTML text. Is
> that part of your proposal or do you intend to use a feature from HTML
> 4.0 or SGML?

Well, I was thinking of a large document made of many HTML files with
eavily use of acronyms. 

But before, just a comment on a few other answers on this acronym topic.
I have been told that the first <ACRONYM title="..." lang="...">HTML</ACRONYM>
is _the_ declaration of the acronym and it is then up to the browser to
understand that further strings "HTML" in the text refer to the previously
uniquely declared ACRONYM. I'm not sure that browsers would be smart
enougn to handle this, and they won't be able to handle it when there are
more than one object refered by the same acronym. Moreover, in the case
of "HTML" I could declare one ACRONYM with lang="en" and another one with
lang="fr" and switch from one to another within a bilingual documentation.
Text-oriented browsers will say HTML in any case, while speech-oriented
browsers will pronounce it in the right (natural) way.

Thus, I think that use of ACRONYM must be done all along an HTML document,
but this is tedious (especially when there are a lot of attributes used
in the first instance of an acronym). This is why I try to find a solution
to declare an acronym once, and then refer to this declaration.

A good idea would be to declare it in a dictionnary, for this dictionnary
to be linked from many HTML documents : this is what I call "sharing
acronyms between documents".

The truth is that ACRONYM is a strange companion for logical elements like EM, 

ACRONYM, GLOSSARY, INDEXES, BIBENTRY.. should be defined on their own, on
a dictionnary-mecanism basis. I'm not sure we can do it for HTML 4.0.
I don't remember whether it has been already written here. But I think
it is worth to think of it.