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Re: Comments on XHTML 2.0 Working Draft

From: Mark Gallagher <mark@cyberfuddle.com>
Date: Wed, 07 Aug 2002 21:08:18 +1000
Message-ID: <3D50FFA2.6090705@cyberfuddle.com>
To: Alexander Savenkov <w3@hotbox.ru>
CC: www-html@w3.org

Alexander Savenkov wrote:

I'm not sure if I'm actually allowed to *post* to this list (not being a 
W3C member), or if I've got only read access.  Since I'm addressing most 
of these comments to you, Alex, I've decided to send anyway, CC'ed to 
your address.

 >> XHTML 2.0 Working Draft Comments ================================
 > Brilliant comments!
 > I make bold to add some more remarks:
 > 8.1. The abbr element and 8.2. The acronym element
 > ---------------------     ------------------------ Can someone
 > explain me why there are still two elements for the same purpose? As
 > Steven Pemberton once mentioned 'There is a long dull discussion on
 > what is an acronym and what not'. Was there one?

I don't remember if there was one *here*, but there've been many on many
lists.  Check out <http://www.m-w.com/> and save yourself some time :-).

ABBR and ACRONYM serve different purposes, in theory.  An acronym is an
abbreviation formed of the first letters of a phrase, pronounced as a
word (e.g. ANZAC, or QANTAS).  So, an aconym is an abbreviation (and
technically one can use <abbr> to define one), but an abbreviation is
*not* an acronym.

That sounds pretty sensible so far, but a great many people now call
abbreviations like FBI and UN "acronyms"[0], and so mark them up as such
in their documents.  This is where the long, dull discussions over
whether to use what most people would expect or what the dictionary says
come in :-).

 > First of all, the descriptions for both elements remain somewhat
 > ambiguous and unclear. Secondly, I hope that the sentence 'When

Yes.  IIRC, the specs define <acronym> as one would expect (i.e. the 
"correct" definition), then give examples like NATO and RADAR.

 > necessary, authors should use style sheets to specify the
 > pronunciation of an abbreviated form.' will be continued in the next
 > WD; as I see it, 'acronym' could be safely dropped, authors who wish
 > to set the exact pronunciation of a certain abbreviation/acronym can
 > use CSS with the speak property on 'abbr' elements. Consider the
 > following (derived from [1]):

That's a good point.

<snip />

 > 8.16. The quote element ---------------------- Why the q element has
 > been renamed to quote? I hope these are not just pure aesthetic
 > reasons ((C) Chris).
 > By the way, the example uses the 'lang' attribute which I though was
 > removed in XHTML 1.1 [2] already.

So did I.  Um, something along the lines of "lang" when referring to 
human languages is now "xml:lang", and "lang" when referring to 
"computer languages" (i.e. scripting types) is now "type" (with the mime 
type specified, e.g. "text/javascript").

 > 17.1. The hr element -------------------- While it's clearly
 > explained why the 'sub' and 'sup' elements are left in the spec, no
 > reason provided for the 'hr' element. I doubt there are languages
 > using horizontal rule, and since HTML 2.0 [3] I haven't seen any
 > intelligible explanations. I kindly ask you to provide reasoning for
 > keeping 'hr'.

It could be argued that horizontal rules aren't exactly a 
*presentational* matter, per se.  <hr> can be used to define sections, 
rule off particular areas, mark breaks in the text, etc.

Of course, this functionality can be provided in a better and 
easier-to-understand manner by enclosing each separate section in a 
<DIV> (or a more meaningful tag where appropriate), so...

<snip />

[0] They don't actually *have* a name, but they're occasionally dubbed

Mark Gallagher
Desperately attempting - and failing - to stay on topic since 1999
fuddleriffic - http://cyberfuddle.com/
blog - http://cyberfuddle.com/infinitebabble/
Received on Wednesday, 7 August 2002 06:59:30 GMT

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