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a | abbr | acronym

From: Michael Day <mikeday@yeslogic.com>
Date: Mon, 3 Mar 2003 17:27:49 +1100 (EST)
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.44.0303031656080.15595-100000@lorien.yeslogic.com>

a | abbr | acronym
A story of three tags.

In the time of XHTML 2, when backwards compatibility was thrown to the
winds in the name of future coolness, the humble <a> tag -- which was once
the very heart of the web -- was lying useless and forlorn:

"Every element can be a link! Every element can be an anchor! There is no
longer any purpose in my life, and the ongoing struggle between the
kingdoms of XLink, HLink, SkunkLink (and Vellum) shows no sign of adding
meaning to my existence in the future."

Nearby, <abbr> and <acronym> continued their years long bickering, trying
to settle once and for all how NASA should be marked up, whether SOAP
stood for anything, what W3C was supposed to be, and whether being
supported by Internet Explorer or being supported by Mozilla gave you more
markup credibility.

Presently a wandering monk, hearing their argument, pointed out that they
were both completely irrelevant.

"I never use semantic markup due to the excessive strain on my fragile 
wrists. If I had to type <abbr>XML</abbr> or heaven forbid, 
<acronym>XML</acronym> every time I wanted to refer to 
that-which-is-hierarchical, I would soon be reduced to a state of carpal 
decrepitude, not to mention gibbering insanity."

At this, <abbr> and <acronym> fell silent, but <a> was filled with a wild
hope. Surely people would not object to typing <a>XML</a>? That would be a
saving of many characters, encouraging more users to correctly mark up
their abbreviations and acronyms (both of which fortunately start with the
letter "a"). Not only that, but it would be a noble purpose for the lonely
<a> tag, allowing it to raise its head once more and bask in the glory of
<a title="XML HyperText Markup Language">XHTML</a> 2.

Upon which <abbr> and <acronym>, overhearing its ambitions, ate <a> for


Received on Monday, 3 March 2003 01:48:15 UTC

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