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Re: a | abbr | acronym

From: Michael Day <mikeday@yeslogic.com>
Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2003 10:01:23 +1100 (EST)
To: John Lewis <lewi0371@mrs.umn.edu>
Cc: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.44.0303040955150.1868-100000@lorien.yeslogic.com>


> I think abbr is of an optimal length considering how much it's used.
> Especially if you consider that the content of the title attribute
> often overwhelms the size of the opening and closing tags (as above),

That is true, however it is often convenient to markup all abbreviations 
for styling purposes, only specifying the title attribute on the first 
occurrence. For example:

<abbr title="...">XML</abbr> is a meta-language for describing text markup 
languages. <abbr>XML</abbr> has been used for ...

And then a snippet of CSS to slightly reduce the font size, which makes a
sentence loaded with acronyms less jarring on the eyes:

abbr { font-size: 0.9em }

Or if you follow the suggested default stylesheet for HTML:

abbr { font-variant: small-caps; letter-spacing: 0.1em }

But I find that setting the letter spacing leads to very strange looking 
text in a browser; perhaps it looks better printed at a high resolution.

Anyway, marking up every instance of "XML" in a document discussing XML
soon gets tiresome when you have to type <acronym>XML</acronym>, or even
<abbr>XML</abbr>. I suppose the correct answer to this could be to define
an entity &xml; but that can be problematic depending on the tools at
hand.

Michael
Received on Monday, 3 March 2003 17:51:02 GMT

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