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Re: Problems with <acronym>/<abbr> Tags and Web Browsers/handicapped Persons

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 2006 08:15:39 +0000 (GMT)
Message-Id: <200601270815.k0R8Feq00464@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: www-html@w3.org

> One of my visitors test a screenreader on my Usability page and
> he tell me that the screenreader ignore the language-Attribute
> and read the table not correctly. 

User agent problems are off topic on www-html.  However the
w3c-wai-ig@w3.org mailing list has often discussed the accessibility
aspects of these *elements*.  (Note that IE is one of the primary
offenders, so the problems are unlikely to go away.)

> <acronym>-Tag, some web browsers doesn't show the user a visual
> label like a dotted underline. If is a language-Attribute in the
> <acronym>-Tag, like <span lang="de"> some browsers doesn't show
> the titel from the <acronym>-Tag. 

I didn't understant this.  The lang attribute is on the span, not the
acronym opening tag, in your example.  I assume the mis-spelling of
title is not present in the actual HTML.  (I read off line, so don't
know what any referenced HTML document says.)

> The <acronym>-Tag is not part of XHTML 2, the <abbr>-Tag
> is part of XHTML 2. I don't understand this, because

I suspect that one of the main reasons for this is that authors get
confused between the concepts of "abbreviations", "acronyms" and 
"initialisms".  In the UK, at least, the popular press confuses
acronyms and abbreviations in much the same way as they confuse 
bacteria and virii.

The distinction between acronyms and abbreviations seems to vary from
country to country.

> some browsers ignore the <abbr>-Tag.

There is no requirement in HTML to render elements in any particular way,
so not rendering abbr distinctly from the containing element is not 
erroneous behaviour.

In any case, XHTML 2 is not backwards compatible, so user agent behaviour
for XHTML 1.0 and earlier is not a good predictor of behaviour for
XHTML 2.  Also, browsers with strong visual rendering capabilities that
implement XHTML 2 are likely to implement CSS well, so the author or
user should be able to control many of hte aspects of the rendering of
these elements.

I would move this to w3c-wai-ig as the only document in which this sort
of thing can be mandated is the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines.
Received on Friday, 27 January 2006 08:15:45 UTC

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