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Re: abbr and acronym

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2007 16:37:19 +0300 (EEST)
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.64.0703251626480.10346@mustatilhi.cs.tut.fi>

On Sun, 25 Mar 2007, Lorenzo De Tomasi wrote:

> Editorial rules can ask for acronyms ALLCAPS and abbreviations lower
> case, so, with the solution above, I can set only one style for
> acronym.

Then you have some special definitions for "acronym" and "abbreviation", 
definitions that have little to do with their dictionary definitions or 
other people's definitions for them. They are in effect just names for 
_styles_ to be used for some expressions that are somehow special, as 
opposite to "normal" words.

You probably wouldn't want to apply your ALLCAPS styling to acronyms such 
as "radar" or your lowercase styling to abbreviations such as "ISO" or 
"H." (as in "Patrick H. Lauke").

> I can also choose to use only abbr and to assign a class="acronym" or
> "acr" for each acronym, but the code will be longer, will be
> discretionary and not a shared standard.

This is just a special case of the issue that you cannot invent new _tags_ 
or even attributes if you stick to HTML as defined in published 
specifications; you can just define new _classes_.

In fact, existing browsers ignore tags with unrecognized element name, so 
authors _could_ be allowed to invent new tags and use them for styling, if 
things were so defined and browsers were developed a bit.

P.S. <a class="a">...</a> is actually shorter than <acronym>...</acronym> 
and can be used more safely for styling. There is hardly any _default_ 
rendering feature for an <a> element without an href attribute, but we 
know that browsers often have strange ideas of how <acronym> should be 
rendered by default, and extra trouble is needed to override that.

-- 
Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Received on Sunday, 25 March 2007 13:37:25 GMT

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