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[whatwg] Feeedback on <dfn>, <abbr>, and other elements related to cross-references

From: Calogero Alex Baldacchino <alex.baldacchino@email.it>
Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2008 02:31:23 +0100
Message-ID: <492DF86B.3090802@email.it>
Ian Hickson ha scritto:
> On Thu, 27 Nov 2008, Calogero Alex Baldacchino wrote:
>> Perhaps a silly idea: what if abbreviations could work as an img-map 
>> couple? That is, i.e., an <abbr> without a title could avail of a, let's 
>> say, 'ref' attribute indicating the id of a previous <abbr> element with 
>> a title, and the former could be 'self-closing' (i.e. <abbr ref="#foo" 
>> />), so by default the UA would substitute it with the referenced 
>> element content (the unexpanded abbreviation), and, at the user will 
>> (when he/she clics on the abbreviation, or just stops the pointer, or 
>> navigates to the abbreviation, or according to any setting in the 
>> browser options) the abbreviation is expanded. (I guess the above won't 
>> be agreed because of backward compatibility, though)
> 
> What problem would this solve? It's not like including the abbreviation 
> each time is a great burden.
> 

Right, I retire this hint. Or perhaps could work in conjunction with 
<dfn> as an explicit reference to the definition and a shorter 
alternative to the use of an <a> element. The same rationale can apply 
to discard this too, however... if the id were put in the <abbr> inside 
the <dfn>, instead of setting the dfn id, perhaps it could be a 
reference slightly less prone to mistakes (the more I write, the more 
likely I can press a wrong key inside and mess everithing up - I'm for 
short syntax when possible/meaningful, but this might not be the case, 
of course). I.e., instead of writing:

<a href=#gdo><abbr title="Garage Door Opener">GDO</abbr></a>

one could just write:

<abbr ref=#gdo />

so that, by default, the user agent automatically insterts the text 
'GDO', when the user leaves the mouse pointer over it, or focuses it 
elsewhere, the text is expanded, and when the user clicks or activates 
it (i.e. by pressing 'return'), the definition is recalled. '#gdo' could 
be the id of the abbreviation inside the <dfn> element, but could work 
also being the dfn id itself, so both way (using the <a> element or the 
<abbr> one) might exist as alternatives working in a consistent manner 
for different uses (i.e. the <a>-fashion would be suitable if the 
defined term were a plain text or the title of the dfn element itself).

Maybe still useless, if so disregard it (and forgive my insistence). 
Best Regards,
Alex.
 
 
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Received on Wednesday, 26 November 2008 17:31:23 UTC

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