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Re: 4.2 WCAG 1.0 Checkpoint

From: Gez Lemon <gez.lemon@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2005 20:44:15 +0000
Message-ID: <e2a28a920511221244p16cf1868s@mail.gmail.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

On 22/11/05, Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk> wrote:
> even *if* abbr was
> in IE's DOM but the browser simply chose to completely ignore it, I'd
> contentiously ask from a pragmatic point of view: what use would it be
> then to the majority of web users if the browser didn't present them the
> expanded abbreviation in any useful form? Particularly if we're talking
> (like David's original remark) about "a learning or age-related
> impairment" - which does not automatically mean "they're using a screen
> reader"?

Even for learning or age-related issues, marking up abbreviations and
acronyms isn't as useful as it could be because of the poor way
they've been implemented in browsers. They're typically implemented as
a tooltip, which means the expansion is device-dependent (mouse),
difficult to read, and only displayed for a short duration. Coupled
with the fact that it's not exactly intuitive how to expand an acronym
or abbreviation for someone who isn't that familiar with the web, I
think user agent manufacturers could do a lot more to make them a
useful feature. At the moment, the best anyone can hope for is a
bookmarklet that either offers the option to display the expansion
inline, or collect all abbreviations and acronyms and display them as
a glossary of terms at the end of the document. That kind of
functionality would be far more useful if it was directly available
from the user-agent. At this point in time, I think abbreviations and
acronyms are only really useful for those using assistive technology
that is capable of doing something with them.

Best regards,


Supplement your vitamins
Received on Tuesday, 22 November 2005 20:44:24 UTC

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