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Re: 4.2 WCAG 1.0 Checkpoint

From: Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2005 20:56:56 +0000
Message-ID: <43838618.1020902@splintered.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Gez Lemon wrote:

> 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.

Agree completely. But just using acronym, at this point, makes the 
admittedly small difference between "just useful to screen reader users 
whose AT present the expanded version to them in a sensible format" and 
"mostly useful to screen reader users ... and a small percentage of 
users with learning or age related issues who are sighted and are using 
a pointing device". Ok, maybe splitting hairs here (who, me?) :)

Patrick H. Lauke
re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
[latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
www.splintered.co.uk | www.photographia.co.uk
Web Standards Project (WaSP) Accessibility Task Force
Received on Tuesday, 22 November 2005 20:57:14 UTC

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