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Re: Question about HTML abbr and acronym tags

From: Peter Neumann <chiaki@dark-chiaki.net>
Date: Mon, 07 Jan 2008 20:42:08 +0100
Message-Id: <950524260@web.de>
To: "Jukka K. Korpela" <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Cc: www-html@w3.org

Hello again,

"Jukka K. Korpela" <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi> (2008-01-07 17:45):
> I am able to tell that what the W3C has _publicly_ said about these 
> elements is confused, confusing, and obscure. Until proven otherwise, 
> those elements should thus be regarded as useless (or maybe sometimes 
> worse). More on this:
> http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/html/abbr.html

Then, why are these elements still in (X)HTML? If no-one is able to define a clear and useful meaning of ABBR and ACRONYM, these elements should be removed, or replaced with better semantic - at least in XHTML2/HTML5.

For the rest of my previous mail: I'm sorry if my English is not well enough to be understandable by everyone.

> Moreover, the same abbreviation may be used for both plural and
> singular, even if the expansions are different, e.g. "ft" (or "ft.")
> should normally be read "feet" but sometimes in singular, "foot".

In general, I think that -most- abbr/acronym should be marked up, if you are going to use markup for this behaviour and until the W3C doesn't provide better or alternative markup for this. As you noted, the same short term may be used for more then one expansion. If you markup every occurrence of "ft", you are able to set every expansion as needed. Every non-marked short term should be clear from the context view. That a UA remembers the last setting for a specific abbr/acronym is not the way I would code a screen-reader program.

I hope, this will be more understandable. If not: sorry.

Best Regards,
Peter Neumann
Received on Monday, 7 January 2008 19:42:20 UTC

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