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Re: WCAG 2 draft and abbreviations


From: Jared Smith
Date: May 31, 2007 11:00AM

On 5/31/07, Jukka K. Korpela < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:

> It's mostly futile. The important things are
> a) to avoid abbreviations
> b) to explain them loud and clear in content proper if you use them.

Sure, but we all use abbreviations all the time. And it often isn't
useful to explain them fully every time they occur.

> Whether a word is an acronym is irrelevant for most practical purposes.
> If you know what "radar" means, you don't need to know how the word was
> formed, and the history wouldn't even help you much if you didn't know the
> word.

I think this is the key. If the context and audience clearly
understand what an abbreviation means, there certainly is no need to
expand it and most definitely no need to *always* expand it.

> > We all agree that including tags with expansions or explanations is
> > the best technique currently available
> No we don't. Tagging abbreviations is virtually useless, and partly
> harmful (e.g., when it creates an enigmatic "dotted underline"). I thought
> this was fairly well known about people who actually aim at accessibility.
> There is no evidence on the usefulness of such markup. If a user needs an
> explanation for an expression - be it a special symbol, a difficult word,
> or an abbreviation - it is certainly a bad idea to hide such information
> inside an attribute, instead of making it available and accessible to all.

But for abbreviations, this is not the fault of the markup, it's the
fault of the user agents for not presenting them in a useful and
accessible way.