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Re: abbreviations


From: Dan Conley
Date: May 28, 2010 7:21AM

> I have an idea, why not just use the current example that I posted,
> expand the abbreviation in the first instance and be done with it. :O)

And then someone skips to an anchor halfway down the page and misses it.

I think what's perhaps the most important thing I've gotten out of this
discussion is that many people don't care about abbreviations, and those
people have and use the ability to ignore them completely. The abbr tag
isn't being forced down anyone's throats (which was my initial fear).

There are some instances where an abbreviation isn't necessary. My
example of HIV in an article titled Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a
pretty obvious example. But I'm very hesitant to say I'm going to
approach this on a case by case basis, because then I declare myself the
gatekeeper of what's 'obvious' or not, which won't be the same from
person to person.

If something is an abbreviation, shouldn't it by definition be given the
abbreviation markup? If you don't like the underline it can be styled
away. If people ignore it then that seems, for the most part, to be by
their design (and if not, then in each of the articles I work on and in
any well written document I'd expect there to be the 'expand on first
use' practice anyway)

Dan Conley
Information Specialist
Center for International Rehabilitation Research Information and
Exchange (CIRRIE)
University at Buffalo, Health Sciences Library B6
Phone: (716) 829-5728

On 5/28/2010 7:36 AM, Geof Collis wrote:
> I have an idea, why not just use the current example that I posted,
> expand the abbreviation in the first instance and be done with it. :O)
> At 12:23 AM 5/28/2010, you wrote:
>> Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
>>> On the other hand, using<abbr> or<acronym> markup would help
>>> remarkably
>>> little if at all in reducing confusion. To begin with, the vast
>>> majority of
>>> people use browsing software that either ignores such markup completely
>>> or
>>> uses it in misleading ways, like underlining the element's content in a
>>> manner that suggests that it is some kind of a link, even though it
>>> isn't.
>> Hi Jukka,
>> How/what would you propose be done instead? If we can agree that a
>> mechanism that aids in disambiguation is a good thing - yet currently
>> <abbr> is failing at that - is there a better way? Should user agents do
>> more, or should we look to another mechanism instead? With on-going work
>> within HTML5, and an accessibility Task Force at the W3C (that involves
>> browser makers) currently very active, could a better solution be put
>> forward? Now is the time to specifically define what we need and what we
>> should have.
>> Does anyone on this list have any ideas?
>> JF