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Re: Analyzing <abbr> solutions


From: Kynn Bartlett
Date: Mar 24, 2006 7:40AM

On 3/23/06, Patrick H. Lauke < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> Not sure if it's already been thrown into the mix (I only skimmed the
> myriad of replies on this thread), but what about not being able to
> define "first appearance" (if a user followed a link to a named anchor
> or fragment identifier, landing somewhere after the first occurrence in
> the source code, or if a user skipped entire paragraphs etc)

It hasn't been said, but you're right, that's a big problem.

Which is why I think that the general algorithm for defining expansion
should go something like this:

1. The browser looks over the whole page, and finds all the <abbr> tags.
2. It makes an internal table to represent mappings of "abbreviated
version" (from the content of the <abbr>) and "expanded version" (from any
title attributes on the <abbr>s).
3. If there's not a title element on something that's an <abbr>, match the
content back against the most recent previous occurrence of that abbreviated
version, and use that expanded version.
4. Display the expanded version on first appearance (both visually and in
synthesized speech) and cue (visually and by sound icon) on later
appearances. The first appearance would be in display/render/reading order,
so if you jump to an anchor the next one after the anchor is "first."

Now, nobody does this, so again, pie-in-the-sky thinking of the "wouldn't it
be nice?" variety. The user agents really should do something like this, it
would be real nice and cut down on redundant markup as well as providing
direct (not activated) access to the expanded version on first appearance.

Anyway. :)