[whatwg] Semantics of the dfn and abbr Elements
lachlan.hunt at lachy.id.au
Thu Oct 13 09:19:02 PDT 2005
Just a few issues regarding the use of abbr and dfn elements.
*The abbr Element's title Attribute*
I think the title attribute should also be allowed to be omitted from
the abbr element if there is another abbr element with a title attribute
for the same abbreviation in the document. This would be very useful
for cases where the same abbreviation is used multiple times, but is not
defined (using <dfn>) anywhere in the document.
*Multiple Definitions for the Same Term*
What happens if there are multiple definitions for the same
abbreviation? For example, if the same abbreviation has two different
expansions given with two different meanings. Which one would an <abbr>
element without a title attribute be associated with?
"HTML" can have more than one meaning in different contexts.
<p><dfn><abbr title="Hypertext Markup Language">HTML</abbr></dfn> is
a markup language for ...</p>
<p>... <abbr>HTML</abbr> ...<p> (1)
<p><dfn><abbr title="High Temperature Materials
Laboratory">HTML</abbr></dfn> is something else...</p>
<p>... <abbr>HTML</abbr> ...<p> (2)
<p>... <abbr>HTML</abbr> ...<p> (3)
(That could easily happen in a news site, for example. Not necessarily
with "HTML", but, obviously, there's lots of words and abbreviations
with multiple meanings.)
Should it be defined to always be the first defining instance occurring
in document order? Or, probably better, should it the first or the
nearest occurrence of the defining instance sharing a common ancestor
sectioning element as the abbreviation?
So, does (1) stand for "Hypertext Markup Language"? Does (2) stand for
"High Temperature Materials Laboratory"? What does (3) stand for?
*Definitions with Links*
If the dfn element contains a hyperlink, as in either:
it should be defined as being as a link to either the term's definition
or supplementary information about the term and/or its defintion.
For example, a paragraph may contain a simple definition for the term
with the link to the Wikipedia entry for more information.
href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML">HTML</a></abbr> is a semantic
language for marking up documents published on the web.</p>
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