[whatwg] [HTML5] 3.10.9. The |abbr| element

Christoph Päper christoph.paeper at crissov.de
Wed Nov 1 11:17:20 PST 2006

First off I think the requirement for a |title| is too strict,  
because there are time and space saving abbreviations everyone knows  
-- i.e. either their expansion or their meaning -- that do not need  
an expansion, e.g. "e.g." or "AIDS". Therefore the second sentence  
should use 'may', not 'should'. Maybe there could be a mechanism  
using |link| to external abbreviation glossaries, which may use |dl|  
instead of |dfn|. (I have kind of a deja-vu here, like I already  
proposed that sometime somewhere.)

I actually do like |acronym| and use it for "words" where a number or  
uppercase letter appears non-initially (except Scottish names), which  
get a reduced font size and/or small caps whereas true abbreviations  
(with periods) just have their inter-word spacing reduced. Everything  
else <abbr title="does not">doesn't</abbr> need markup. I digress,  
the main reason for this e-mail is the question for the recommended  
usage of |abbr| (in an English text):

   <abbr>i. e.</abbr>
(That's out of the scope of the specification of course.)

   <abbr>i. e.</abbr>
   <abbr title="id est">i. e.</abbr>
   <abbr title="that is">i. e.</abbr>

   <abbr ... lang="la">i. e.</abbr>
   <abbr ... lang="en">i. e.</abbr>
AFAIK |lang| (and |xml:lang| as well) applies to the textual element  
content _and_ its attributes' contents, where this is not of a  
language-neutral type.

If you cannot answer 2. and 3. the definition of |abbr| is broken,  
but I expect either of these:
   <abbr title="id est" lang="la">i. e.</abbr>
   <abbr title="that is" lang="en">i. e.</abbr> (or inherited language)

This is a more expressive solution, but also harder to implement:

   <link rel="abbr glossary" href="abbr.html">
   <abbr>i. e.</abbr>

     <di><dt lang="la">i. e.</dt>
         <dd lang="la">id est</dd><dd lang="en">that is</dd></di>

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