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

Jonathan Worent jworent at yahoo.com
Wed Nov 1 18:44:22 PST 2006

--- Christoph Päper <christoph.paeper at crissov.de> wrote:

> 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'. 

I disagree. There is never a guarantee that people will know what an abbreviation stands for, I
know what AIDS is but not what it stands for. Also accessing the title information is optional. If
the user knows what the abbreviation stands for they won't need to access the title information.

> 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 think your trying to use abbr for definitions, which is not what its for. Its for specifying
what the abbreviation represents not what the word means.

> 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):
> 1.
>    <abbr>i. e.</abbr>
>    <abbr>i.e.</abbr>
>    <abbr>ie.</abbr>
>    <abbr>ie</abbr>
> (That's out of the scope of the specification of course.)
> 2.
>    <abbr>i. e.</abbr>
>    <abbr title="id est">i. e.</abbr>

This would be correct usage.

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

This would not be correct usage because the abbreviation i.e. does not represent "that is" it
means that though. In this case you using is to mark up the definition.

> 3.
>    <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.

I don't quite follow you on this one. The language would be the same for both the abbreviation and
the words it is abbreviating.

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

Again you seem to be wanting to use abbr to markup the definition of the abbreviation. 

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└───────── Webmaster ─────────┘

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