[whatwg] Feeedback on <dfn>, <abbr>, and other elements related to cross-references

Lachlan Hunt lachlan.hunt at lachy.id.au
Sun Apr 20 16:34:50 PDT 2008

Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Fri, 14 Oct 2005, Lachlan Hunt wrote:
>> 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.
> Why would that instance not use <dfn>?

It's quite common to use abbreviations without defining what they mean 
the first time they're used in each document.

So in a document that discusses, for example, something about HTML and 
marks up the first instance as <abbr title="Hypertext Markup 
Language">HTML</abbr>, but doesn't actually define what HTML is, it 
wouldn't be appropriate to use <dfn>.  The idea was that subsequent 
instances of of the abbreviation would be marked up without the title 
attribute, but that would only be useful with the cross-referencing feature.

Lachlan Hunt - Opera Software

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