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

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Sun Apr 20 17:23:19 PDT 2008

On Mon, 21 Apr 2008, Lachlan Hunt wrote:
> 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.

Sure. In such cases the first case would say <abbr title="Hypertext Markup 
Language">HTML</abbr>, and the others would just be marked up as "HTML", 
with no markup.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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