[uf-discuss] Use of <abbr> (also <object>) and Accessibility

Stephen Paul Weber singpolyma at gmail.com
Thu Sep 21 19:40:33 PDT 2006

It seems the people on that forum have a malview of an abbreviation,
stating that part of a datetime is not an abbreviation for the whole
datetime.  This comes (often) from a misunderstanding of
'abbreviation' in a vocab-grammatical context.  People think that for
it to be an abbreviation it must be shortened words/phrases.  This is
not so, and '7:25 PM' is a perfectly legal abbreviation for 'January
5, 2006 7:25 PM', because one is part of another (assuming the time
was dealing with the time on the day given, which is the assumption).

The thread also follows the misunderstanding that <abbr> is ever used
where <object> would be... this is (at least mostly) not the case.

On 9/21/06, Tantek Çelik <tantek at cs.stanford.edu> wrote:
> On 9/21/06 5:07 PM, "Andy Mabbett" <andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk> wrote:
> > In message <C138691F.7B722%tantek at cs.stanford.edu>, Tantek Çelik
> > <tantek at cs.stanford.edu> writes
> >
> >>>>         <ttp://www.accessifyforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=6167>
> >>>>
> >>>> also an interesting take on the non-use of <object>.
> >>>
> >>> I'm a little confused reading through that: The debate about whether
> >>> the use of ABBR is fine and well, I follow that, but maybe I came too
> >>> late the Microformats community to understand the references to OBJECT.
> >
> >>> In general, the _theoretical_ ABBR discussion is well based, datetime
> >>> is a new use and perhaps it stretches the element too farS maybe not.
> >>
> >> The only objectionable examples listed in that accessify thread
> >> represent edge cases, rather than the common case.
> >
> > In what way are they edge cases? They're very real examples, taken from
> > the Wiki.
> They are not from the wiki AFAIK.  The example from the accessify thread is
> a mutation/misquote from a blog post of mine.
> Typical use of dates (not times) in prose omit the year, as well in sites,
> search results for events etc., whereas the example given puts the date in
> the prose.  Using the year inline every time a day and month is state is the
> edge case.
> For times, typical use in prose omit the timezone, as well in sites, search
> results for events etc.
> >>  It's (I hate to say this, but typical) reasoning by edge case rather
> >> than reasoning by 80% case.
> >
> > Well, they'll certainly both be more than 80% of *my* use of those
> > formats.
> Do you state the year every time you state the day and month?
> Do you state your timezone everytime you state the time?
> >>> The thing is though, people love to talk their interpretation of
> >>> the semantics and expected behaviours but I'm yet to see anyone with
> >>> access to assistive technology produce examples to demonstrate
> >>> problems (or otherwise).
> >>
> >> A very good point Ben.
> >
> > Indeed - which is why I've gone to the people who use them, to ask for
> > concrete examples.
> >
> >> So far the critics have only been chicken-littling which we should all
> >> have very little patience for.
> >
> > I believe that "chicken-littling" is an Americanism meaning "scare
> > mongering". If so, who is doing that?
> The accessify link you pointed to is one such example though there have been
> some threads in this list as well.
> Tantek
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- Stephen Paul Weber, Amateur Writer

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