[uf-discuss] changing abbr-design-pattern to title-design-pattern?

James Craig jcraig at apple.com
Fri Apr 27 16:27:52 PDT 2007

Bringing, for discussion, a proposal from the WaSP ATF co-lead in  
response to today's article.

Patrick Lauke wrote:

> so, looking at some “harmonisation” ideas then, what i would  
> suggest a way forward may be:
> 1) heavily editing the page in the microformats wiki about abbr- 
> design-pattern to quite clearly state that, because of abbr’s  
> semantics, which assistive technologies like screen readers rely  
> upon, the pattern should only ever be used if the machine-readable  
> part in the title is also very clearly human-readable (and by that  
> we don’t mean somebody who’s into geocaching and therefore loves to  
> hear lat and long, or somebody who really likes their time to be  
> read out in full ISO format).
> 2) introducing a new design pattern page…i’d call it the title- 
> design-pattern. this can show pretty much what the current abbr- 
> design-pattern page has, just with a variety of other elements  
> (like span, div, p, object) and a clear warning that this pattern  
> should not be used with elements where title has been given  
> slightly “special” meaning and/or are used by current AT. should  
> also include a note that this replaces the abbr pattern of old, and  
> that abbr-design-pattern in its new form is a very limited subset  
> of the title-design-pattern
> 3) trawling the rest of the microformats wiki to remove examples of  
> problematic abbr-design-pattern use and replace them with more  
> generic title-design-pattern examples

I would emphasize that we should indicate title-design-pattern should  
not be used to hide human-readable data, but only be used in the  
problem cases where the data is not human readable, or in i18n cases,  
where the human readable version is in another language. Due to  
opening up the pattern a bit more, there will also need to be a flag  
to indicate when to use title attribute versus contents. Something  
like this "useTitle" class:

Uses title value:
<span class="dtstart useTitle" title="2007-03-27T12:00:00-06:00">Noon  

Does not use title value:
<a href="http://example.com/" class="fn org url" title="Visit the  
company web site!">Widgets, Inc.</span>


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