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

Tantek Ç elik tantek at cs.stanford.edu
Sat Apr 28 10:53:42 PDT 2007

On 4/28/07 3:16 AM, "Jeremy Keith" <jeremy at adactio.com> wrote:

> James Craig wrote:
>> 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:
> No, this smells like a really bad idea. That class is now an
> instruction for machines.

I concur with Jeremy - this is a really bad idea.

In addition, using span title is less semantic than abbr title thus it is

To be frank - the blog post on hAccessibility WaSP was seriously flawed.

1. It used a strawman example to argue against.

2. It recommended known unworkable solutions (using object? are you kidding
me? that's already been tried and failed - did you not do your homework? see
my original abbr post, and include-pattern-feedback).  In addition I told
James Craig *in person* about this at SXSW, so I was a bit surprised it
still made it to the blog post.

As I wrote on IRC yesterday:

I for one have always tried to push things (browsers, content) towards at
least being accessibility-friendly, and I still think that's a good policy.

However, I'm against contorting microformats because of bugs or suboptimal
behaviors in <1% marketshare browsers.

So I'm for adding "-" and ":" to get a better and even *usable* result in
screen readers, but I'm against dropping techniques that expose bugs in <1%

I think there needs to be a balance.

On the one hand, being both practical, and frankly, accessibility-friendly
when we don't have to compromise the standards or semantics (e.g. abbr vs
span title), hence, my proposal to make use of "-" and ":" a SHOULD for
content authors in microformats that use the abbr-date-time-design-pattern.

OTOH, not allowing bugs and stubbornness of implementers to retard/slow/stop
progress and nor taking a step backward and using span instead.

In addition I think this is a case where a little bit of pain now with abbr
and some tools actually opens up the potential for *much* better
accessibility/usability tools (once UAs actually recognize ISO dates as such
and can speak/rewrite them for a user's datetime/language/locality
preferences).  I for one think this tradeoff is more than reasonable.



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