View Full Version : How many times?
11-21-2003, 05:16 AM
Ok I'm working on a new site, all XHTML and CSS. I'm trying my best to make it accesible but I have one question (for now anyways), how many times do you have to use the acronym tag to say what an acronym means? surely it only needs to be explained once and if you explain what it means on the page do you still need to mark the acronym with the acronym tag?
11-21-2003, 10:58 AM
You know, it's odd you should mention that, as I just now finished putting an acronym tag on a page that was already described on a previous page.
So, I took a look to see what is recommended and found this:
4.2 - Specify the expansion of each abbreviation or acronym in a document where it first occurs.
So the first occurence in a document would mean once per page. Once for an entire site wouldn't be neough because you don't know at which point someone would enter the site.
11-21-2003, 01:12 PM
Well the acronyms in question are HTML, CSS, XHTML and PHP and they are all <acronym>'d in the menu. So since each page will have the same menu and a header (<h1>) should I just make the acronym in the header the acronym and leave the rest?
11-21-2003, 01:34 PM
That sounds like the best method. You won't have to worry about putting those into specific spots on a dozen different pages that way.
As far as an acronym that is immediately followed or preceded by its description, I have come to a conclusion after reading a few bits of the W3C's pages. It is preferable to place the acronym inside an acronym container because a screen reader (don't know about which ones, etc.) will recognize the acronym tag and speak each individual letter rather than try to pronounce it as a word.
How do you pronounce "xhtml" anyway? ;)
The specs require only the first occurence for compliance. So, I guess it isn't necessary for each occurence to be identified as an acronym, particularly if it is a commonly known acronym. Some might present problems for screen readers, but I don't know which ones. I don't have any right now to test.
For a site with a large number of cryptic acronyms and abbreviations, a glossary or dictionary is suggested. Link each one to the proper place in the glossary, and that takes care of detailed descriptions. Of course, a 'title="Glossary entry for xxxx"' attribute in the link would be good too.
11-21-2003, 03:57 PM
Based on the above article, my HO is that:
Use them everytime for the sake of an aural browser
11-23-2003, 10:47 AM
I just wanted to add here, that from the usability point of view, it would be worth to use abbreviations and acronyms always, no matter how many times on my page.
For example there are users who do not read the pages content from the beginning to the end. Or?
11-23-2003, 10:50 AM
If you're having the page read out to you would you really want it to be telling you what HTML stood for each time it came across it? Given that in the average tutorial the term HTML can occur upto 100 times on a page.
11-24-2003, 10:10 PM
I did not think about that. You are right some how.
That would be too much code...
11-25-2003, 02:47 AM
If you mark something as an acronym, do you have to have the title attribute to give its expanded meaning? If you leave 'title="blah blah blah"' out, just placing the acronym tag around it, the screen readers (ones that recognize the tag at least) will pronounce it letter by letter instead of phonetically, but won't get stuck repeating the longer name. That would be handy for subsequent occurrences within a document.
11-25-2003, 10:13 AM
Narasinha, great post!!!