Anne van Kesteren


As we all know the W3C tells a lot about Accessibility. After all, they got accessibility guidelines. I try to support these as much as possible. Actually, I followed most of these guidelines until yesterday. What happened yesterday? I used ASCII art for describing the layout of a page, which is using XForms.

This is about point 7.3 of the HTML Techniques for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0. The example they give you (slightly modified so it's valid XML):

<p><abbr title="smiley in ASCII art">:-)</abbr></p>

I think its a useless example, but I will try to improve my yesterday's post today. Arthur points out that ASCII is itself an abbreviation, which makes this example — snip — useless imho. Example:

| a |   |
|---| c |
| b |   |

And if this is correct, why isn't this used in the XForms specification? I hope version 2 of the accessibility guidelines will be better. Btw, this little ‘accessibility bug’ was discovered by Arthur Steiner.


  1. FYI: ASCII is an acronym, since it is pronounced as a word instead of per character. I agree with you if you'll say that it's an abbreviation as well, but to my opinion it's in the same league as WaSP, RADAR and more of those words that have become a word of their own.

    Posted by Bas Hamar de la Brethonière at

  2. Your the second one who said that. Arthur came up with it too. Fixed that now.

    Posted by Anne at

  3. No problem... O, and if you alter my posts to include abbr en acronym tags elements, please make sure there are no typos. ;) [Mod: Typos fixed.]

    Posted by Bas Hamar de la Brethonière at