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Subject: Re: [dita-translation] Re: Introduction of <surface-form> to the acronymproposal

Kara Warburton <KARA@CA.IBM.COM> wrote on 06/09/2007 07:33:54 AM:
> > 2. Even though this proposal deliberately avoids talking about
> > abbreviations (that aren't acronyms), we should assume that users
> > aren't going to make the distinction, and that they will use this
> > feature for their abbreviations too.
> kw - I think that would be a wrong assumption, and if they did use this
> feature for other types of abbreviations,
> we would have a problem because we need to use an acronym element only for
> acronyms... we need to be able
> to separate acronyms from other types of abbreviations due to different
> downstream processes. If we combine
> different types of terms in the <acronym> element this would not be using
> the element properly.

It sounds like you are disagreeing with me, but I think we are arguing different aspects of the same point.  What I tried to say was:
1. Like it or not, users are going to use the element that gives them the output they want, even if it's "wrong" from a semantic perspective.
2. If we define only <acronym> and don't define corresponding elements for other types of short forms, because of #1, users will use <acronym> for everything, even if the behaviour is subtly different.
3. When #2 happens, if the output is slightly wrong because they are using <acronym> for purposes it wasn't designed for, users will blame the standard before they blame their misuse of it.

Note that I'm saying nothing about what we "should" do.  I'm just trying to describe the consequences of the current position.  Sorry if I came across as overly prescriptive.

Deborah Pickett
Information Architect, Moldflow Corporation, Melbourne

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