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Subject: RE: [docbook-apps] Acronyms and Abbreviations

Title: Re: [docbook-apps] Acronyms and Abbreviations
A couple of other things that are possible (depending on your transforms):
- link from acronyms and abbreviations to the glossary
- provide hover text in appropriate environments to explain the acronym or abbreviation to the user
- provide the expansion text of acronyms and abbreviations that is recommended by accessibility groups
Your mileage may vary, depending on the sophistication of the production environment you are publishing with.
Larry Rowland

From: Ron Catterall [mailto:ron@catterall.net]
Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2006 6:11 AM
To: Colin Shapiro
Cc: docbook-apps@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] Acronyms and Abbreviations

Suppose you (or a later editor) wanted to create a glossary explaining all the acronyms in your document, wouldn't it be nice to use a little XSLT to pull out all the acronyms and organize them in alphabetical sequence and add all the appropriate glossary text such as (minimal)

<glossdiv><title>waiting for something here</title>
<glossentry id="CPU"><glossterm></glossterm>
  <para>waiting for some explanation of CPU here</para>

Elements can be very useful in future processing of a document, even if they seem irrelevant now.


I've always been tagging all of my acronyms and abbreviations with the proper DocBook elements, simply because it seemed to me that it was standard practice to do so when I first got started.

Now, however, I'm beginning to wonder why I keep doing this.  When I'm writing the type of technical documentation that I do (which is mainly hardware manuals), I tend to use *a lot* of acronyms and abbreviations, and I'm beginning to think that tagging them all is just adding unnecessary work, since I never do anything special with these elements when formatting/transforming my documents.

So, my question is this: should I bother using elements such as these that I don't really need?  It would seem that

    The <acronym>CPU</acronym> runs at 2.0 <abbrev>GHz</abbrev>

is superfluous if I don't ever use Acronym and Abbrev for anything.

- Colin

Ron Catterall, Phd, DSc                         email: ron@catterall.net
Prolongacion de Hidalgo 140                             http://catterall.net/
San Felipe del Agua                                        tel: +52 951 520 1821
Oaxaca      68020  Mexico                          fax: +1 530 348 8309
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