hAccessibility – Unhappy First Birthday

It’s one year today since Bruce Lawson and James Craig published “hAccessibility“, about the misuse of the ‘abbr’ element in microformats (an issue I first raised on 20 September 2006 in Accessify Forums).

As recent events show, the microformats cabal still has its collective head up its own^W^W^W in the sand.

Despite suggestions for a workaround, a solution seems no nearer, thanks to their apparent indifference. Shame on them.

8 thoughts on “hAccessibility – Unhappy First Birthday

  1. James Craig

    Despite apathy from most and even hostile resistance from some of the Microformats community, we’re still making progress, however slowly. I’d encourage people that want to help to contact either me, Bruce, or Ben Ward.

    Reply
  2. Toby Inkster

    One workaround that I’ve found involves the intermingling of the existing lt;abbr> pattern and value excerpting rules. It works along these lines:

    <span class="dtstart">
    28 April 2008
    <abbr title="20080428" class="value" style="display:none"></abbr>
    </span>

    It seems to work in many existing parsers (not all sadly) and I am yet to notice any apparent accessibility problems.

    Reply
  3. pigsonthewing

    @Toby: Try viewing that with CSS disabled. And doesn’t Operator ignore such “hidden” content?

    Reply
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  5. Lee Jordan

    I guess because many examples still use abbr, it’s going to be hard to break away from it. Still not too late to do something about it though.

    @Toby: My thought about that is HTML validation errors about trimming empty tags.

    I’m going down in a blaze of something anyway with this next one: Namespaces and the creation of a microformat:ns? That’s why it’s called xHTML? Anyway fire away! Why not have an option for xHTML developers to extend HTML properly?

    Reply
  6. Andy Mabbett

    @Lee: the longer we leave it, the more existing examples mis-using abbr there will be. A year has already been wasted.

    Also, don’t forget that microformats are used in HTML, not just XHTML.

    Reply
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