Programming Notes

For some time now, when I code these pages, I’ve been using
the <acronym> tag to surround acronyms like
If you point your mouse over the word NATO,
you should see a text box with the words “North Atlantic Treaty
Organization.” This is helpful to people who are not familiar
with a particular acronym. But I’ve also been using this tag to
surround abbreviations. Now, as you English majors out there
know, acronyms are words formed from the initial
letters of other words (e.g. laser stands for light
amplification by stimulated emission of radiation). On the
other hand, an abbreviation also uses the first letters of
other words but they, in English anyway, do not spell a

For example, VBR is the
abbreviation of the words Variable Bit Rate. But if I use the
tag for <abbr>, like this VBR, not all
browsers will create (ahem, cough, Internet Explorer, cough)
the text box. While modern browsers like Firefox and Opera do
just fine, others do not. So, I am conflicted about what to do.
If I use the correct tag, many of you (i.e., those using
Microsoft’s Internet Explorer) won’t see the text box. But if I
use the acronym tag, I am technically using the wrong markup.
If this matters to any of you, one way or the other, feel free
to email me using the link to the right. For now, I’ll continue
to use the acronym tag even if it is incorrect. Hopefully, most
people will soon switch to a modern browser and at that point I
can start using the correct tags.

By the way, enjoy the posting now as I will be very busy
next week attending all day meetings. I think I will have
enough time to put up some short posts, but that is as much as
I will be able to do.



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