Tommy interviewed by the Web Standards Group

Tommy has been asked the famous Ten questions by the WSG. Although I don’t necessarily agree a 100% with all of what Tommy says (for instance, about the benefits of, or lack of, using XHTML), he’s full of knowledge and it is a very good read.

Regarding coding semantically correct and using a strict doctype, be it HTML or XHTML, we’re definitely on the same page.

But when it comes to using the ABBR or the ACRONYM element for abbreviations, I think the discussion about different layers of presentation is far more important.
Personally, I use the ACRONYM element because I want the IE users to able to see it as well.

All in all, I recommend reading the interview.


  • Faruk Ates says:

    I'm pretty sure that you can still style ABBR elements for IE users, it just doesn't have any native styling attached to it. I haven't tried this out though, so I may just be going out on a limb here (incorrectly, at that). 🙂

    I use them both, myself. ABBR for something that is only an abbreviation (such as Mass. for Massachusetts), and ACRONYM for every initialism. This is how the online dictionary explains the two terms, and while ABBR can, indeed, also be used for initialisms, I prefer keeping the two separated, if only for my own sake (consistancy).

  • Robert says:


    I haven't got it to work for ABBR elements, neither styling-wise nor the title attribute (in IE, of course).

  • Tommy Olsson says:

    Unless I'm mistaken, Microsoft deliberately refuse to support the ABBR element type. You can't style it and it doesn't show an <code>title</code> attribute set for it.

  • Robert says:

    Thank you, Microsoft.

    Isn't that great and also an attitude that helps the web to evolve…

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