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RE: [latinreq] Footnotes and columns

From: Bill Kasdorf <bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Dec 2013 16:16:45 +0000
To: "liam@w3.org" <liam@w3.org>, AUDRAIN LUC <LAUDRAIN@hachette-livre.fr>
CC: "Cramer, Dave" <Dave.Cramer@hbgusa.com>, W3C Digital Publishing IG <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <327f2baefb854619808d7264768ad238@CO2PR06MB572.namprd06.prod.outlook.com>
In my comments yesterday mentioning the very complex footnote schemes in Harvard's Loeb Classical Library, I forgot to mention an aspect that Liam just brought up. To save space, when the footnotes are short they are run-in, but when they are long they are new lines. If you want a use case that is about as gnarly as you could want, let me know and I'll send some examples.

In case you are wondering how in the heck they manage this judgment-dependent practice, their workflow has typically enabled the authoring to be done in a manner that doesn't just _emulate_ the final published result, it _produces_ the final published result. So the scholarly editors that manage the Loebs literally make line-by-line decisions about how to handle given footnotes. Many hours per page are spent on these books.

I mention that (1) to make clear that any expectation of automating this complexity is probably unwise, but (2) if we really want the OWP to be usable for all aspects of publishing, there's no reason to think that in a fully web-based OWP workflow that kind of authorial "handwork" couldn't be done: it could, and it can, as long as the expectation is that authoring is done interactively and judgments are made case-by-case. Not what we like to see in general but there are edge cases like this where the authors and publishers really _want_ to work that way.

--Bill K

-----Original Message-----
From: Liam R E Quin [mailto:liam@w3.org] 
Sent: Thursday, December 19, 2013 10:57 AM
To: AUDRAIN LUC
Cc: Cramer, Dave; W3C Digital Publishing IG
Subject: Re: [latinreq] Footnotes and columns

On Thu, 2013-12-19 at 12:09 +0100, AUDRAIN LUC wrote:
> Hi,
> 
> I've seen in France multicolumn footnotes on single column pages, for 
> school books on public domain texts.

The practical reason for this is two-fold:

1. that in many books most footnotes are short, so you save a lot of space by formatting them in two columns;

2. that if you have chosen a comfortable measure (line-length) for readable text given the type size in the main book, footnotes with smaller type will not be comfortable to read with lines of the same length.

A compromise on (1) is to set short footnotes inline and long ones as blocks, intermixing them, to balance efficient use of space with ease of use of the final book.

Liam

--
Liam Quin - XML Activity Lead, W3C, http://www.w3.org/People/Quin/ Pictures from old books: http://fromoldbooks.org/
Ankh: irc.sorcery.net irc.gnome.org freenode/#xml
Received on Thursday, 19 December 2013 16:17:20 UTC

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