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Re: [Norton AntiSpam] Re: PDF in WCAG 2

From: Kassia Krozser <ktwice@pandemic.com>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 11:19:51 -0700
Message-ID: <412640C7.8060809@pandemic.com>
CC: WAI-IG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>


Patrick H. Lauke wrote:
> 
>> oh no, i don't think i can hack them. what i'm more concerned about is:
>> does a footnote that, is changed to an endnote change in content and
>> meaning?

> Still no answer on this then? Shame, it does pique my interest...

Setting aside the fact that many readers find endnotes irritating 
because they require constant back and forth (or, if one is reading 
online, scrolling up and down or switching between screens), resulting 
in the loss of flow when reading, footnotes are generally short and 
concise, in keeping with their position on a page. They are best used 
for citing sources and short commentary necessary to strengthen an 
argument being made in the text. Footnotes that take up considerable 
page space are considered bad form.

Endnotes have the advantage of including more detailed information such 
as tables, graphs, and lengthy quotations. They also have a disadvantage 
in that readers require sufficient context in the note to understand 
what the reference means, so they may require attention when written. If 
a writer uses endnotes instead of footnotes, he or she should be aware 
that many people don't do the necessary back and forth while reading, so 
the text also needs to be written so that the argument is clearly 
understood without benefit of the note.

The choice of using endnotes versus footnotes is largely a matter of 
style, and certain disciplines seem to prefer one style over another. 
Some works include both, leveraging the strengths of each type of note. 
However, when making a choice, it's important to keep the reader in mind 
-- if a work consists largely of references that point reader back to 
source material without further detail, endnotes don't make sense. If 
the references contain detailed information or further elucidation, then 
footnotes don't make sense.

k2
Received on Friday, 20 August 2004 18:20:16 UTC

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