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Re: The benefits of footnotes in webpages

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2006 07:05:29 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <200608290605.k7T65T832172@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

> I have used a similar technique before, but have always used something like:
> <a class="footnote" href="#foo" title="footnote1">[1]</a>
> Using <sup></sup> gives me some cause for concern as, is this not,
> presentational markup, taking us back to mixing content with presentation?

In XHTML 2.0, you can replace the a element by a sup element, so I 
wouldn't abandon it that soon.  It is borderline presentational; 
there are other uses of sup that I would argue are less presentational,
as they form universal conventions in mathematics, chemistry, etc.
Note that the square brackets are definitely presentational, so, if you
reject the use of sup, because it is presentational, you should probably
reject the use of square brackets, as well.

On a more general point, quite a lot of thought has gone into footnotes
in Wikipedia (I don't mean a Wikipedia article, but rather at the meta
level, i.e. techniques for indirect references within articles), so some
one actively researching this should look at the techniques used there.
Received on Tuesday, 29 August 2006 06:21:31 GMT

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