Digressions (was: Footnotes)

Francois Stragier (stragier@email.enst.fr)
Mon, 29 Apr 1996 14:55:29 +0200 (MET DST)


From: Francois Stragier <stragier@email.enst.fr>
Message-Id: <199604291255.OAA25679@charpentier.enst.fr>
Subject: Digressions (was: Footnotes)
To: www-html@w3.org
Date: Mon, 29 Apr 1996 14:55:29 +0200 (MET DST)

Hi!

I received some comments about my proposol for footnotes and syntax
highlighting and discuss these here.

First, there is another similar proposal from Heikki Vesalainen,
that you can see at http://www.clinet.fi/~wes/popup.html.
Although the proposals are quite similar, I of course didn't know
this proposal existed. But there are some differences I'll talk
about later.


Syntax highlighting
-------------------

T. Joseph W. Lazio said that the LANGUAGE attribute is too close
from the LANG attribute. In fact I don't believe there could be
a misunderstanding, because the LANG attribute would be often
used, whereas the LANGUAGE one is only used in the <CODE> tag.
Another (bad?) reason, is that I don't see another attribute name :-).


Footnotes and pop-up windows
----------------------------

When I read (quite fast) the HTML 3.0 draft, I didn't see the line that
says that the FN elements should be rendered as popups. So my proposal
isn't really new.

But, these popup windows could contain more that text. Tables, pictures etc.
would be fine (for example: you click on a popup link and a table
appears, that contain a calendar:

                  +---+---+---+--
                  | S | MJ| Tu| 
                  +---+---+---+--
                  |   | 1 | 2 |
                  +---+---+---+--
                  | 7 | 8 | 9 |
                  +---+---+---+--)
                  
So referring this as a footnote is not general enough. Footnotes would
be a particular usage of this kind of links. Referring it as
a popup link is also a bad idea, as Carl Johan Berglund and Scott E. Preece
remembered me, because it supposes we have a graphical browser.

Note that the way I propose backward compatibility also allows any browser
(even braille or audio ones) to display the "popups", since they are
considered as links to names #xxx.

T. Joseph W. Lazio told me the FN element has never been implemented. Maybe
the reason why, is that there is no backward compatibility in it. And as
long the HTML 3.0 draft is only a draft, Netscape & alii may not want to
take the risk to implement it.

Yes, something like <DIGRESSION> would be a better idea.  

Last thing about the proposal of Heikki Vesalainen: I think the main
limit of his actual proposition is to put the content of the
DIGRESSIONs in a separate file. If the digression has to contain a
picture, the downloading time will be to important. I think
the content of the DIGRESSIONs must be in the same file as the
main document.

Thanks to the ones who commented my proposal (you can still have a look
at it at http://www-stud.enst.fr:8080/~stragier/English/html_ext.html.
I'll generate a new version after all your comments).

Francois

--
 Francois Stragier - stragier@email.enst.fr - http://www-stud.enst.fr/~stragier
 Snail: 212 rue de Tolbiac - 75013 Paris - France - Phone: +33-1-45.81.72.46