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Re: Proposal for XHTML 2.0: The <footnote> element

From: Lorenzo De Tomasi <lorenzo.detomasi@libero.it>
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 01:12:33 +0100
To: <www-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <BA4A6600.2616%lorenzo.detomasi@libero.it>

on 15-01-2003 0:29, Jonas Jørgensen at jonasj@jonasj.dk wrote:

> 
> [This message is CC'ed to www-html-editor in accordance with what I
> believe is the official way to suggest new elements. Please don't CC
> www-html-editor on followups to this message.]
> 
> 
> I hereby propose for inclusion in XHTML 2.0 a <footnote> element for
> marking up footnotes.
> 
> Typically, footnotes in HTML are done using "[1]" (or similar) as the
> reference to the footnote, with the number linked to a paragraph at the
> bottom of the document. Here's an example of such markup:
> 
> <p>There exists no element for marking up footnotes[<a
> href="#footnote1">1</a>] in the current XHTML 2.0 draft.</p>
> <p id="footnote1">A footnote is a note of reference or comment at the
> foot of a page.</p>
> 
> There are several problems with this approach:
> 
> * When printed, the footnote will be on the last page instead of on the
> page containing the reference to the footnote.
> 
> * When copying text containing a footnote from one HTML document to
> another, you need to copy two pieces of text from two different places
> in the document.
> 
> * If you add a footnote in the middle of a document, you need to
> renumber the footnotes in the rest of the document manually.
> 
> These problems could be solved by marking up the footnote as a footnote
> and putting the footnote where it belongs, after the text that
> references it, instead of at the end of the document.
> 
> With a <footnote> element, the above example would become:
> 
> <p>There exists no element for marking up footnotes<footnote>A footnote
> is a note of reference or comment at the foot of a page.</footnote> in
> the current XHTML 2.0 draft.</p>
> 
> Additional advantages of this approach:
> 
> * Cleaner markup; easier to read and write.
> 
> * User agents can handle presentation any way they want. For example, a
> visual user agent might insert a footnote reference where the <footnote>
> element is, and display the contents of the <footnote> element at the
> bottom of the canvas when the reference is visible.
> 
> * Aural user agents can handle footnotes in a more user-friendly manner.

I think that this approach is very interesting. I was thinking to write
something similar and I must thank Jonas because he has written the same
things I would have written :)
I think that note is a better name, because I can place the note also on the
right or the left of the text.
The best is if with xhtml and css I would be able to do what I usually do
with pdf docs, where I write a text, I place an arrow [>] at the end of a
line that indicates the note on the right that starts exactly aligned  with
the line of text where the arrow [>] is.
Example:

The best would be if I can write
an xhtml strict doc with <note>
elements and with a css I can
handle presentation any way I
want. 
For example, I can insert a note
reference where the <note> tag
is, and display the contents of the
<note> element in a column on the
right, indicated by an arrow like
this one [>].                               This is the note
To do this I need css commands that         indicated by the
places the text in the <note> tag           arrow [>] on the
where I want with a position                left
relative to the <note> tag in the
text, in a column with a defined
width.
I should also be able to choose a
personalized symbol that links to
the note, like the arrow [>],
another arrow ->, a superscript
number, a number [1]...                     [1] This is the
What do you think?                          note indicated
                                            by the arrow [>]
                                            on the left

I know that this method requires attention because too much frequent and
long notes have no space, but it's very functional if well used, because it
permits a linear reading without forcing you to go to the footer of the page
or the end of the document. Soon I'll upload a pdf doc with an example of
this and I'll sendo you the link.

Thankyou for your attention.
____________________________________________________________________________
Lorenzo De Tomasi, student of Information Architecture, Interface Design and
Visual Design
via Bellaria 6, 21018 Sesto Calende (Varese), Italia
phone: +39 (0)331 924649
mobile: +39 329 3941065; +39 333 8979304
e-mail: lorenzo.detomasi@libero.it; lorenzo.detomasi@email.it
website: http://biografica.tzone.it
ICQ uin: 11313132
Yahoo! Instant Messenger id: tummait
Received on Tuesday, 14 January 2003 19:13:31 GMT

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