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

From: Alexander Savenkov <w3@hotbox.ru>
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 12:59:43 +0300
Message-ID: <1142678935.20030115125943@hotbox.ru>
To: www-html@w3.org, Jonas Jørgensen <jonasj@jonasj.dk>

Jonas,

> I hereby propose for inclusion in XHTML 2.0 a <footnote> element for
> marking up footnotes.
First of all, have a look at the CSS3 Lists Module [1].

> 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>
Secondly, *have a look* at the CSS3 Lists Module [1].

> 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.
Um, are you really sure you need those footnotes? Perhaps the book
style confuses you. A typical web-page doesn't necessarily need to
look like a book. There are other (more powerful) approaches on the
Net.

> * 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.
Only in case you're a hand-writer. And in case you don't know how to
deal with the automatic numbering.

> 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.
Good idea, but I doubt there's a need for a new element. See below.

> 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>
Check it out:
<p>There exists no element for marking up footnotes (a footnote
is a note of reference or comment at the foot of a page) in
the current XHTML 2.0 draft.</p>
Magic! Brackets are what you need. Otherwise you should have looked at
the <cite> element which if properly used does everything you need.

Links: [1] http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-lists

---
  Alexander "Croll" Savenkov                  http://www.thecroll.com/
  w3@hotbox.ru                                     http://croll.da.ru/
Received on Wednesday, 15 January 2003 05:03:52 GMT

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