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Re[4]: Proposal for XHTML 2.0: The <footnote> element

From: Alexander Savenkov <w3@hotbox.ru>
Date: Thu, 16 Jan 2003 01:48:12 +0300
Message-ID: <1986280206.20030116014812@hotbox.ru>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
CC: www-html@w3.org


> On Wed, 15 Jan 2003, Alexander Savenkov wrote:
>> Again and again, why do you people need a special element to markup such
>> cases? http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-lists - see how Ian did that.

> The way I did it in the CSS3 Lists spec is to lie about the semantics of
> my document: I used the class attribute to change a paragraph from being
> part of the main flow of text to being a note (footnote/sidenote) element.
If it was me styling some paragraphs like this I wouldn't be lying.
As I already have said a piece of a text that you call
"footnote/sidenote" is just another <p>, <section>, etc.

At first it has to be asked: what do you mean by a footnote? If the
answer is "a piece of text in smaller font" then one would say
it's a matter of style. If the answer is "a piece of text outside the
'main flow'" then an explanation is required.

How often do people write paragraphs that are out of the context? How
often do they employ footnotes as a container for those thoughts? Being
out-of-context doesn't imply being a footnote. Some people would like
to see it in a subsequent paragraph, some - in brackets, some - on the

Thus, a new element for some specific "kind of thought" causes
disorder. In case it's in XHTML2 get ready for <lyricaldigression>,
<apropos>, <therefore>, etc. HTML is a general purpose language and a
<footnote> is too specific for it in my view.

> This is an abuse of the class attribute, as it means it cannot work with
> user or UA stylesheets (since class attribute values are non-normative).
Such an elegant explanation!

> I would very much like to have a note-level element. I do not know if we
> need different elements for sidenotes, footnotes, endnotes and so forth,
> or if we just need one element, <note>, which can then be styled as any of
> the above using CSS, but I do think that we need an element for this.

> I also think that notes should be allowed to appear anywhere, and be
> allowed to contain any Flow content.

> For example:

>    <p>
>     The cat
>     <note>
>      <h>The Cat</h>
>      <p>
>       The cat was still very cute, despite having:
>       <ul>
>        <li> lived many years </li>
>        <li> lost his right ear </li>
>        <li> fought many battles </li>
>       </ul>
>      </p>
>     </note>
>     sat on the mat.
>    </p>

> ...could be styled as:

>    note { content: footnote; } /* proposed for CSS3 */

> ...or:

>    note { float: right; border: solid; margin: 1em; padding: 1em; }

> ...or any number of other possibilities.
...Or just another piece of text in brackets. :)

  Alexander "Croll" Savenkov                  http://www.thecroll.com/
  w3@hotbox.ru                                     http://croll.da.ru/
Received on Wednesday, 15 January 2003 17:50:54 UTC

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