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Re: [css-gcpm] Footnotes as Regions

From: Håkon Wium Lie <howcome@opera.com>
Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2014 11:28:42 +0200
Message-ID: <21456.53706.950615.775610@gargle.gargle.HOWL>
To: Dave Cramer <dauwhe@gmail.com>
Cc: "www-style\@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
Dave Cramer wrote:

 > > I'd be reluctant to change the syntax; we have two interoperable
 > > shipping implementations that support the current GCPM syntax.
 > >
 > >   http://www.wiumlie.no/2014/tests/books/footnotes-ah.pdf
 > >   http://www.wiumlie.no/2014/tests/books/footnotes-pr.pdf
 > >   http://books.spec.whatwg.org/#footnotes
 >
 > That's certainly a concern. But the implementations are not quite
 > interoperable now. Prince uses @footnotes, and AntennaHouse (and GCPM) use
 > @footnote.

That's true, there are some wrinkles. Some have been ironed out, but
work remains; implementors are reluctant to change shipping
implementations.

 > One motivation for an alternate approach is that the current syntax is hard
 > to extend. The example of two footnote streams in CSS Books [1] uses float:
 > footnote and @footnote for one of the streams, and @area and flow: area()
 > for the other stream. 

The "float: footnote" syntax is there for convenience, but if you have
two flows of footnotes it would, indeed, make more sense to use the
same syntax for both. This is possible with named areas. I've added
one such example here:

  http://books.spec.whatwg.org/#named-areas

And repeat it here:

  @page { 
    @area fn1 { float: bottom; float-reference: page }
    @area fn2 { float: bottom; float-reference: page }
  }

  .fn1 { flow: area(fn1); counter-increment: fn1 }
  .fn1::call { content: "[" counter(fn1) "]" }
  .fn2::marker { content: "[" counter(fn1) "]" }
 
  .fn2 { flow: area(fn2); counter-increment: fn2 }
  .fn2::call { content: "[" counter(fn2, lower-alpha) "]" }
  .fn2::marker { content: "[" counter(fn2, lower-alpha) "]" }

In the formatted result, the named areas appear at the bottom of the
page; fn1 is floated to the bottom first and therefore appears below
fn2.

[a] From "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" by Lord Byron
[3] The use of uppercase "W" indicates great wisdom

 > The regions syntax feels like it will be easier to extend to many
 > situations--footnotes, sidenotes, pull quotes, and all sorts of
 > things.

It would be interesting to see how the above example, as well as the
other examples from the section on named areas would be written in a
regions-based syntax.

Cheers,

-h&kon
              Håkon Wium Lie                          CTO °þe®ª
howcome@opera.com                  http://people.opera.com/howcome
Received on Thursday, 24 July 2014 09:29:20 UTC

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