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RE: Footnote discussions

From: Bill Kasdorf <bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Feb 2015 19:16:34 +0000
To: Liam R E Quin <liam@w3.org>
CC: George Kerscher <kerscher@montana.com>, "public-digipub-ig@w3.org" <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <CO2PR06MB57260A1DFD672672242C134DF3C0@CO2PR06MB572.namprd06.prod.outlook.com>
Liam's distinctions are key (although publishers don't always use these things those ways consistently).

His three categories really suggest these three distinct behaviors typically associated with (in order) sidenotes/marginal notes, footnotes, and endnotes:

--Immediately evident ("visible") without any user action required

--Immediately available on request without leaving the present location ("glance to the bottom of the page," "click to pop up note")

--Available to be consulted at a separate location (ideally with the ability to return to where you left from)

We have historically (being limited to print) put those things in the margin, at the foot of something, or at the end of a chapter or book, hence the constructs "margin note/sidenote," "footnote," and "endnote."

--Bill Kasdorf

-----Original Message-----
From: Liam R E Quin [mailto:liam@w3.org] 
Sent: Sunday, February 01, 2015 8:40 PM
To: Bill Kasdorf
Cc: George Kerscher; public-digipub-ig@w3.org
Subject: Re: Footnote discussions

On Sun, 1 Feb 2015 19:15:42 +0000 Bill Kasdorf <bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com> wrote:

> Fundamentally, in publishing, "footnote" has a specifically positional implication (which I'm sure those reading this will think, as I do, that that is really a rendering/presentation issue). It is always at the bottom of something.

For me what is important is that
(1) footnotes are always visible on a printed page, so you can see at a glance
    whether you want to read them. This obviously only for sighted readers.

(2) endnotes are used either because they're cheaper to produce than footnotes (not
    really true these days but can be true of a photographic reprint where you
    can't reflow the text to make room for new notes) or because you expect most
    readers won't want them. In some cases they're used because they are too
    lengthy and disrupt the page.

(3) marginalia are there because you need to see them at a glance right next to
    the text -- sometimes because they are part of wayfinding as someone searches
    (visually) through a text, sometimes because the cross-references are too
    frequent for footnotes to be comfortable.

As Bill notes, many books incorporate all three, and also have multiple streams of footnotes active.

For an ebook one still might want to be able to see footnotes if the screen is large enough, without having to activate anything or go anywhere -- in particular you should be able to see both the note and the text referencing the note at the same time.

I have a bunch of footnote examples at
http://www.w3.org/Style/XSL/Group/2008/06/footnote-examples/
which I could make public if wanted, but participants in this IG should already be able to see them at least.


--
Liam Quin - XML Activity Lead, W3C, http://www.w3.org/People/Quin/ Pictures from old books: http://fromoldbooks.org/
Received on Monday, 2 February 2015 19:17:03 UTC

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