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RE: Footnote discussions

From: Bill Kasdorf <bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Feb 2015 21:43:10 +0000
To: Shane McCarron <shane@aptest.com>, "public-digipub-ig@w3.org" <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>, "david100@sympatico.ca" <david100@sympatico.ca>
Message-ID: <CO2PR06MB5729350F2232F44ECFEF2E4DF3C0@CO2PR06MB572.namprd06.prod.outlook.com>
At first glance that is sounding good to me. I particularly like the use of the role attribute to distinguish types of notes (not as much for the presentational issue, which @class addresses, but for differences in desired behavior that Liam articulated and I summarized earlier). I'd also love to have the attribute that would enable (when desired) opening the footnote inline like summary and details.—Bill K

From: ahby@aptest.com [mailto:ahby@aptest.com] On Behalf Of Shane McCarron
Sent: Monday, February 02, 2015 4:33 PM
To: public-digipub-ig@w3.org
Subject: Fwd: Footnote discussions

David says his emails are bouncing from the list.  No idea why.  Here is his latest.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: David MacDonald <david100@sympatico.ca<mailto:david100@sympatico.ca>>
Date: Mon, Feb 2, 2015 at 3:22 PM
Subject: Re: Footnote discussions
To: Bill Kasdorf <bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com<mailto:bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com>>
Cc: Dave Cramer <dauwhe@gmail.com<mailto:dauwhe@gmail.com>>, Liam R E Quin <liam@w3.org<mailto:liam@w3.org>>, George Kerscher <kerscher@montana.com<mailto:kerscher@montana.com>>, "public-digipub-ig@w3.org<mailto:public-digipub-ig@w3.org>" <public-digipub-ig@w3.org<mailto:public-digipub-ig@w3.org>>, "shane@aptest.com<mailto:shane@aptest.com>" <shane@aptest.com<mailto:shane@aptest.com>>, "matt.garrish@bell.net<mailto:matt.garrish@bell.net>" <matt.garrish@bell.net<mailto:matt.garrish@bell.net>>

Agree that the language should be <note> rather than footnote, which is the proposal to HTML5.
My thinking is that it would be an automatic 2 way link, and  therefore would not have to be embedded in the paragraph. http://davidmacd.com/blog/html51-footnotes.html

  *   Hyperlink to the note from the ref point in document, and a default option to return to the point of reference
  *   If there is more than one point of reference, the returning link would return to the point from where it was accessed.
  *   Hyperlinks back to reference can be turned off with an attribute setting if there are multiple links to it in the doc.
  *   Speculative feature: an attribute that allows the footnote to open in-line like the summary and details element right on the page where the reference to it is found.
  *   WAI-ARIA could provide new region roles for role="footnotes" and role="endnotes".


David MacDonald

CanAdapt Solutions Inc.

Tel:  613.235.4902<tel:613.235.4902>



  Adapting the web to all users
            Including those with disabilities

If you are not the intended recipient, please review our privacy policy<http://www.davidmacd.com/disclaimer.html>

On Mon, Feb 2, 2015 at 2:42 PM, Bill Kasdorf <bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com<mailto:bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com>> wrote:
Replying to a post from Dave earlier today.

Re: " This leads to content model problems, as often footnotes may have sectioning or block elements inside them (like blockquote, div, etc.) which are not valid inside paragraphs."

Bingo. I cannot think of a model we've developed for a client that does not have this requirement. Most have to accommodate complex content within footnotes, like <blockquote>s, lists, equations, or just simply multiple paragraphs.

Our typical strategy is to use this markup for the footnote itself:

<aside class="footnote" id="[id]"><span class="footnote-no"><a href="#[id of footnote reference marker]">[marker]</a></span> [content of footnote]</aside>

. . . which is typically placed after the end of the block element that contains the callout (because we can't put it in a <p>),

. . . and embed an expression like this in the text where the "callout" occurs (somewhat bulky, but it works):

<span class="footnote-marker" id="[id]"><a class="fn-ref" epub:type="noteref" href="#[id of footnote]">[marker]</a></span>

That provides the bi-directional linking and the ability to accommodate complex content in the footnote itself. Multiple references to the same note are possible but create difficulties in determining which of them to return to. But this is sufficient for the overwhelming majority of cases in our work where there is a one-to-one relationship between the callout ("marker," "reference") and the note itself. This is probably not robust enough, though, for a true W3C HTML5 solution, where the multiple-callout case would need to be accommodated.

The keys are the need for a "marker" (asterisk, superior number, whatever) and a "note": too often both of those things are referred to as "the footnote," which is Not A Good Idea.

A more streamlined and inherently semantic markup for all that would be welcome!

--Bill Kasdorf

From: Dave Cramer [mailto:dauwhe@gmail.com<mailto:dauwhe@gmail.com>]
Sent: Monday, February 02, 2015 10:32 AM
To: Liam R E Quin
Cc: Bill Kasdorf; George Kerscher; public-digipub-ig@w3.org<mailto:public-digipub-ig@w3.org>
Subject: Re: Footnote discussions

How the markup should look is an interesting question. Lots of "classic" XML/SGML vocabularies have a footnote element that essentially serves as both marker and reference:

<para>Call me Ishmael.<footnote><para>This is a footnote</para></footnote></para>

When rendered, the footnote element is moved somewhere, and a reference left in its place.

The PDF formatters Prince and AntennaHouse can do something similar today with HTML footnotes:

<p>Call me Ishmael.<span class="footnote">This is a footnote</span></p>

They use CSS to move the footnote and generate the references using CSS counters and some non-standard pseudo-elements:

span.footnote { float: footnote }
span.footnote::footnote-call { content: counter(footnote); vertical-align: super; }
span.footnote::footnote-marker { content: counter(footnote) '. '; }

This leads to content model problems, as often footnotes may have sectioning or block elements inside them (like blockquote, div, etc.) which are not valid inside paragraphs.

We've also run into problems with implementing footnotes using CSS regions. It's easy enough to move the footnote element somewhere else, but CSS has not defined ways of leaving markers behind to serve as the callout.

Separating the note and the reference has its own issues, as you have to essentially create all the links yourself, and it seems a bit arbitrary where to put the note content itself.

I'd lean towards having a note element that could be embedded at the point of reference, with a rather expansive content model. A noteref element would be optional, for the case where there are multiple references to the same note. But CSS would need to address the issue of leaving a reference when the note element was moved to somewhere else in the document. Such a pseudo-element (one possible proposal) would be more generally useful, with sidebars, images, and other such content.


Shane McCarron
Managing Director, Applied Testing and Technology, Inc.
Received on Monday, 2 February 2015 21:43:39 UTC

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