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Re: Footnote discussions

From: Dave Cramer <dauwhe@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Feb 2015 12:03:14 -0500
Message-ID: <CADxXqOxMFdVPikztJ1OLwNVx9pi1WO7tppzYXeeFtn3ms9euag@mail.gmail.com>
To: Shane McCarron <shane@aptest.com>
Cc: W3C Digital Publishing IG <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>
On Sun, Feb 1, 2015 at 11:05 AM, Shane McCarron <shane@aptest.com> wrote:
> The HTML Accessibility Task Force has asked me to try to get input from
DPub on the introduction of a footnote element (presumably for HTML 5.1).
This would be in the context of things like requirements, default role,
etc.  They are looking for this input in the next two weeks.  Is there a
way we could schedule some time to discuss it?  If, as I assume, that this
group has opinions.

There's a long history of proposals for footnote markup in HTML. Before
pursuing this idea further, we would do well to study this history, and
craft compelling arguments for why a new element would be needed.

A good starting point is Hixie's response to all sorts of emails on the
subject [1]. I'll just quote the beginning of the email, although I
recommend reading the whole thing:

On Mon Apr 21 05:19:25 PDT 2008 Ian Hickson wrote:

I haven't added any new markup for footnotes or end notes. Side notes
> without callouts in the main flow are possible with <aside>.

For footnotes and end notes there have been a number of proposals, such
> as the following (and variants on them):

>    text text <footnote> note note </footnote> text text

   text text <a href="#fn1" target=footnote>1</a> text text
>    <footnote id=fn1> note note </footnote>

   text text <a href="#fn1" rel=footnote>1</a> text text
>    <div id=fn1> note note </div>

   text text <fn xref=fn1/> text text
>    <footnote id=fn1> note note </footnote>

   text text <ref to=fn1>fallback> text text
>    <footnote id=fn1> note note </footnote>

> None of these are really compelling, in my opinion. None have the
> "awesome" factor that really makes it likely that UAs will ever implement
> them well. None are especially compellingly better than the currently
> available options:

   <span title="note note">text tex text text</span>

   <p>text text</p>
>    <aside> note note </aside>
>    <p>text text</p>

   text text <a href="#fn1" id="r1" class="footnote">1</a> text text
>    <div id=fn1><a href="#r1">&uarr;</a> note note </div>

I have added a section showing examples of how to use these.


Received on Tuesday, 3 February 2015 17:03:41 UTC

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