W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-digipub-ig@w3.org > February 2015

RE: Footnote discussions

From: Bill Kasdorf <bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com>
Date: Fri, 6 Feb 2015 22:28:08 +0000
To: Shane McCarron <shane@aptest.com>
CC: Dave Cramer <dauwhe@gmail.com>, Matt Garrish <matt.garrish@bell.net>, Liam R E Quin <liam@w3.org>, "Siegman, Tzviya - Hoboken" <tsiegman@wiley.com>, David MacDonald <david100@sympatico.ca>, "Robert Sanderson" <azaroth42@gmail.com>, George Kerscher <kerscher@montana.com>, "W3C Digital Publishing IG" <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <CO2PR06MB5727EFA47FFDD7BCF78F338DF380@CO2PR06MB572.namprd06.prod.outlook.com>
Of course. All I'm saying is that they're going to want to call a footnote a footnote. I am not trying to be funny, or difficult. And I totally get semantics. And I agree that there should not be a default presentation for a footnote. And I would love to have more meaningful semantics for types of notes (e.g., reflecting importance as Liam's original distinctions that started this thread pointed out). But good luck telling publishers they can't call a footnote a footnote, or that they can have only one kind of note. That's why I was coming around to the fundamental semantic being "note" and pushing the "kind of note" elsewhere (which I thought couldn't be anyplace else but @class, but if that can also go in @role, good).

From: ahby@aptest.com [mailto:ahby@aptest.com] On Behalf Of Shane McCarron
Sent: Friday, February 06, 2015 4:32 PM
To: Bill Kasdorf
Cc: Dave Cramer; Matt Garrish; Liam R E Quin; Siegman, Tzviya - Hoboken; David MacDonald; Robert Sanderson; George Kerscher; W3C Digital Publishing IG
Subject: Re: Footnote discussions

Which has very little to do with the topic at hand.  You can control literally ANYTHING in HTML / CSS.   This discussion is about whether there should be default presentation rules or presentation requirements.  I think that answer is clearly "No".  Because if there *were* such rules, they would be wrong for basically everyone.  Every publisher is going to want to have their own style.  It's important.  For me, for AT implementors, and for people who rely upon AT, the real issue is one of semantics.  Publishers need to mark up the content so it can be interpreted.  They also, and independently, need to make it pretty.  These are not conflicting, but they are orthogonal.

On Fri, Feb 6, 2015 at 3:18 PM, Bill Kasdorf <bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com<mailto:bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com>> wrote:
Plus frankly publishers just plain WANT to control these things and will not accept not being able to.

Doesn't mean the user can't override some things, but you can't eliminate the publisher's ability to design the experience (print or digital) as she wants.

From: Dave Cramer [mailto:dauwhe@gmail.com<mailto:dauwhe@gmail.com>]
Sent: Friday, February 06, 2015 4:02 PM
To: Matt Garrish
Cc: Bill Kasdorf; Liam R E Quin; Siegman, Tzviya - Hoboken; Shane McCarron; David MacDonald; Robert Sanderson; George Kerscher; W3C Digital Publishing IG
Subject: Re: Footnote discussions

On Fri, Feb 6, 2015 at 1:29 PM, Matt Garrish <matt.garrish@bell.net<mailto:matt.garrish@bell.net>> wrote:

It feels wrong to me (if you can't guess!) that in a digital world publishers should have a say in where notes appear and how. They should only be providing the context for rendering the notes and leave it to the user and their reading system to determine the most appropriate presentation for them. I don't even see this as an "accessibility" issue so much as a simple usability issue for everyone. We all benefit from better control of our reading experiences.

I would agree that "we all benefit from better control of our reading experiences." I would disagree with it being wrong for document authors to have a say in how notes, or any other element, is rendered. Allow users options? Absolutely. Allow users to override author stylesheets? Absolutely. But not to have a say? That seems extreme. Design is one way of communicating the author's intent to the reader. A given design might not work for all readers, but seems to be a worthwhile starting point.

Years ago we published a book by Stephen Colbert. Every paragraph had a marginal note (which would have role="snark" in a perfect world). The placement of those notes in relation to the text they comment on was important to the story. Making them endnotes or popups would not serve the text. I argued against releasing an ebook of the title at the time, because I didn't think we then had the technology to honor the author's intent.


Shane McCarron
Managing Director, Applied Testing and Technology, Inc.
Received on Friday, 6 February 2015 22:28:46 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Friday, 17 January 2020 19:35:55 UTC