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RE: Footnote discussions

From: Bill Kasdorf <bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com>
Date: Fri, 6 Feb 2015 22:37:22 +0000
To: Matt Garrish <matt.garrish@bell.net>, Dave Cramer <dauwhe@gmail.com>
CC: Liam R E Quin <liam@w3.org>, "Siegman, Tzviya - Hoboken" <tsiegman@wiley.com>, Shane McCarron <shane@aptest.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: <CO2PR06MB57288DF4C78BEE2C25E6E3BDF380@CO2PR06MB572.namprd06.prod.outlook.com>
It strikes me that at the heart of this argument is that it would be nice to have three attributes:

--One for the structural semantics, e.g. "note"
--One for content semantics, e.g. "editor-note" or "translation" or "interesting_tidbit"
--One for presentation (which we've got, e.g., @class="footnote" or @class="endnote" or @class="margin_note" or whatever else you want)

Seems to me we're close to getting @role for the first one, but it also seems that we currently have to stick the middle one in one of the other two, or perhaps get into metadata, schema.org, etc. for that. Which really isn't that big a deal because frankly the middle one is seldom used except in note-rich books like textual editions. The structural semantics and the presentation attribute should fill the bill in 95+% of the cases anyhow.

From: Matt Garrish [mailto:matt.garrish@bell.net]
Sent: Friday, February 06, 2015 4:36 PM
To: Bill Kasdorf; Dave Cramer
Cc: Liam R E Quin; Siegman, Tzviya - Hoboken; Shane McCarron; David MacDonald; Robert Sanderson; George Kerscher; W3C Digital Publishing IG
Subject: Re: Footnote discussions

But I’m not suggesting that the author has no influence; that’s where I think we need stronger/better metadata. What I object to is that there is only one placement and that that placement is fixed in space for all time by the publisher. That’s only a necessity of print.

Capture the real semantics of the annotation, and placement should flow from there. If you capture that a note is marginalia in its role, then absolutely the default for any reading system should be expanded placement in the margin (agreeing as I mentioned earlier that this kind of placement is still largely a failure, unless you do fixed layouts). But I should still be able to override that intent.

And just to be clear again, my biggest issue is with foot/end notes being generally interchangeable. I’m not intending to suggest that foot/end notes and marginalia are the same beast, or that all notes must occur in using only one presentation. There are just failures in following print layout models in digital, and forcing notes off to a separate document where they can’t be dynamically compiled and presented easily with their content is one.


From: Bill Kasdorf<mailto:bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com>
Sent: Friday, February 06, 2015 4:18 PM
To: Dave Cramer<mailto:dauwhe@gmail.com> ; Matt Garrish<mailto:matt.garrish@bell.net>
Cc: Liam R E Quin<mailto:liam@w3.org> ; Siegman, Tzviya - Hoboken<mailto:tsiegman@wiley.com> ; Shane McCarron<mailto:shane@aptest.com> ; David MacDonald<mailto:david100@sympatico.ca> ; Robert Sanderson<mailto:azaroth42@gmail.com> ; George Kerscher<mailto:kerscher@montana.com> ; W3C Digital Publishing IG<mailto:public-digipub-ig@w3.org>
Subject: RE: Footnote discussions

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]
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.


Received on Friday, 6 February 2015 22:37:53 UTC

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