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Re: footnote element in HTML

From: Matt Garrish <matt.garrish@bell.net>
Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2015 18:09:27 -0500
Message-ID: <BLU436-SMTP62E9789290CE35CF8C19FFA270@phx.gbl>
To: "Doug Schepers" <schepers@w3.org>, <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>, "David MacDonald" <david100@sympatico.ca>
That seems ideal to me. "Simple" solutions that don't do what people need 
are as useless as complex ones that can't be implemented, and only lead to 
hacks, like the perennial use of colours and borders to make distinctions 
that otherwise aren't possible.

Matt

-----Original Message----- 
From: Doug Schepers
Sent: Monday, February 09, 2015 5:50 PM
To: DPUB mailing list (public-digipub-ig@w3.org) ; David MacDonald
Subject: Re: FW: footnote element in HTML

Hey, folks–

I don't think this is an either-or situation. The charter of the Web
Annotation WG clearly states [1]:

[[
Serializations: one or more serialization formats of the abstract data
model, such as JSON/JSON-LD or HTML
...
As many annotations will be viewed (and even stored) in HTML, one of the
serializations of the data model may be in HTML (decorated with
Microdata or RDFa), and another might be in a format suitable for
embedding as metadata into media.
]]

When I drafted that passage, I had in mind the idea of a <note> element
(and <noteref> element) for exactly this purpose.

(Another use case, besides footnotes, is microblog content (like
Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.) that might be published as
"annotations" using the Web Annotation Data Model so they could be
shared and consumed more widely.

The Web Annotation Data Model might seem complex, but it's pretty simple
at its core. I propose that the resolution here would be that we draw up
a spec for an HTML <note> (and <noteref>) element, and define a 1-to-1
mapping between Web Annotation Data Model features and the markup
elements and attributes.

I started down this road (gently) by proposing an RDFa serialization of
the data model, but my real goal is to have a native HTML <note>
element, perhaps with a DOM API to add functionality. We could make a
very simple (but flexible) HTML serialization, so that the average
author could use the basic features for footnotes, and power users could
really express rich annotations.

David, you had some good ideas about the problem space; maybe you could
extract some use cases from your essay, and we could draw up a strawman
spec?


[1] http://www.w3.org/annotation/charter/#scope
[2] http://www.w3.org/community/openannotation/wiki/RDFa


Regards–
–Doug

On 2/9/15 4:19 PM, Siegman, Tzviya - Hoboken wrote:
> *Tzviya Siegman*
>
> Digital Book Standards & Capabilities Lead
>
> Wiley
>
> 201-748-6884
>
> tsiegman@wiley.com <mailto:tsiegman@wiley.com>
>
> *From:*David MacDonald [mailto:david100@sympatico.ca]
> *Sent:* Monday, February 09, 2015 4:07 PM
> *To:* Siegman, Tzviya - Hoboken
> *Cc:* shane@aptest.com; DPUB mailing list (public-digipub-ig@w3.org)
> *Subject:* Re: footnote element in HTML
>
> Please forward this to the group...my email is not on the list
> apparently... thanks...
>
> I think I need to take a step back and speak of the motivation to
> introduce a <note> element. From the perspective of the circle I travel
> in, web accessibility, we were looking for an elegant accessible, easy
> solution for johnny lunchbox web developers in academic environments
> etc. to create accessible endnotes and footnotes on their web sites.
> Currently, this can be done with anchors, but it isn't. But it IS done
> in MS Word documents, for the simple reason that it is easy, dedicated,
> elegant and accessible.
>
> I'm afraid that kicking this over the fence to annotations is going to
> make it more complicated and obscure that it is in an anchor tag, and so
> this would be a big disappointment for people who are looking at this
> from the perspective I mention above.
>
> Perhaps the publishing industry would jump on a specific type of
> annotation, and use it, implement it and solve the problem in those
> environments. I have no expertise in publishing, but I assume developers
> in those environments won't be too much different from those I teach....
> I'm guessing they largely ignore a new feature for annotations that
> requires them to bend there minds a bit and think about footnotes and
> endnotes as annotations.
>
> Like many of us, I've been around the standards world for quite a few
> years and I've seen many ideas that were quite theoretical fond there
> way into a standard, and not take root in actual practice, and I fear
> this direction would be one of them.
>
>
> Cheers,
>
> David MacDonald
>
> *CanAdapt**Solutions Inc.*
>
> Tel:  613.235.4902
>
> LinkedIn <http://www.linkedin.com/in/davidmacdonald100>
>
> www.Can-Adapt.com <http://www.Can-Adapt.com>
>
> /  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 9, 2015 at 3:20 PM, Siegman, Tzviya - Hoboken
> <tsiegman@wiley.com <mailto:tsiegman@wiley.com>> wrote:
>
> Hi Shane and David,
>
> We discussed the proposed HTML footnote element in today’s DPUB IG
> meeting. The primary question is that the Web Annotations WG is working
> on far more robust model to represent this sort of information [2].
>
> We’ve heard a lot of discussions of what a “footnote” is, but it
> certainly fits well within the definition of annotation:
>
> “An annotation is considered to be a set of connected resources,
> typically including a body and target, and conveys that the body is
> related to the target. The exact nature of this relationship changes
> according to the intention of the annotation, but most frequently
> conveys that the body is somehow "about" the target. Other possible
> relationships include that the body is an identifier for the target,
> provides a representation of the target, or classifies the target in
> some way. This perspective results in a basic model with three parts,
> depicted below. The full model supports additional functionality,
> enabling content to be embedded within the annotation, selecting
> arbitrary segments of resources, choosing the appropriate representation
> of a resource and providing styling hints for consuming clients.
> Annotations created by or intended for machines are also considered to
> be in scope, ensuring that the Data Web is not ignored in favor of only
> considering the human-oriented Document Web.” [3]
>
> Does HTML have a draft definition beyond the notes David assembled at
> [3]?  Why should HTML move forward with the addition of an element that
> accomplishes only a percentage of what the Annotations Data Model
> accomplishes?
>
> [1] http://www.w3.org/TR/annotation-model/
>
> [2] http://www.w3.org/TR/annotation-model/#introduction
>
> [3] http://davidmacd.com/blog/html51-footnotes.html
>
> Thanks,
>
> Tzviya
>
> *Tzviya Siegman*
>
> Digital Book Standards & Capabilities Lead
>
> Wiley
>
> 201-748-6884 <tel:201-748-6884>
>
> tsiegman@wiley.com <mailto:tsiegman@wiley.com>
>
Received on Monday, 9 February 2015 23:09:56 UTC

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