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Re: footnote element in HTML

From: David MacDonald <david100@sympatico.ca>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2015 07:52:46 +0100
Cc: "shane@aptest.com" <shane@aptest.com>, "DPUB mailing list (public-digipub-ig@w3.org)" <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>
Message-Id: <BLU436-SMTP221E7C050F445E95F199DCCFE270@phx.gbl>
To: "Siegman, Tzviya - Hoboken" <tsiegman@wiley.com>
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.

David MacDonald
CanAdapt Solutions Inc.
Tel:  613.235.4902
LinkedIn <http://www.linkedin.com/in/davidmacdonald100>
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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/ <http://www.w3.org/TR/annotation-model/>
[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/annotation-model/#introduction <http://www.w3.org/TR/annotation-model/#introduction>
[3] http://davidmacd.com/blog/html51-footnotes.html <http://davidmacd.com/blog/html51-footnotes.html>





Tzviya Siegman

Digital Book Standards & Capabilities Lead


201-748-6884 <tel:201-748-6884>
tsiegman@wiley.com <mailto:tsiegman@wiley.com>

Received on Tuesday, 10 February 2015 06:52:56 UTC

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