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[css-gcpm] mostly editorial comments on footnotes

From: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2014 01:53:46 +0100
Message-ID: <306862809.20140130015346@w3.org>
To: CSS public list <www-style@w3.org>

Some comments on

CSS Generated Content for Paged Media Module
Editor’s Draft, 28 January 2014

1) content-list definition

"content-list = [ <string> | <counter> | <content()> | attr() ]+"

    A counter() or counters() function, as described in [CSS21]."

For consistency, maybe indicate the functional nature more clearly

"content-list = [ <string> | <counter()> | <counters()> | <content()> | attr() ]+"

(no strong preference, just makes it clearer in the content-list
definition that these are functions).

2) entry value and exit value

These terms are frequently used. They should be defined clearly in one
place which can be linked to (or, if defined in another spec, linked
to that definition and that spec added to the normative references).

In particular, for all properties that may also be used in non-paged
media, the definitions of entry value (at least) should be clearly
defined in non-paged contexts.

3) Requirements for Latin Text Layout and Pagination

This specification is referenced in passing (as a definition od
"complex object") but that specification is not in the list of
references. It should be added as a normative or informative reference
depending on how it is used here and subsequently.

4) footnote-only pages

  "unless the page contains only footnotes (as may happen on the
  last page of a document). "

this seems to conflict with

  "A footnote is created when such content moves to the bottom of the
  page, leaving a reference indicator."

because there would be no content to generate the footnotes. Or at
minimum, there would be the footnote call outside the footnote area.

Unless this is intended to cope with page-overflow of the footnote
area. Which could of course happen, and seems to be allowed by
but would not be restricted to the last page of a document.

5) Footnote counter

  "3. The footnote counter is incremented. "

I was not at first not seeing text that defines how the footnote counter is
initialized, and also whether it can be reset (for example for
per-chapter footnote numbering).

Suggest hyperlinking "footnote counter" in step 3 to

6) name of block footnotes

    each footnote element is placed in the footnote area of the page
    as a block element.

    each footnote element is placed in the footnote area of the page
    as an inline element."

Would it be correct to conclude that most footnotes are expected to be
block and thus, footnote (for brevity) rather than block-footnote?

Potential drawback, harder to add new types (column footnotes, etc).
block-footnote might be a better term, albeit longer.

7) footnote-call default styling

  "By default, the content of this pseudo-element is the value of the
  footnote counter, styled as a superscripted number. "

Could I infer then that example 9 is an addition to the default user
agent stylesheet?

  ::footnote-call {
      content: counter(footnote);
      vertical-align: super;
      font-size: 65%;

A problem here is that this seems to formalise faux-superscripts. This
is unfortunate, at a time we are finally dealing with faux-bold,
faux-italic and faux-smallcaps; Unicode has superscripted number
characters, and opentype features can be used to produce proper
superscripted numbers and other types of superscripted symbols.

8) footnote-policy: auto wording

  "A footnote body may never be placed on a page before the footnote

That sounds as if it should be normative, and testable. Thus, please
reword as

  A footnote body must never be placed on a page before the footnote

Best regards,
 Chris                          mailto:chris@w3.org
Received on Thursday, 30 January 2014 00:53:46 UTC

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