[whatwg] Footnotes, endnotes, sidenotes

Håkon Wium Lie howcome at opera.com
Tue Oct 31 08:53:04 PST 2006

Also sprach David Walbert:
 > On Oct 31, 2006, at 9:30 AM, James Graham wrote:
 > > I think and distinction between footnotes, sidenotes and endnotes  
 > > is basically presentational and whilst we should try to ensure that  
 > > markup+CSS can create all three appearances we shouldn't treat them  
 > > distinctly.
 > Footnotes and endnotes are identical in content in the context of a  
 > print document and I am not certain how they'd differ even  
 > presentationally on a web page, so yes, I think those can be  
 > considered identical in terms of markup.

I agree. W3C recently published a proposal on how to achieve
footnote/endnote presentations using the same markup [1]. The proposal
is quite simple. Given this markup:

  <div class=note>..</div>

you would achieve footnoes with:

  .note { position: footnote }

ane endnotes with:

  .note { position: endnote }

Comments welcome.

 > "Sidenotes," though, is ambiguous. If the term refers to footnotes  
 > that happen to be placed beside the text, then yes, they're identical  
 > semantically to footnotes. But "sidenotes" may also refer to "pull  
 > quotes" or "callouts" -- some small piece of text to be highlighted  
 > rather than additional explanatory information of the sort that would  
 > appear in a sidebar or footnote.

Bert and I used sidenotes extensively in our CSS book [3]. The book
was written in HTML and we used negative margins to achieve the
effects we wanted. Here's some sample code [4], as well as an article
describing the efforts [5].

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/2006/WD-css3-gcpm-20060919/#footnotes
[3] http://www.awprofessional.com/bookstore/product.asp?isbn=0321193121&rl=1
[4] http://people.opera.com/howcome/2005/ala/sample.html
[5] http://www.alistapart.com/articles/boom


              Håkon Wium Lie                          CTO °þe®ª
howcome at opera.com                  http://people.opera.com/howcome

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