[whatwg] Footnotes

Douglas Mayle douglas at openplans.org
Mon Dec 15 14:28:38 PST 2008

 From my point of view (working with wikis, and more specifically with  
the Xinha WYSIWYG editor) it's a use case I often run into for user- 
editable content.  Right now, we do all sorts of lovely things to try  
and keep our "magic" in place (backlinks, numbering, classes, etc.).   
It would be much easier if there was semantic support for footnotes in  
the first place.

As an aside <tongue in cheek/> I noticed the new aside element.  Isn't  
aside more of a presentational decision?  What's the difference  
between sidenotes and footnotes other than styling?  Would we be  
better off combining both use cases into a single element with an  
attribute to provide display hinting?  This would give more choice to  
user agents when it came to final display in constrained situations  
(mobile, print, screen readers, etc.)

Douglas Mayle
The Open Planning Project

On Dec 15, 2008, at 5:18 PM, Brenton Strine wrote:

> Maybe after having a few months to think about it some better ideas  
> will pop up?
> I'd like to see a dedicated way to do footnotes as well. I think it  
> would be worth having the discussion again.
> Brenton
> -----Original Message-----
> From: whatwg-bounces at lists.whatwg.org [mailto:whatwg-bounces at lists.whatwg.org 
> ] On Behalf Of Ian Hickson
> Sent: Monday, December 15, 2008 2:11 PM
> To: Douglas Mayle
> Cc: whatwg at whatwg.org
> Subject: Re: [whatwg] Footnotes
> On Mon, 15 Dec 2008, Douglas Mayle wrote:
>> I'm sorry to bring this up if the subject has been touched on  
>> before...
>> In perusing the HTML5 standard, I noticed that footnotes are still a
>> redheaded stepchild in the draft.  Given how many workarounds and
>> hacks are performed to create support for footnotes using standard
>> elements, is there any reason why there isn't a dedicated mechanism
>> for footnotes in HTML?
> The main reason is that we couldn't find any solutions that were  
> especially compelling. A more detailed response to the earlier  
> feedback on the topic is here:
>   http://lists.whatwg.org/htdig.cgi/whatwg-whatwg.org/2008-April/014485.html
> -- 
> Ian Hickson               U+1047E                ) 
> \._.,--....,'``.    fL
> http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _ 
> \  ;`._ ,.
> Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'-- 
> (,_..'`-.;.'

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