[whatwg] Footnotes

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Mon Dec 15 15:32:26 PST 2008

On Mon, 15 Dec 2008, 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.

If anyone has any proposals that address the issues listed in:


...then by all means, please do bring them up on the list. I'd love to 
have a better solution to footnotes than we have now.

On Mon, 15 Dec 2008, Douglas Mayle wrote:
> 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.)

<aside> says nothing about presentation, it's purely a semantic construct. 
It marks up sections that are not part of the main text. This is the kind 
of text that is written in green text in the HTML5 spec itself, for 
instance, or that is written in sidebars in magazines, or in popup windows 
in some applications.

The difference between <aside> and a footnote/endnote is that the latter 
have a placeholder in the main text. Right now the only way we have of 
doing that in HTML is <a href="#foo"> with id="foo".

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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