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Subject: Re: DocBook Annotations

/ Camille B├ęgnis <camille@neodoc.biz> was heard to say:
| Hello,
| On Sunday 13 February 2005 00:01, Norman Walsh wrote:
|> Annotations
|> -----------
|> This note proposes to add two elements to DocBook for the purpose of
|> annotations. The first, alt, is intended for simple, inline
|> annotations. Often these annotations are for accessibility.
| What bothered me at first sight was the semantic meaning to give to the 
| content marked as "alt".
| Could it be interpreted as "additional information to better understand the 
| content of the parent element"?

I think it could. I suppose we could call it "anot" or something
instead of "alt", but one of the most common use cases is (I imagine)
going to be for accessibility and lots of folks are used to calling
that stuff "alt text".

In private correspondence, Jeni Tennison pointed out that

  <acronym>ISBN<alt>International Standard Book Number</alt></acronym>

does "the wrong thing" if a naive user tries to get the value
of the acronym with

  <xsl:value-of select="acronym"/>

but I really don't know what we can do about that.

|> The 
|> second, annotation, is intended for larger, block annotations.
| Shouldn't this replace, at some point, elements like "footnote"?

Although I see the similarity, I'm opposed to replacing footnote. Yes,
a footnote could be considered a special class of annotation, but the
fact is, we have hundreds of years of experience with footnotes, and
we're all used to calling them footnotes. I imagine there are a lot of
authors that will use footnote without a second's thought that
wouldn't have any idea what an annotation was for.

                                        Be seeing you,

Norman Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com>      | Human beings, who are almost
http://www.oasis-open.org/docbook/ | unique in having the ability to
Chair, DocBook Technical Committee | learn from the experience of
                                   | others, are also remarkable for
                                   | their apparent disinclination to
                                   | do so.--Douglas Adams

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