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Subject: Sidenotes


After reviewing a number of current and historical word processors and
formatting languages I can provide the following information on

What are they:
Look here (http://www.info.com.ph/~etan/w3pantheon/style/sidenotes.html)
for a CSS-based example.

Who has them:
At this point no major word processor has sidenotes although all can
simulate the effect using text frames. They can also be simulated using
CSS, XSL-FO (Paul Grosso please confirm this), PDF, etc. but not
explicitly declared. DSSSL put them in a category called marginalia
(Google it) and appears to support them. Interstingly the XSL
requirements document (http://www.w3.org/TR/WD-XSLReq) specifically
calls out sidenotes and marginalia but it appears they didn't make it in

My take:
Given that no major current word processor or formatting language
supports their declaration I would say we don't need to add sidenotes to
the open office specification. I would, however, like to reaffirm my
feeling that a more generic note element would give us more long term
flexibility than the current footnote and endnote elements.

-Phil Boutros
VP, Technology

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