[Doc-SIG] Colons and footnotes (was RE: reST Wiki mode, was [Doc-SIG] Suggestions for reST "modes")

Tony J Ibbs (Tibs) tony@lsl.co.uk
Wed, 8 Aug 2001 11:06:57 +0100

David Goodger wrote:
> My reasons for no colon after a footnote label:
> - Footnote labels don't use colons in common usage.
> - To differentiate footnotes from hyperlink targets. Hyperlink targets
>   point to an internal element or an external URI; they "map" the
>   hyperlink name to the location. The colon is a mnemonic for
> "maps to".
>   Footnotes *contain* the information being referred to from
> elsewhere;
>   no mapping is taking place.
> - The brackets (in conjunction with the leading underscore) are enough
>   to signify the role of the footnote label. ``.. _[label]:`` would be
>   excessive.
> - Precedence from StructuredText.

All good reasons (you can tell there's a "but" coming, can't you!).

*My* reason for suggesting using them was, however, entirely orthogonal,
and was simply that it is one less thing to remember, if *all* hyperlink
targets start with ``.. _`` and end with ``:``. Now, this is convenience
for the author, so not necessarily our preeminent goal, but two of us at
least keep typing the things and then having to remenber to remove them
(so, two out of a scientifically selected sample of, erm, how many...).

How it is presented in output text is, of course, up to the formatter.

(hmm - I don't *really* see that [1]_ and 1_ are *that* distinct as
concepts - we've chosen to special case the [1] case, and we don't in
fact allow (for instance) (1)_ without backquoting it, but still)

Anwyay, on with the show - this is minor stuff (even if *important*
minor stuff)


Tony J Ibbs (Tibs)      http://www.tibsnjoan.co.uk/
"How fleeting are all human passions compared with the massive
continuity of ducks." - Dorothy L. Sayers, "Gaudy Night"
My views! Mine! Mine! (Unless Laser-Scan ask nicely to borrow them.)