[OT] Usage of U+00B6 PILCROW SIGN

Chris Angelico rosuav at gmail.com
Wed Feb 5 00:35:17 CET 2014


On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 10:18 AM, Terry Reedy <tjreedy at udel.edu> wrote:
> PS. I agree that the pilcrow appearing and disappearing is not pretty when I
> am not looking to use it. I happen to think that is it tolerable because it
> is sometimes useful.

Yes, it's not perfect. But neither are the obvious alternatives:

* Keeping the symbol there permanently looks weird, and also raises
the question of whether or not it should be copied to the clipboard if
you select a whole pile of content. (If it is, you get an ugly bit of
junk in your text, something that now (being unclickable) has no
meaning. If it isn't, why isn't it? It's clearly part of the text!)

* Making the whole heading clickable is a bit weird in terms of UI. It
makes this text a link to itself, where it looks like it could be a
link to somewhere else. I've seen other sites where headings are all
links back to their ToC entries (ie the top of the page, or close to),
which is also weird, and the fact that it could be either means that
people won't know they can click on the heading to get a link to that
section.

* Having nothing on the section itself does work, but it means that
finding a section link requires you to go back up to the top of the
page, figure out which Contents entry is the section you want, and
click on it. That's how I get section links from a MediaWiki site (eg
Wikipedia); yes, it's workable, but it would be nicer to have the link
down at the section I'm reading.

* Putting a fixed-position piece of text showing the current section
is way too intrusive. I've seen sites with that, and I'm sure it's
useful, but I'd really prefer something a lot more subtle.

All of the above are plausible, but none is perfect. So what do you
do? You go with something imperfect and cope with a few issues.

ChrisA



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