This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.

Monday, March 10, 2014

You're Doing Web & eBook Footnotes Wrong

The Problem

Most web pages that have footnotes blindly mimic paper and put them at the bottom of the page, jumping the user to the footnote when clicked on:

Picking on Paul Graham's footnotes
This is silly for many reasons. First, computer screens aren't paper; they can easily accordion open and show extra information based on user intent. Second, they cause a user to lose context while reading an article, forcing them to jump away from what they are doing; this is annoying.

While the link text isn't a single character superscript, it could be -- I prefer what you've been doing in recent posts like to the footnotes shown in this one -- former are linkable, and aren't modal. But but both have one disadvantage relative to footnotes at bottom--unexpanded, in-page search doesn't search them. Is there any workaround for this?
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