Taking a closer look at both my syntax and use-cases of footnotes in posts¹ revealed that a post glossary would suffice in many instances.
In reviewing my #100DaysOfIndieWeb footnotes, I found:
1. citations in reference to “since” a date (or year)
2. citations providing deeper points beyond the definition of a term
3. citations substantiating a point or assertion
4. citations to an earlier post providing context for a term, phrase, summary
5. links to the #IndieWeb community site for a definition of a term or phrase
6. links to a Wikipedia article that defines a term in a section
7. links to open source software defining a function
The latter three (5,6,7) make more sense as part of a post glossary rather than references footnotes. Using a post glossary in previous #100DaysOfIndieWeb posts would have reduced the need for footnotes, in some case up to half of them per post.
There’s one more silent use-case which helped inform when I would use those (5,6,7):
8. implicit absence of linking/defining jargon where a Wikipedia look-up would suffice
This analysis led me to a five-step if/else for when/how to add a term to a post glossary:
When I use an unobvious (like jargon) term or phrase in prose:
1. If looking it up literally in Wikipedia (prepending it with https://enwp.org/) provides the meaning I intend (e.g. https://enwp.org/jargon), then do nothing with it and trust readers will look it up if they need to.
2. Else if an unobvious Wikipedia link would convey the intended meaning (e.g. to another page or a specific section), then add that to a glossary
3. Else if the IndieWeb wiki definition conveys the intended meaning (and is expected to in the future), then add an IndieWeb wiki link to a glossary
4. Else if there is an open source software or other reliable reference that conveys the intended meaning (and is expected to in the future), then add a link to that to a glossary
5. Else define the term in a glossary entry, and contribute that somewhere I can link to in the future.
In my previous post¹ I also used a glossary syntax resembling common print conventions:
term or phrase on its own line without punctuation
space-indented link to a defining page, or inline definition, or both
This pattern (when repeated with two or more adjacent instances) looks like it may be detectable for auto-markup with HTML definition (description) list <dl>, term <dt>, and details <dd> elements. Perhaps as part of existing auto-markup code.
For fallback handling in syndication destinations that remove² HTML definition related elements, I’ll likely still have to include explicit linebreaks & spaces to preserve that presentation, perhaps marked-up to style them to remove their spacing when in the context of the HTML definition elements.
I have started a glossary page on the IndieWeb wiki with some of these thoughts:
This is day 29 of #100DaysOfIndieWeb #100Days
← Day 28: https://tantek.com/2023/036/t1/footnotes-unicode-hyperlink
→ Day 30: https://tantek.com/2023/043/t1/footnotes-unicode-links
code to automatically add markup to text that implies a semantic or to preserve meaningful spaces like https://indieweb.org/auto-space
HTML definition list