Achim Gratz <strom...@nexgo.de> writes:

>>> If one intends to export his Org file to ODT, then nested footnote
>>> construction should be avoided like plague.
>> It isn't really supported in LaTeX too, but there are workarounds.
> There are always workarounds, but footnotes within footnotes aren't
> directly supported by any publishing system I know of, and with good
> reason.  A footnote, just like a marginal, is an expansion on the main
> text that can be skipped without loss of information (but maybe loss of
> detail).

That's what I thought before the OP request. Though, it appears that it
is a not so rare need. For example critical editions seem to use it
quite often.

> So whenever you feel that you need a footnote within a footnote, you
> could just as well have two footnotes at the original place.

I have never needed nested footnotes, so I feel like the Devil's
advocate but anyway...

Imagine a very large footnote, spanning over tens of lines.  You would
like to add a footnote next to a word in the middle of that
text. I suppose it wouldn't make sense to get out of that footnote and
be told there's another reference for a word you read many lines ago.

>> If such thing isn't possible, ODT back-end will ignore any footnote
>> contained in another footnote (i.e. whose genealogy contains an element
>> with an `footnote-reference' or `footnote-definition' type) and send
>> a message to the user.
> It would be better to not promote the idea of footnotes within footnotes
> and those who insist on using that construct should be required to
> explicitly request that feature and suffer the consequences.

Note that Org inherently supports nested footnotes.  Forbidding them
would be much like an artificial limitation.

I don't mind such limitation, but knowing that they may happen to be
useful, it's worth pondering if it really should be so.

> Much better would be if starting a footnote while within a footnote
> would simply open a new footnote and add the reference at the same place
> where the first one was opened.

That's a possible workaround I was talking about earlier. And it's
perfectly possible with the experimental exporter.  ODT back-end may
implement it.

That's mostly what I did with the LaTeX back-end. Nested footnotes
definitions are inserted right after the top level footnote definition
containing them.  Only footnotes markers are nested.


Nicolas Goaziou

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