The email edition of the Gentoo Weekly Newsletter (GWN) posts web and
email address as footnotes after the paragraph they occur in, which
often means that four or more extremely similar addresses may be listed
one after another with only a number to distinguish them, e.g.
> 18. http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic.php?t=31562
> 19. http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic.php?t=33841
> 20. http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic.php?t=33745
> 21. http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic.php?t=34174
It is not at all clear what these are, other than threads in the Gentoo
forums <http://forums.gentoo.org/>. When reading, it is possible to
totally ignore the footnote references and not realise there is an
webpage associated with what's being discussed, or to forget it by the
time you reach the footnotes, and have to have your thought process upset.
Apparently, this has its origins in the Debian Weekely Newsletter (DWN),
which does things similarly. No doubt, they, in turn, pulled it from the
tradition of publishing a bibliography in books and referencing them by
numbers, often with a smaller references as a footnote.. Being a paged
medium, footnotes always stand out in books, but are ill-suited to
emails, where the footnote will not necessarily be visible until after
the entire paragraph's been read.
However, every medium has its own way of publishing links to webpages
and the like: HTML shows them as hyperlinks, for example. In most media
where hypelinks aren't possible, especially in email, the tradition is
to include them inline surrounded by angle brackets, as with my URL above.
Is there any particular reason why the GWN does this, other than because
that's what the DWN does? Would it be possible to have it changed to the
clearer, more conventional method?
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