Theo Todman's Web Page - Notes Pages
Website Generator Documentation - Printable Notes
(Text as at 14/07/2019 20:29:46)
(For earlier versions of this Note, see the table at the end)
- Many of the pages in my website are made up of hyperlinked Notes, which are relatively small sections of text which themselves link to other Notes1, and so on. The documents that these interlinked pages make up are supposed to be viewed on-line, but I recognise that not everyone likes to read in this way.
- In particular, while this hyperlinking methodology is a good way of chasing up the details of an argument, while not losing sight of the big picture, it can also make it difficult to see the full picture – or at least the whole text.
- It is also easy to end up reading the same text multiple times if it is multiply referenced.
- Finally, it is also difficult to scribble in the margins of a web-page.
- So, printable versions will be required until technology for marginal annotation improves2.
- There are several parameters (explained below) that are accounted for in the file-name of the printed Note:-
- The depth of scan.
- Whether the Printed Note is archived3.
- Whether all inter-Note references are indicated.
- Whether Private Notes are printed.
- Whether Reading Lists are included.
- There are, in general, hyperlinks to an appropriate selection of printable Notes that satisfy these options at the appropriate section of the on-line Note – immediately after the in-page Footnotes4. Which appear is controlled by a table. The idea is that only relevant items should appear. There’s an “active” flag for each row on this table. Because the lower-level printable Notes take a long time to generate – and this happens each time the on-line Note is regenerated – I sometimes set them to “inactive” when a lot of activity is going on with the on-line Note. Hence, the lower-level printable Notes may be a little out of date on occasion.
- A straight print of a frames-based page5 only prints the first page, which is why most professional sites have printable versions of their pages to allow printing of the full document, and without the other frames interfering. My printable pages do this, of course, but the main difficulty is to print the Footnotes (pages hyperlinked to within the site: I don't make any attempt to print the results of linking to external sites).
- Footnotes: There are two categories of “Footnote” on my website, both already alluded to above:-
- In-page Footnotes: these are within a particular Note6, such as the one just illustrated!
- Printable Note Footnotes: these are prints of entire Notes (including their in-page Footnotes) that are referenced by other Notes.
- Printing all the Footnotes associated with the main Note precisely once in a sensible sequence is a particular challenge.
- This is firstly because (intentionally or otherwise) a referential loop may occur.
- Secondly, we don't want to print the same note more than once if it is referred to on multiple occasions (which is part of the point of having separable notes in the first place).
- Finally, we don't necessarily want to print Notes when they first appear, but in some sort of sensible sequence.
Depth of Scan
- To address the first of these problems, I have introduced a depth of scan, so that we don't loop endlessly.
- This also allows topics to be looked at in greater or lesser depth.
- Consequently, several printed Notes may appear for the same underlying Note.
- Also, where a Note in another Notes Group is referenced, I only print the Note itself, not its Footnotes7. This is to avoid the printed Notes ballooning with irrelevancies.
- Within the printable note itself, there are no “inter-Note” hyperlinks, though the links to external websites, to Authors and to Book and Paper Abstracts – and links within the reading lists – work.
- Secondly, I only print Footnotes once within any particular printed Note.
- There are two options.
- In the first, all the Footnote indicators appear as in the on-screen version as superscripts (subscripts in the case of private notes which don’t appear on the published website), but those that are duplicated refer forward or backward to where the Footnote actually appears.
- Since this can lead to a lot of clutter in certain circumstances, I have an alternative view whereby (for a Footnote that's "not printed here") both the subscript / superscript and the “Note forwarding Note” are omitted. There are then gaps in the sequencing of the superscripts. I’ve decided to leave this in to alert the reader to the existence of the omitted references. The alternative “all Footnotes showing” view can be consulted it required.
- The referencing convention is effectively the Tractatus standard, but with full-stops separating the level of references. So, the 5th Footnote on the main form appears as Footnote 5: (Title); the 3rd Footnote on that note appears as Footnote 5.3: (Title2); the 7th Footnote on that note as Footnote 5.3.7 (Title3); and so on.
- Deciding when to print a Note is an art in itself. Currently all I do is print the Note in the place in which it appears as high up the hyperlinking hierarchy as possible. I ought probably to take into account the fact that each Note has encoded a “Natural” parent, and print it below that parent where possible; but I’ve not done this yet.
- The Notes pages are dynamic. When the status of a Note is changed from “Temp” to Null, the previous version is archived and can be accessed by a hyperlink at the bottom of the Note. This version crystallises the view at that time (ie. all the Notes linked-to from that archived Note are the currently latest archived versions.
- The printable versions used to attempt to follow this pattern, but when I re-wrote the “Note Printing” processes, I didn’t replicate the function for Archived Notes.
- I may reconsider this decision in due course.
“Private” and other non-displayable Notes
- There’s a feature to not include a Note referenced in the printable version (by prefixing the Note ID by “NP”). Then, that Note and any Notes reference by it will not appear as Footnotes in any Printable Notes, unless they are referenced elsewhere in the tree without the “NP” prefix.
- There are two “privacy” systems in operation.
- The first allows me to flag a Note as private, in which case a polite message appears on the public site.
- The second method is to put the Note in a password-protected area.
- I have a flag that allows printed Notes to include or exclude “flagged as Private” Notes.
- I think a Note in the secure area would print if it were referred to by a Note from a non-Secure area.
- Some Notes have associated reading lists. These arise either because the Note (or a referenced Note within the depth of scan) directly references a Book or Paper, or indirectly via the association between the Note Title, and the Sub-Topic of the Books and Papers.
- A list of papers (together with hyperlinks to the Paper or Book summaries within the website is produced.
- This element is currently under development, as the lists (in author sequence) are very long.
- Currently, a reference appears if it is directly cited, or priority 1-3 within the first level of hyperlinking, or priority 1 below that.
- Consequently, I’ve allowed the Notes to be printed with or without reading lists.
- Note that all this is an on-going research project.
- I intend to check it out – and correct or extend the functionality – as part of my philosophical research project.
In-Page Footnotes:Footnote 1:
- They also link to Papers, Books and Authors, but this is not relevant to our present topic.
- Note that you can copy and paste my printable versions into MS Word and annotate those if you want to save trees.
- I have currently disabled “printable” versions of archived Notes as the functionality is very complex and of limited use.
- See the section “Archived Notes” later in this Note.
- As is illustrated for this Note, though there are few possibilities for wide illustration in this case, as this Note – so far – makes no reference to other Notes, and has no reading list!
- I’ve stopped using Frames in my website, as they are declared obsolete in HTML5. See html.com: Frames.
- But analogous features replace them, though I’ve not yet developed any software for this.
- In-page Footnotes also apply to Authors, and to Book and Paper Abstracts.
- By which I mean its referenced Notes, not its Intra-Note Footnotes, such as this one!
- I need to check how this works in practice for Supervisions and precis-Notes.
Table of the Previous 2 Versions of this Note:
Summary of Note Links to this Page
To access information, click on one of the links in the table above.
Text Colour Conventions
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2022