[XeTeX] index' proofmode and ledmac (OT)

John Was john.was at ntlworld.com
Sun Jul 5 17:39:01 CEST 2009

I haven't been following this thread, but if you are reporting a manuscript 
which regularly has extended passages which for some reason you don't want 
to be seen as part of the main text, one option which sometimes works is to 
put these extended sequences in the text after all, but in smaller type, 
possibly surrounded by double square brackets [[ ]] (these should be a 
single character, not the two brackets I have typed here).  The textual note 
would just be e.g.:

Haec . . . fuerunt _only in B_

(Or if this is a frequent occurrence, just state in the preamble to the 
edition that small-type passages are found only in MS B.)   TeX copes well 
with the oscillation between say 10/12pt and 9/11pt text and readers 
interested only in the 'main' text can simply skip over small-type 

I don't know if this would work in your case, but certainly all options 
should be tried before deciding that you have no choice but to inflict 
page-long footnotes on the long-suffering reader!  That is not making the 
information easiliy available but rather _awkwardly_ available.  I've often 
typeset books with giant footnotes leaving just one or two lines of main 
text (a disease that afflicts philosophers in particular), but it's not a 
pretty sight and the reader's patience must often be sorely tried.  In the 
case of app. crit. I think an editor can give hrself the amount of laxity 
that is appropriate to the job in hand - if you have formulated a principle 
of presenting the textual evidence and you find that that leads to visually 
awkward results, then you have the option of coming up with a different 
principle that works for the particular text that you are editing.  (Hope 
this doesn't sound too much like Groucho Marx...)

If giant notes are absolutely unavoidable it may be necessary to abandon the 
convenience (which lies at the heart of TeX) of throwing all the information 
at the program and leaving it to get on with pagination.   You would then 
have to decide where the page-break would work, force the pagination at that 
point (\eject), and give the second part of the rogue footnote manually as a 
separate footnote on the next page: for this you would need to invent a new 
category of uncued footnote that doesn't advance numbered (or lettered) cues 
but just appears at the start of the footnote area on the page, just like a 
run-over note in any ordinary text.   I've been forced to do that with 
facing-page editions where I have to distribute the annotation manually 
between the left-hand text and right-hand translation pages, but it's a slow 
and tedious operation (try it with a thousand pages of medieval theology - I 
have!), and if you alter anything earlier in the text it could completely 
mess up your manual page-breaks.  So very much a last resort, I would say.

I don't suppose any of this helps!  But it might lead to some ideas that 
could work in the particular text you are wrestling with.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Florian Grammel" <grammel at gmx.net>
To: "Unicode-based TeX for Mac OS X and other platforms" <xetex at tug.org>
Sent: Sunday, July 05, 2009 2:17 PM
Subject: Re: [XeTeX] index' proofmode and ledmac (OT)

>>> Some of the footnotes in the critical apparatus are very long, a few
>>> even filling more than one page. If I understand ledmac's manual
>>> correctly (do I?) paragraphed footnotes can never be broken across  two
>>> pages.
>> Not a technical solution but as a user of critical editions I don't  like
>> very long footnotes interrupting the reading of the text. Why not  put 
>> your
>> long footnote / essay at the end of your edition in a 'Supplementary 
>> notes'
>> section with cross-references to the text.
> I'm afarid we are talking about two completely different concepts:
> The sort of footnotes I'm referring to, is the critical apparatus
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_apparatus
> of a scholarly text-edition, where the editor has little influence on  how 
> long the notes are getting. Endnotes/appendices are only an option  in 
> very few cases, as it is one main point to make all the relevant  textual 
> information easily available.
> Best regards
> Florian.
> ____________________________________________
> Florian Grammel
> Gentofte, Denmark

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