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Site Tweaks: Footnotes, Content Alerts Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

30 April 2020

We've made a few small site tweaks this month we thought we'd report in one story. Not just what we did but why we did it. Not to avoid punishment so much as to take you behind the scenes of a major publishing enterprise as its gears grind on and on relentlessly.


In this case, we've succumbed to the implementation of footnotes.1

We run across these a lot in product announcements where some manufacturers make 1) outrageous claims and then back off them with a footnote or 2) merely clarify some obvious limitation or 3) site some trademark at the behest of the legal division.

All of which you can do without.

So our policy has been and remains to delete them, saving you the bother2 of navigating back and forth for nothing.

That asterisk refers to this aside, which may appear without the asterisk if no reference is required for the aside. But we hide them on smaller screens.

But after seeing footnotes used helpfully in a New York Times interview with Madelaine Albright, we thought we might employ a footnote or two in an editorial context now and then. The examples* in this story merely illustrate the concept without much utility but in our recent A Tiny Miracle, we put them to use for the first time.

Our implementation is designed for efficiency. You can ignore the things3 or hover over them to see a popup with the text of the footnote.

That works much like our text bubbles for the last update time on the main headline page or the link to our story counts there too. No navigation required.


For a long time missing parts of reviews in progress (some of which have taken over a year to appear) have bothered us. We never plan to take a long time to review something but sometimes we run into issues that require months to work either on our end or the manufacturer's.

We work with manufacturers when we find a problem, giving them time to resolve it with an update if that's at all possible. That makes reviewing a win for them, you and us.

In our multi-part reviews, the Table of Contents at the top right quickly gets you to the published parts of the review. But for the parts that have not yet been published, we just list the title, saving the link until the part is published.

No more.

That's just an example of an alert.

We now put up an alert to let you know the status of that part of the review. It's not terribly informative but it lets you know we haven't abandoned the project.

We never abandon a project.


The asides line up along the far right margin, an alignment we first used in our Datacolor color management series to accommodate a rather wide table for each product.

But we also used it in Katrin Eismann's Five Tips for Pleasing Portraits for her portrait. We very much liked the effect of that offset that somehow stayed in bounds. So you'll be seeing more of it.

That's it. Small, subtle improvements. Refinements, in a word.

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