Linknotes plugin

Through Craig’s site I came across a plugin which allows you to make links in your blog posts appear like footnotes – the plugin is called Linknotes and was coded by Jeremy Curry.

Installation is a snap (as you’d expect from any WordPress plugin) but usage is a little clunky, compared to normal links (simply click on the Link quicktag in the Write Post page and enter the uri) whereas in the Linknotes plugin you have to format your text appropriately. Someone left a comment on Jeremy’s site to say he had made a Quicktag for the plugin – if I can find out how he did, I’ll post that here as well.

To see how this works – I have rewritten my first paragraph above using the plugin:
Through Craig’s site :”Craig’s site”: I came across a plugin which allows you to make links in your blog posts appear like footnotes – the plugin is called Linknotes :”Linknotes”: and was coded by Jeremy Curry.

I found Podz tutorial on how to make Quicktags here :”here”: and made my own Quicktag for this plugin – now it works really well!

What do people prefer – links within the text or Linknote links?

I just got an email from Jeremy, the developer of Linknotes:

I just added quicktags to the plugin, and it doesn’t require you to replace, or edit any files. Just download v0.3. Thanks for comments, and I hope you like the plugin!

Good job Jeremy, thanks for responding so quickly. I downloaded v0.3 as advised and while the buttons appear, they don’t appear to function for me πŸ™

16 thoughts on “Linknotes plugin”

  1. Tom

    That’s the plugin I was looking for I think πŸ™‚
    I’ll have a go at it later this evening when I get home from work


  2. It looks nice. However I am not yet convinced on the value by this additional layer of indirection other than to ensure the user remains longer on the site πŸ˜‰

    Such indirection is necessary for books etc. But on web we can simply link.

  3. What possible use is this other than to annoy people? The only use I can see is to add a more desciptive text to the link that wouldn’t fit in the main text. In that case why wouldn’t you just use the title attribute of the anchor?

    I can’t be alone in my browsing habit of middle-clicking interesting-looking links as I come to them without disturbing the flow of my reading. Why should people have to jump around the page to find a link that can be embedded right in the text?

    Michele: Your post is just plain wrong. “Links and references take up more space and prominence than the content itself.” Links take up no more room than unlinked text. Those little floaty numbers take up additional room.

  4. Rory and Angsuman,

    the reason for a plugin like this for me is not to annoy the reader nor is it to keep them on the site longer Angsuman, rather it is to group all the links together at the end of the article, like the footnotes of a book or bibliography of a scientific paper.

    The superscripted numbers are themselves links to the articles Rory so they can be middle-clicked, as before.

    However, as overall feedback seems to be negative, I may roll back on my use of Linknotes.

  5. Tom: Sorry, I didn’t even check where those links were pointing, I just assumed they linked to the foootnotes. That in itself might indicate a problem, since it means the behaviour of the page doesn’t match the user model. Ok, so it’s not a hinderance to browsing but I’m still not seeing the point.

    Michele: “Links take up no more room than unlinked text. Those little floaty numbers take up additional room.” What part of that is an opinion?

  6. I like it, but I think I will stick with standard linking. If you wanted something like this for a targetted subject blog, it would be useful for longer posts.

  7. @Rory
    I think you might be right – the expected behaviour of clicking on the numbers would be that you would be brought to the relevant footnote. The actual behaviour is better (more like a standard blog link) but it is unexpected – because of this I am reverting.

    The point of the plugin is to make blog posts appear more like books with footnotes or scientific articles with bibliographies – it lends them an air of credibility.

  8. I just wanted a plugin to try out a concept I had. Only after it was done by Jeremy (Thanks a bunch, J!) was I even able to test out how it actually worked and how it may actually affect myself and my readers.

    While a good number of folks are browser-savvy, and use the middle-click option to open links in a new tab in the background, a LOT of people are not. My online friends tend to be very computer and browser-literate while most of my corporeal friends are not.

    Please, let’s not turn this kind of thing into a debate. I put out a moose call, which Jeremy answered out of a spirit of giving and good will. That’s how things change and improve. Some ideas work for some people, while others don’t. I get frustrated when some people cheapen what was really a favour a complete stranger did for me out of the kindness of his heart and make an issue that was never meant to be.

  9. Craig: Usability for the non-Web savvy is an important concern. But links are a fundamental aspect of Web use, and I don’t think changing how they are presented on a few blogs is going to be of any use to anyone. They’ll still have to learn how they work on all the other sites on the Web. In this case I think consistency is paramount.

    Having said that, my only issue is with the links as they are displayed in the text, since they imply a behaviour different to their actual effect. The collection of links at the foot of the post seems potentially useful. What iff the links in the text were displayed as normal (ie. the whole word or phrase as the hyperlink), but were accompanied by an unlinked superscripted index referring to the footnotes? The footnote links could stay the same. That would provide the link collection in the foot but solve the presentation issue in the text.

  10. Rory,
    I was thinking that same thing…and what I like about this kind of process is how the ideas and methods evolve. Somebody has to take the first step forward. I just wish that people weren’t so eager to get all huffy about stuff, (and I’m not saying you did or are doing that right now.) The exchange of ideas, and some trial and error are importand tools in the open source trade!

    Thanks for your comments, Rory.

  11. Hey guys,
    Lots of discussion going on, eh? (I said that before, and both times I’m not implying that its bad discussion) Well, I just want to say, whether Linknotes is good or bad, its just been an experiment for me. Lotsa fun too. Its taking a look at what can be done with footnotes, and linknotes, and how people use it. I never expected Chris J Davis to use it the way he had, but it affected the way Linknotes can be used now.

    I want to just address some things that have been said earlier, and I didn’t comment on. Originally, the reason I changed the link in the superscript to the actual site address was because some aggregators take out some of the essential attribute that make the linknote jump possible (the ID attribute ), and of course, if you just left click it, you jump to the linknotes. The middle button thing was just an unexpected bonus.

    In the latest version, I actually have made it possible to make footnotes with or without links attached to them. I think that the original intended use of Linknotes is majorly flawed in most areas. To linknote your whole post, especially with MANY link is a little ridiculous.

    But I think it can be helpful for things that need more clarification, or if there are resources that can be helpful that aren’t directly related. I wouldn’t suggest using linknotes, just for the sake of using it, like others and I have been. Use them wisely in conjunction with regular in line links, for the best balance (if you use them at all).

    One fellow let me know that Linknotes was REALLY helpful to him because he puts scripture passages in his entries, and this allows him to link to a Bible Online. For anyone who has read the Bible, the footnote idea isn’t new, and they often send you around to other parts of the Bible.

    Any way, lots of good discussion, I’m going to keep moving forward with trying to make linknotes more friendly, and experiment with it. If you have other ideas, just go and do it, experiment!

    (wow, this is long… Tooo long for me to go and edit…)

  12. I think there is a strong value to this footnotes/Linknotes in a post idea. Footnotes or Linknotes could also be used simply to post additional thoughts that would be disruptive in the midst of a post. They don’t always have to be about linking, though that’s a handy thing.

    Here’s a really pretentious odd thought that might get me some mocking … but I’d like to see an additional capability to have a bibliography in a post that shows up _after_ the footnotes, just like in a scholarly research paper. I don’t know if there would need to be separate footnote and bibliography plugins that would work together to accomplish this or if it could be wrapped up in one package. I’ve been googling around for such a thing but haven’t found it. If it already exists, I’d appreciate if someone could show me the way to it.

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