I hope I have the component right - this relates to <ref> and <references> tags.
There are two general types of problems:
- This doesn't work:
<ref name = "foo" />...
<ref name = "foo">www.foo.com </ref>
That is, the *definition* of the footnote absolutely has to be the first time
the reference is used. This is particularly awkward when later adding more
footnotes from the same source, particularly if one works backwards. Each time
you want to refer to the source, you have to both locate the current first
reference to that source, update it to the form without definition, then move
the definition up. More likely, you end up just duplicating the reference all
over the place.
- Long citations in the body of the text make the code pretty much unreadable,
especially compared to the previous template-based way of handling footnotes,
where the definition of the footnote was at the bottom of the page in the
- Allow references to refer to undefined footnotes.
- Allow some mechanism whereby a footnote can be solely a definition without
actually displaying anything at that point.
This would allow the following:
<ref name="foo" />
<ref name = "bar" />
<ref name = "foo">www.foo.com</ref>
<ref name = "bar" hide="true">Some really long citation that is best kept out of
the body of the text to improve readability. Only one footnote reference 
should be generated - up in the main body.
<references /> <!-- should contain definition for foo (referenced twice) and bar
(referenced once) -->