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Lars,

 > A technical case where I later realized it might be needed is that of
 > footnotes saved for later typesetting by the template. In that case the
 > number has already been assigned.

true. this together with the fact that a template for LaTeX footnotes should
probably (at least if wanted) support features already in 2e, suggests that
one argument to the template should in fact be a supplied number for the
footnote.

 > >- more something to solve a technical problem (because it is rather difficult
 > >  in TeX): have one argument that is a boolean and states that the current
 > >  footnote is one in a row of footnotes which belong together
 > >  example:
 > >
 > >  text text\footnote{first}\footnote{second}
 > >
 > >in most case this would be supposed to come out as
 > >
 > >            1, 2
 > >  text text
 > >
 > >and not as
 > >
 > >            12
 > >  text text
 > >
 > >as it would in current LaTeX.
 >
 > This is an interesting one! It touches another difficulty regarding link
 > footnotes, namely that there may be punctuation which should be placed
 > between the text made a link and the footnote number. Anyway, I think the
 > boolean Frank suggests here should definately be an argument of footnote
 > templates.

okay, i've convinced myself too that this boolean would be useful whether or
not it is passed onto the user syntax level (instead one could think, for
example, of extending xparse to be able to check for a certain command
following and if so setting such a boolean)

so for me the current working definition of the template types related to
footnotes would look like this:

  Type: notemark

  Args: boolean         true if followed by another notemark
        integer/NoValue value to produce the mark, if NoValue internally
                        generate the number by incrementing a counter whose
                        name is supplied by the template

  Type: notetext

  Args: integer/NoValue value to produce the mark in front of the note text;
                        if NoValue use the current value of a counter provided
                        by the template
        text            text of the note


Current LaTeX2e definitions would then become

\DeclareUserCommand \footnotemark { o }
  { \UseInstance {notemark}{footnote} \BooleanFalse {#1} }
\DeclareUserCommand \footnotetext { o m }
  { \UseInstance {notetext}{footnote} {#1} {#2} }
\DeclareUserCommand \footnote { o m }
  { \UseInstance {notemark}{footnote} \BooleanFalse {#1}
    \UseInstance {notetext}{footnote} {#1} {#2} }

and extended versions could make use of the boolean which is above always set
to false.

this does not take into account the thoughts on specifying textual areas for
links if the document is typeset for display on the web or more generally in a
hypertext environment.

did anybody have some additional thoughts on what one would like to be able to
specify in a document for an individual footnote? (remember the question is
not what formatting should be applied to all footnotes, for this the actual
templates will have attributes, the question is whether or not that is varying
data that one would like (sometimes) pass to a single instance of a footnote
(or note in general)

frank