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Frank,
> > >well, current latex already has two for \footnotetext (one being the text
> > >and
> > >one being the number to use or \NoValue)
> >
> > I would rather have thought that the number should be taken from a counter
> > that was managed by the template itself, i.e., the template has one key for
> > name of counter to use and some of the keys which control formatting should
> > (indirectly) refer to this counter. This makes more sense to me, since
> > there is no point in having footnote numbers assigned in any other way than
> > in sequence.
>
>right, that would be the normal case, but you might want to allow to have via
>user manipulation offer to manually freeze the counter value. however in most
>cases the value passed would indeed be \NoValue indicating to use the internal
>counter.

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.

[snip]
> > On the other hand, I have now managed to come up with something which, if
> > it is to be handled by footnote templates, definately should become an
> > additional argument to the template. Consider the situation that a LaTeX
> > document containing footnotes is to be typeset as some sort of hypertext.
> > What is then the most convenient (for the reader) thing to do with the
> > footnotes? I would think it is to make links for them (click on the link,
> > get the footnote text on screen). The clickable area of a link in hypertext
> > is, by convention, longer than the one or two characters used for a
> > footnote number, and hence a footnote template that typesets footnotes this
> > way would need an additional "text to make the link text" argument.
>
>that is an interesting one.
>
>let's forget for a second the template side of this, how would you consider
>providing an interface for that on the LaTeX level?
>
>this is a serious \footnote[question]{Like this? which would of course be
>incompatible with the current interface.}

Perhaps. But I suspect that a more likely setup is that such linkfootnotes
would be handled by some special command (\lfootnote ?) and the ordinary
\footnote would make the number the link text.

>----------------------------
>
>here are two more which i was wondering if they should get included:
>
>- should refid attributes be passed as arguments, eg instead of the current
> custom in LaTeX which requires something like
>   \footnote{\label{foo} ...}
> pass a label  name via one argument to the template (how or if this is
> implemented on the LaTeX user front end would be a different matter)

Is this a grouping thing in current LaTeX? In general it seems to be
possible to handle at the user level command level, i.e., \footnote could
say

   \UseInstance{footnote} ... % Contains \refstepcounter
   \label{#n}

>- 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.

[snip]

Lars Hellström