Bigfoot on the Main Page

Following up on my discussion of Bigfoot, there is one further aspect that I neglected in the first place: the handling of footnotes on the main page.

That is, my initial installation of footnotes worked perfectly well on an article page but did not work on the main page1.

Dr. Drang complained about the exact same issue in Twitter and some of his followers (including me) confirmed similar issues with their sites. Finally, the good doctor came up with an explanation of the phenomenon and a fix for his site.

I checked against Dr. Drang’s explanation but pretty fast came to the conclusion that his remedy is not applicable for my site, or for Octopress sites in general. After all, the markup generated for footnotes on the main page looked exactly identical to the markup generated on an article page.

The JavaScript part also seemed to be fine. So, what could be the problem?

In the end it turned out as the result of a simple quirk. I used to insert special markup2 into my articles that the site generator would process and that made the article view on the main page stop at a certain point followed by a button labeled “Read more”.

Of course, with this setup the actual footnote would simply not be available on the main page and therefore Bigfoot simply didn’t have a chance to fulfill its task.

Removing the markup solved the issue and, here we go, Bigfoot footnotes are also appearing on the main page. Admittedly, I never saw a big value in inserting the markup into the article source but there was also no real reason not to. This reason is now available and I will therefore never use that markup again.

  1. Just in case: the difference between an article page and the main page is that on an article page only a single article is displayed while the main page shows a list of the latest articles.

  2. <!–– more ––>