man.endnotes.are.numbered — Number endnotes?


<xsl:param name="man.endnotes.are.numbered">1</xsl:param>


If the value of man.endnotes.are.numbered is non-zero (the default), then for each non-empty[8] “notesource”:

  • a number (in square brackets) is displayed inline after the rendered inline contents (if any) of the notesource

  • the contents of the notesource are included in a numbered list of endnotes that is generated at the end of each man page; the number for each endnote corresponds to the inline number for the notesource with which it is associated

The default heading for the list of endnotes is NOTES. To output a different heading, set a value for the man.endnotes.section.heading parameter.


The endnotes list is also displayed (but without numbers) if the value of man.endnotes.list.enabled is non-zero.

If the value of man.endnotes.are.numbered is zero, numbering of endnotess is suppressed; only inline contents (if any) of the notesource are displayed inline.


If you are thinking about disabling endnote numbering by setting the value of man.endnotes.are.numbered to zero, before you do so, first take some time to carefully consider the information needs and experiences of your users. The square-bracketed numbers displayed inline after notesources may seem obstrusive and aesthetically unpleasing[9], but in a text-only output format, the numbered-notesources/endnotes-listing mechanism is the only practical way to handle this kind of content.

Also, users of “text based” browsers such as lynx will already be accustomed to seeing inline numbers for links. And various "man to html" applications, such as the widely used man2html (VH-Man2html) application, can automatically turn URLs into "real" HTML hyperlinks in output. So leaving man.endnotes.are.numbered at its default (non-zero) value ensures that no information is lost in your man-page output. It just gets “rearranged”.

The handling of empty links is not affected by this parameter. Empty links are handled simply by displaying their URLs inline. Empty links are never auto-numbered.

If you disable endnotes numbering, you should probably also set man.font.links to an empty value (to disable font formatting for links.

Related Parameters

man.endnotes.list.enabled, man.font.links

[8] A “non-empty” notesource is one that looks like this:

  <ulink url="">manpages</ulink>

an “empty” notesource is on that looks like this:

  <ulink url=""/>

[9] As far as notesources that are links, ytou might think it would be better to just display URLs for non-empty links inline, after their content, rather than displaying square-bracketed numbers all over the place. But it's not better. In fact, it's not even practical, because many (most) URLs for links are too long to be displayed inline. They end up overflowing the right margin. You can set a non-zero value for man.break.after.slash parameter to deal with that, but it could be argued that what you end up with is at least as ugly, and definitely more obstrusive, then having short square-bracketed numbers displayed inline.