Thank you for your suggestion to look into structured documents. It may help me with some of my issuses.
But I'm not sure what you mean when you say both are able to do what I'm asking. I'm quite sure that InDesign can't span the footnotes over columns (the span columns option doesn't work for footnotes). It can be done with some scripting involving much manual work, but I'm looking for a solution as flexible as the basic footnotes option. Please let me know how I can do it in a smoother way if it's possible, (maybe there's some plug-in I haven't heard of?). The same goes for multiple footnote types.
I forwarded this to Peter Gold, who is an excellent InDesign and FM resource. Here's his response:
For some inscrutable reason, I can't login to Adobe user forums, nor can I send email replies. '
Would you mind posting this reply to Simon's query in my behalf?
Harbs, the in-tools.com guy, is one bible-setter who might have some suggestions for Simon.
If you haven't posted this query on the InDesign forum, it's a good idea, because there are at least several folks who do biblical typesetting and composition. It's more than likely that they've tackled these problems and will have some suggestions. Also, you might want to use a more-specific subject line that statesthe core issue, biblical typesetting, to attract their attention.
Briefly, IMO, FrameMaker's still not as powerful a typesetter as InDesign. In the past, hard-bitten FrameMaker users used to refer to folks who labored in minutiae of typesetting control (tracking, kerning, baseline shift, optical margin alignment that puts wide characters that begin a line just a tad outside the left margin so they look "better") as "font fondlers." It sometimes got ugly, not just the type, but the collegial rhetoric.<G>
If I understand your questions correctly, briefly, perhaps this will be helpful:
* FM, like ID, offers only one footnote stream per document. However, IIRC, FM cross-references can capture footnote numbers, but ID cannot, so this might be a way to accomplish what you want.
* FM running header building blocks can capture "parent" variables like chaptername, chapternumber, volumename, etc. ID is more limited.
* FM text variables can wrap across line endings, but ID's cannot.