Everyone who installs and uses this plugin should read and implement this fix.
Many people are having a problem where after updating the Options for this plugin, it breaks and they get weird "a" characters instead of the proper footnotes.
I found the problem and fixed it. When using a special HTML character like the default one (the one suggested right there on the options page,
[ampersand]#8617;) it is RENDERED as the special character the next time the options page loads, and when you RE-SAVE THE OPTIONS, THAT IS WHEN IT BREAKS.
Developers can test this:
1) Go to the options page in a default installation
2) If the Backlink character is displayed as "[ampersand]#8617;" then click Update Options and proceed to step 3; otherwise:
3) Notice that the Backlink character is RENDERED as the little back arrow instead of being the HTML code for it!
(Note that I had to use "[ampersand]" instead of the actual symbol in this post here; WordPress.org forums converts it to the arrow character too, making it harder to illustrate the problem! Ironic.)
Now the next time you click "Update Options" it BREAKS the settings and leads to everything being a jumble of "a" and so on. Apparently trying to save the ACTUAL character in the database, instead of the code for it, causes it to choke.
On line 71 of admin_panel.php in the wp-content/plugins/wp-footnotes directory of your site, change the code currently as:
<?php echo $wp_footnotes_current_settings['backlink']; ?>
<?php echo htmlspecialchars($wp_footnotes_current_settings['backlink']); ?>