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I wrote this sentence

There would be no difference between the features defined for a node in the footer and a node in the sidebar.

However the complete sentence could be

There would be no difference between the features defined for a node in the footer and the features defined for a node in the sidebar.

Are the two sentence equivalent? which is preferred? In general how can I shorten a sentence including a conjunction and avoid repeating some words.

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The first sentence is correct, the part that you highlighted in bold in your second sentence is what was elided in the first sentence. Both sentences are perfectly correct, and the first one is just fine. I doubt it could cause any confusion.

There would be no difference between the features defined for a node in the footer and a node in the sidebar.

However, if you really do want to have something to replace the bold text, you can indeed use those as Victor Bazarov suggested, with the conjunction for.

There would be no difference between the features defined for a node in the footer and those for a node in the sidebar.

or:

There would be no difference between the features defined for a node in the footer and the ones for a node in the sidebar.

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You can use "those" to get

There would be no difference between the features defined for a node in the footer and those of a node in the sidebar.

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    It should be those for, the same preposition as in the original phrase. – Sander Aug 12 '15 at 19:08

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