Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Monday, 20 October 2008

Clumsy language, vital accents

The headline to the October 18 post is a Shakespearean quote which I wanted to break at the point where the poetic line ends. Pressing Enter didn’t work so I reverted to HTML, opening and closing with “div”.

As a professional user of Quark Xpress I found HTML shockingly clumsy when I created a community website. The difference between engraving and shaping sandstone with a broom handle. Blogger’s HTML is of course much simpler than nightmarish Dreamweaver (the preferred sofware for websites) but removes many options and – to some extent – discourages people from learning the code for HTML tags. Such as “div”.

Despite this responders to blogs are invited to write in such tags. Many don’t bother. Alas, I am the victim of my intellectual pretensions. I use French phrases quite a lot and believe they deserve itals (ie, the “em” tag, although I believe there is an alternative). Since I prefer to write in Word then cut and paste, I find it good practise to put in the code at this stage.

French also demands accents. Missing one out causes me pain and my readers confusion. Without the final acute the past participle of donner looks like the carelessly transcribed name of a famous poet. Thus the icon for Windows’ character map is permanently installed top right on my desktop. I guess this makes me kinda anal.


Sir Hugh said...

I think you have got your regulars out of their depth here (including me): no replies.

Barrett Bonden said...

It's early days, yet. Most know more about the technicalities of blogging than I do.

Julia said...

The beauty of html is its universality. Quark only works if you have the program (or if you've talked InDesign into reading it). Basic html works across the web, regardless of browser or computer. It is clunky but that clunk can push you to creativity too - back when I was a web site designer, I used to revel in dreaming up neat ways of getting around and working with its limitations, turning it into a poetic framework of a sort.

Now browsers can do so much more than what we see in Blogger's comment and post fields, that the limits currently set are a bit frustrating, I do agree. For some tags to try, "br" (with brackets attached instead of quote marks) will give you a nice line break, and "i" properly bracketed will add your italics.

Barrett Bonden said...

Julia: Photographer, pianist, trumpeter, mother and now ex-website-designer. Wow! I agree that HTML's main attraction is the prideful glow you get from overcoming its limitations. But that's after you crawl over the enormous step-function of getting Dreamweaver to work in the first place. And then learning a whole new range of jargon. Someone was kind enough to lend me (the loan has now extended to two years) Lowery's Dreamweaver 3 Bible, all 1081 pages of it. But often the problem is knowing the necessary jargonistic term when trawling through the index. Another is remembering a technique you learned a month ago but haven't used since - although that's a function of extreme old age.