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Tech: HTML help: italics

Steve Shaw 04 Nov 10 - 07:20 AM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Nov 10 - 07:26 AM
Steve Shaw 04 Nov 10 - 07:30 AM
Steve Shaw 04 Nov 10 - 07:31 AM
Artful Codger 04 Nov 10 - 08:09 AM
jojofolkagogo 04 Nov 10 - 09:12 AM
jojofolkagogo 04 Nov 10 - 09:14 AM
jojofolkagogo 04 Nov 10 - 09:14 AM
GUEST,^&* 04 Nov 10 - 09:23 AM
GUEST,leeneia 04 Nov 10 - 10:01 AM
Steve Shaw 04 Nov 10 - 10:41 AM
Amos 04 Nov 10 - 10:58 AM
GUEST,Grishka 04 Nov 10 - 11:07 AM
Steve Shaw 04 Nov 10 - 11:10 AM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Nov 10 - 01:45 PM
GUEST,Grishka 04 Nov 10 - 02:38 PM
Joe Offer 04 Nov 10 - 03:17 PM
buddhuu 04 Nov 10 - 03:27 PM
GUEST,leeneia 04 Nov 10 - 03:53 PM
Artful Codger 04 Nov 10 - 04:21 PM
JohnInKansas 04 Nov 10 - 05:26 PM
GUEST,PeterC 04 Nov 10 - 05:27 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Nov 10 - 06:06 PM
GUEST,Grishka 04 Nov 10 - 07:50 PM
Steve Shaw 04 Nov 10 - 07:53 PM
Steve Shaw 04 Nov 10 - 07:56 PM
Joe Offer 04 Nov 10 - 07:57 PM
GUEST,Grishka 04 Nov 10 - 08:23 PM
Tootler 04 Nov 10 - 08:28 PM
Steve Shaw 04 Nov 10 - 08:36 PM
MGM·Lion 05 Nov 10 - 04:59 AM
GUEST, Sminky 05 Nov 10 - 05:36 AM
Sugwash 05 Nov 10 - 06:04 AM
GUEST,Grishka 05 Nov 10 - 06:10 AM
Sugwash 05 Nov 10 - 06:15 AM
Sugwash 05 Nov 10 - 06:21 AM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Nov 10 - 06:32 AM
GUEST,mauvepink 05 Nov 10 - 06:38 AM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Nov 10 - 07:05 AM
GUEST, Sminky 05 Nov 10 - 07:28 AM
GUEST,Grishka 05 Nov 10 - 08:17 AM
buddhuu 05 Nov 10 - 08:24 AM
buddhuu 05 Nov 10 - 08:39 AM
GUEST, Sminky 05 Nov 10 - 09:07 AM
GUEST,Grishka 05 Nov 10 - 09:28 AM
Sugwash 05 Nov 10 - 09:42 AM
Bill D 05 Nov 10 - 01:14 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Nov 10 - 02:44 PM
JohnInKansas 05 Nov 10 - 07:04 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Nov 10 - 07:28 PM
Bill D 05 Nov 10 - 08:24 PM
buddhuu 05 Nov 10 - 08:55 PM
JohnInKansas 05 Nov 10 - 09:19 PM
Bill D 05 Nov 10 - 10:04 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Nov 10 - 10:12 PM
JohnInKansas 05 Nov 10 - 11:41 PM
GUEST,Grishka 06 Nov 10 - 07:21 AM
Artful Codger 06 Nov 10 - 12:32 PM
JohnInKansas 06 Nov 10 - 01:46 PM
GUEST,Grishka 06 Nov 10 - 03:13 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Nov 10 - 03:52 PM
JohnInKansas 06 Nov 10 - 04:38 PM
GUEST,Grishka 06 Nov 10 - 05:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Nov 10 - 05:50 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Nov 10 - 08:44 PM
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Subject: Help: italics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 07:20 AM

How do I type bits of my posts in italics? Also, if I copy and paste something in italics from someone else's post in order to quote them, it comes out not in italics any more! Sorry to clutter up the place with a daft question but the Help page won't come up for me. Cheers.


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Subject: RE: Help: italics
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 07:26 AM

You put <> at the start with an i inside it, and another <> at the end with a /i inside it. Does the trick.And if you wanted to make it bold youd'd do the same, but using a b instead of an i.


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Subject: RE: Help: italics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 07:30 AM

Thanks, mate (I lived in Loughton for years - are those statues of freezing cold people still guarding the Harlow shopping precinct?)

(Right...did it work he asks himself...)


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Subject: RE: Help: italics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 07:31 AM

YES!!!

Thanks again! :-)


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Subject: RE: Help: italics
From: Artful Codger
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 08:09 AM

And for what it's worth, you can tell if you've done it properly before your message gets posted by checking the "Preview" box before clicking Submit--the Preview box is next to the Submit button. If everything is okay on the preview page, click Submit again, or you can fix it there and preview again. Just make sure you look above the message entry box to verify your changes, since the entry box will show the raw text unformatted and with the angle brackets still.

It's also a very good idea to preview if you paste text from a word processor or containing accented characters or characters not in the English alphabet. This may show cases where special characters (improperly encoded for HTML) will show differently when posted than when you entered it in the message box. But that (like the italics formatting topic) has been discussed at length in other threads.

Why do people never SEARCH for answers before posting??


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Subject: RE: Help: italics
From: jojofolkagogo
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 09:12 AM

Oh great, I always wanted to know how to do this too, thanks for asking the question and thanks to Kevin (Mr Lovely white beard!) for giving me the answer !!!

Hi Kevin, hope you are well. regards from Jo


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Subject: RE: Help: italics
From: jojofolkagogo
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 09:14 AM

Or maybee I should have tried it out .... er ... dummy

so here goes

Hello to Mr White Beard !!!

from Jo


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Subject: RE: Help: italics
From: jojofolkagogo
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 09:14 AM

!!!!!   Y E S !!!!!


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Subject: RE: Help: italics
From: GUEST,^&*
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 09:23 AM

jojo....

Just remember to put the / into the second set of angle brackets, together with the i - otherwise everything stays in italics to the end of the message!


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Subject: RE: Help: italics
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 10:01 AM

Steve, I'm glad you said that you want to put 'bits' of your posts in italics. Sometimes people put long sections in italics, and I find them very hard to read.

In fact, I've decided that I won't read anything in italics if it has more than two lines of text. I feel that if something's important , it ought to be legible.

(I see that the / is right next to the <>. Handy!)


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Subject: RE: Help: italics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 10:41 AM

"Why do people never SEARCH for answers before posting??"

I did, and I couldn't get anything after quite a while. And the Help facility is down. Try not to shout at me.


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Subject: RE: Help: italics
From: Amos
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 10:58 AM

Try putting "HTML" into the thread filter box, and set it to the last five years. You'll find all kinds of tips.


A


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Subject: RE: Help: italics
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 11:07 AM

Now it's up again ;-). Use the button "Go" near "Mudcat FAQ - Newcomer's Guide" which leads to a thread worth reading even if you are not a newcomer but have not done so yet.


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Subject: RE: Help: italics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 11:10 AM

Er, thanks for that, I suppose, though my computer crashed when I went to that link...another time, maybe. :-(


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Subject: RE: Help: italics
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 01:45 PM

Why do people never SEARCH for answers before posting??

Because even if you can get the answer through some mechanical process it can be more interesting asking people. And thread drift can be fun as well.

We've still got the statues. Apart from the occasional one that gets nicked. See here.


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Subject: RE: Help: italics
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 02:38 PM

Some of those statues actually resemble ancient Italic ones (pre-Roman). If they are slanted, they may tip over and break.


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 03:17 PM

Now, the HTML thread I like best is the Mudcat HTML Guide

You're free to practice HTML in any of the practice threads that have been posted. We clean out the garbage from those threads every once in a while. If you use the "preview" function, you can practice HTML all day long in any thread you like. But once you've perfected something interesting, post it in one of the practice threads so we all can see your handiwork.

-Joe-

Maybe this will help with italics:
    Somebody asked me how to copy-paste italics into a Mudcat post. It took me a while to do the fancy stuff on my reply, so I thought I'd paste it here in case it can help somebody else.


    The only HTML that Mudcat provides automatically is <br> line breaks. If what you're pasting already has those <br> line breaks visible, be sure to UNcheck the "automatic line breaks" box below the message entry box.
    But for italics, you have to enter the HTML commands yourself. At the end of the italics passage, you have to repeat the command with a slash in front of it. I'll show you six:

      <b>bold</b>
      <i>italics</i>
      <u>underline</u>
      <big>big</big>
      <small>small</small>
      <blockquote>blockquote (indent)</blockquote>


    You can also combine them:

      <b><i>bold italics</i></b>

    Make sense?
    -Joe-


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: buddhuu
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 03:27 PM

I'm really glad Mudcat lets us format our text with proper HTML tags.

Building websites is part of my job and, while I'm very happy with HTML, I frequently bugger up the BBcode stuff that other forums use - You know, the stuff with the square brackets. I always manage to get that wrong.


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 03:53 PM

Thanks for the link to the statues, McGrath.


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: Artful Codger
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 04:21 PM

If the Mudcat search isn't working for you, there's a simple and rather obvious work-around called Google. You can limit your search to Mudcat using a Google search string like this:

site:mudcat.org italics

Even just adding the word "mudcat" to your search string would get you pretty close to a site-specific search. And if Mudcat search is experiencing difficulty, is it such a hardship to wait a bit in case the problem is only a glitch (as it was)? So really, there's no excuse.

Adding yet another thread for the same topic reduces the likelihood that other users will find all the relevant information simply. I believe this concern more than offsets the "fun" aspect of thread drift. Consider how often users have to be told "That version or information was already posted (more correctly) in thread XXX."

What it comes down to is that some folks would rather waste the time of masses of other people--rather like telemarketers--asking questions which have already been BEATEN TO DEATH rather than expending a little more time and initiative themselves. That's unacceptable.


As for use of extended italics, like it or not, that is a common convention for indicating quotation, used not only online but in books. If you refuse to read such italics, it's only your loss. I dislike HTML blockquote directives because they add too much extra spacing around the quoted text.


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 05:26 PM

Italics are properly used, according to common authorities, to indicate quotes, and also for emphasis. Quotation marks were universally used when those "typewriters" nobody remembers were the only way to put words on paper.

I would suggest that italics for emphasis should be limited to a very few words.

A quote of a very short paragraph may quite properly be posted in italics, but for anything longer it will be easier on your readers (assuming anyone actually reads your post before answering it) if you put it between quote marks. Since the "good grammer" books say each paragraph of an extended quotation should begin with an opening ", with the closing " only on the last paragraph of an extended quote, a practical expedient is to just put [quote] and [end quote] around your paste and omit both quotation marks and italics.

On mudcat, of course, NO PASTE SHOULD EVER EXCEED ONE SCREEN IN LENGTH.

Note the use of all-caps to SHOUT!!!! obnoxiously. All Caps (and/or No Caps) should be avoided, as either makes it hard to read your posts. There are a very few people who, due to physical limiations, have difficulty using proper capitalization, and their use is acceptable. There are a few others who do it only because they're LAZY IDIOTS (note double emphasis to indicate Screaming Loudly), and nobody reads their posts.

If you want to refer to anything longer than a "single screen," post a link to extended documents and let the few who will actually read it go elsewhere for the full text. Most(?) people here won't actually read all of anything past the first 5 lines of your post before "answering" you, so it's not helpful to paste long screeds.

Unfortunately, there's no specific "sarcasm" font, and no reliable way to invoke one here, so it remains necessary to infer the sometimes "double meanings" of comments. Your own best jusdgement is your only guide; but you should be aware that certain of our members commonly don't really mean what they may appear to be saying. It's largely a trick to elicit additional conversation. Be very careful about using this gimmick until you're well enough known to deserve the necessary special consideration.

John
    But to clarify, non-music pastes should not exceed one screen. There is no limit on music pastes. The trouble is, people seem reluctant to post the texts of the music stuff (in this music forum), and they post the non-music stuff with wild abandon.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 05:27 PM

<u> is deprecated. The alternative of adding a style to a span tag is messy <span STYLE="text-decoration; underline; "> and difficult to remember but I don't know of a browser that has stopped supporting the old tag.

You will find posts in html forums claiming that the bold tag is deprecated as well but W3Schools still shows it as valid.


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 06:06 PM

"What it comes down to is that some folks would rather waste the time of masses of other people--rather like telemarketers--asking questions which have already been BEATEN TO DEATH rather than expending a little more time and initiative themselves. That's unacceptable."

I disagree. People only answer questions because they feel inclined to be helpful. That is not a waste of time.

When in a strange city or a strange country a guide or a map might enable you to get to where you want to get to, but asking a native the way can also help you get to the places you didn't know you wanted to get to.
................................
I find it easier to pick out the quotes in a post I'm reading where italics are used. That's why I normally use them myself in posts I make. With inverted commas as well, more often than not. Belt and braces. I hate it when people don't mark a quotes they include in a post.
.........................
We've managed without special type faces for irony or sarcasm for hundred of years. Writers have relied on the readers using their heads. I can't see why the fact that it's a screen rather than a printed page or a written letter makes any real difference to this.


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 07:50 PM

McGrath: People only answer questions because they feel inclined to be helpful. That is not a waste of time.

Right, though most helpers would prefer to help those who are really in need of it and who explain their problems properly.

Helping with technical matters may take hard thinking and tedious research, in particular for non-experts such as myself. This is something else than light conversation. Therefore, an asker of polished manners will include any details of the problem she/he can imagine to be relevant, explain her/his previous efforts to solve it, and how they failed. He/she will not exhibit amusement while the helpers are still at work. If they misunderstand the problem, the asker has to apologize for failing to be sufficently precise. All sincere helpers must be thanked, whether successful or not.

Read this thread and this one for an example of a poster who might not be helped any more. Compared to that, Steve is a model of good form, and not the target of my complaints. For my above hint to the Newcomer's Guide I deserve no thanks, of course.


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 07:53 PM

I'm just not very good with computers. I haven't a clue what HTML is. I did try to do a search but I got nowhere, and the Help wotsit was unavailable. There's no law that says that someone with bellyache who's impatient has to even open a thread, let alone respond. I know a bit about harmonica playing and I must have answered the same questions about it on forums dozens of times, all with good grace. If I wake up one day feeling ungracious I just won't respond. It's yet to happen.


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 07:56 PM

I crossed with you there, Grishka. Thanks for that. And cheers for the statue info, McGrath. I always felt very cold when I walked past them, even in summer heatwaves lugging up from that car-park. :-)


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 07:57 PM

I always like these HTML threads, even if they sometimes repeat things. They usually have an atmosphere of fun and curiosity, and people rarely yell at each other in HTML discussions.
I don't like song discussions to be duplicated because duplicate lyrics and information tend to gum up the process of gathering lyrics for the Digital Tradition. Multiple versions of a song are welcomed, but not posting the very same lyrics eleventy-seven times.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 08:23 PM

Steve, to demonstrate that I am not criticizing you, I'll comment your writing Also, if I copy and paste something in italics from someone else's post in order to quote them, it comes out not in italics any more!

If you want to reproduce the styles of the original post, right-click on the Mudcat page and select "Source code" (or similar). A window will open from which you can dopy the passage including all the "tags" (pieces of HTML syntax as opposed to genuine text).

The trick works with any web page. You can even design your messages in your favourite word processing software completely, "Save as ... HTML" and proceed analogously. Be sure not to post any unwanted "tags".


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: Tootler
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 08:28 PM

Genuine requests for help ought to be treated with due consideration, even if similar requests have been posted several times before. Nothing is more off putting than a response of the type

"Can't you be bothered to use the search facility you idle sod. This question has been asked eleventeen times before"

The person making the request may be new to computers or be unfamiliar with some of the technical aspects. It's always a good idea to assume that.

My example above may be a bit of an exaggeration but I have been on the receiving end of responses that were close to that. Artful Codger's post of 04 Nov 10 - 08:09 AM tends that way. Just being a little less brusque is likely to be more effective "Have you tried the search? There has been some discussion of this is previous threads". It may be that the person making the request has in fact used the search but was unable to find the information they wanted as is the case in this thread.


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 08:36 PM

Thanks again, Grishka. That might save me from doing things the long way round...

And I never once thought you were criticising me!


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 04:59 AM

PeterC: Why is deprecated? Seems to me a perfectly legitimate means of indicating an emphasis perhaps a little less emphatic than itals?

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 05:36 AM

On a pedantic note:

if you want to use italics for emphasis, then you should use the <em>...</em> tag. Many screen readers used by the visually impaired will actually emphasize words when they encounter <em> enclosed text (the voice changes). They are not guaranteed to do so when they come across <i>.


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: Sugwash
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 06:04 AM

On a similarly pedantic note:

use in place of .


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 06:10 AM

Michael: Why is <u> deprecated? (Don't forget to replace < by &lt; etc. if you want it to be seen rather than effective.)

Peter is only referring to technical matters; the replacement he suggests has exactly the same visual effect, when viewed with present-day browsers. For Mudcat, <u> is perfectly alright technically, because Mudcat is about legacy anyway ;-)

In typography, underlining has been condemned long before HTML was invented, for aesthetical reasons. Used for whole sentences or clauses, it may look like hammering your fist on the table.


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: Sugwash
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 06:15 AM

Oops

Use ... in place of ....


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: Sugwash
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 06:21 AM

Grrr

Use < strong > < /strong > in place of < b > < /b > (but without the spaces). I'm going for a lie down now.


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 06:32 AM

So if you use em and /em instead of i and /i (which I have just done there), that means that a voice reader used by someone who can't see too well will show the emphasis. That's useful information, and I'll try doing it in future. Thanks Sminky.

And that's an example of how someone asking a question here (even if maybe a search could possibly have found the answer) can have the effect of providing other people with helpful information.


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: GUEST,mauvepink
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 06:38 AM

Wow! It really is that simple?

I have been frightened of asking in case I got my head bit off lol

mp


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 07:05 AM

I can see that using strong instead of b gives bold because I've just done it. But how does that help, Sugwash? Is it better for voice readers?


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 07:28 AM

Yes, i and b merely affect the appearance of the text. em and strong affect how the words are enunciated.

u is deprecated because an underlined word or phrase has traditionally represented a clickable link.


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 08:17 AM

Sminky, you probably mean that any underlining (by <u> or any other device) is to be discouraged.

As for the tags <em> etc., are you sure that every browser currently in use will support them? If this can be assumed, they should be made Mudcat standard (cf. W3 statement).

Of course, <em> must not be used for quotations. There are tags <q> and <blockquote> for this purpose, but they may not make for appropriate optical distinction unless Mudcat were to introduce Style Sheets (CSS) - revolution! Until then, <i><q>...</q></i> may be considered.


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: buddhuu
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 08:24 AM

Re. deprecation.

Sminky and Grishka have pretty much summed it up.

In HTML, certain things get deprecated, usually because "They" have found a better way of doing it.

In recent years the trend has been to separate the functional and structural stuff from the cosmetic stuff - especially with XHTML and CSS stylesheets. So, all the stuff that actually defines how the information is structured is done in the HTML (tables, ordered and unordered lists, paragraphs, headings etc) and all the visual styling stuff is done in the stylesheets (typefaces, font sizes, colours etc).

So, things like the old font tags were deprecated to encourage people to achieve their cosmetic styling in the stylesheets - i.e. outside of the structural HTML. To separate the essential HTML from the frilly stuff.

There's a confusing middle ground where things get done both ways. It is possible to render bold text with the out-of-favour "b" tag, or it can be done in the stylesheet. On the other hand, there is a tag, "strong", that has structural value as it denotes that the text enclose within is of some importance. That tag is rendered as bold text by nearly all browsers.

So, deprecation doesn't mean that the HTML nazis regard bold or italicised text as something to be prevented, just that they think it's a good idea if it is done in a way that reflects the reason for its use: with "strong" if it is to indicate importance, or in a stylesheet if it's purely for aesthetic reasons.

I think that's sensible enough.

Note that deprecated HTML is usually still supported by modern browsers, and that is likely to remain the case: otherwise, years of valuable information published in old-fashioned HTML would no longer be visible to us.

As for underline: that is indeed best left for links. It is possible to underline text in stylesheets. IMHO the "u" tag deserves deprecation: partly because of the link confusion, but also because, IMHO, underlined text looks amateurish and horrid. Take a look at professional magazines and adverts. You'll see plenty of bold and italicised text, but very little underlining. There's a good reason for that.

YMMV.


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: buddhuu
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 08:39 AM

To illustrate the point, the fact that this text is green and in a different typeface is not important to the information it contains, so those cosmetic things are not done with HTML tags, but rather they are done with styles.

When we don't have access to the page's external or head stylesheet, we do this stuff by adding what are called "inline styles". That means adding a "style=" bit to the HTML tags. That bit contains the colours etc.

Anyone who wants to style their text a little more than is permitted with the usual old tags may like to research inline styles.

Anyone who dabbles in web design is well advised to learn CSS. It opens up a whole new world of what is possible.

Check out: CSS Zen Garden. Some stunning design work there.

Every version of that page uses exactly the same HTML. All that change to achieve all that variety of design are the images and the stylesheets.

Apologies, but I love this stuff.

[/geek]


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 09:07 AM

Sminky, you probably mean that any underlining (by <u> or any other device) is to be discouraged.

Yes, I do. Except links, of course, which IMO should always be underlined unless it is eminently obvious to the user that they are indeed links (such as in a menu).

When it comes to web design, the watchword should be Don't Make Me Think.


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 09:28 AM

Inline styles allow fancy gimmicks, whereas the most respected 'catters shine with their words.

Some valuable ideas of CSS would only work if the styles were set by the Mudcat Powers in a single .css file. An example is the display of quotations for easy recognition. Standard software for discussion fora produces coloured boxes and other fancy stuff; a more modest approach may be suitable for Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: Sugwash
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 09:42 AM

@McGrath of Harlow

Exactly so, it makes life easier for 'Readers'.


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 01:14 PM

As noted above, there are some who disdain the use of the SHIFT key and type almost everything in lower case. This is almost as tedious as ALL CAPS, but I have hesitated to call them on it.
(These same people often use very limited punctuation and their posts run on in long sentences with very little way to tell when the end of one thought and beginning of another happens probably because their brains work that way also but who can tell.)

But--- recently, there are several who have arbitrarily decided to use something other than standard quotation marks "" when quoting another's post, choosing to use triple slashes/// or forward brackets >> instead. I may attempt to apprise them of THAT tedious idiosyncrasy. Wish me luck.


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 02:44 PM

If all capital sis shouting I suppose all lower case should count as muttering. Or maybe mumbling. Slightly discourteous. Unless of course you are a cockroach, in which case it is excusable.


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 07:04 PM

A tag that I haven't checked recently to see if it's still viable is the <pre> tag.

This should display always in a monospaced font without "collapsing the spaces" as html usually does.

If you type out a lyric in a monospaced font like Courier, with the chords above where they happen, and adjust the spaces so that everything lines up, you should be able to reliably post lyrics with chords in "book style" fairly easily by pasting your composition between <pre> and </pre> tags.


A    G    A
Mary had a Little Lamb


(Don't try to play it. I made up the chords at random.)

Comments?


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 07:28 PM

That didn't work for me. It sounds like a good idea if it did.


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 08:24 PM

In my opinion, the FAR easier way to post chords is with the sup command.

MaryA had a littleDlambE


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: buddhuu
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 08:55 PM

JohnInKansas: Yup, the "pre" tag should do exactly what you describe. I'm not aware of that one being deprecated, but then I haven't used it for years...

C F G
Bamba Bamba
...Yes, it works fine.

@ McGrath of Harlow
You might need to play around with where you break the lines to get exactly the right result.

IMHO, this is probably one of the best ways to get lyrics and chords to line up. Personally the superscript option doesn't do as well for me as it's not so easy to cope with chord changes in the middle of words etc.


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 09:19 PM

I have a fair number of music "lyric books" that have the chords above the lyric, and I can scan them to PDF or DOC and cut and paste.

Alignment is difficult with most fonts because the letters aren't all the same width, and html "collapses" the spaces so that no matter how many you put in, only one out of any string of consecutive spaces is there in the post.

You could put non-breaking spaces      (&nbsp;)     in, but that spoils the alignment during setup so that you can't tell if it's right except by posting (previewing).

Doing the setup in a monospaced typeface you could insert .... instead of spaces but it doesn't look very neat; and posted as ordinary text it won't necessarily be seen by others in the same font you used and most people use a variable spaced default font for viewing.

If I reformat the scanned stuff to a monospaced font like Courier, it takes very little cleanup to use the <pre> tag to post them. Unfortunately, few of the ones I have (that haven't already been posted) are of much interest to anyone here.

You do need a carriage return after the opening tag <pre> and after the last line before the closing tag </pre> to avoid "pushing" an extra space in on either top or bottom line.

The <pre> tag assures that what you typed (in monospaced text) will be seen by all readers that recognize the tag in a monospaced font, if they have one on their machine, and with all the spaces you typed.

The <sup> tag can be used, but I'd say the chord should consistently come immediately ahead of where it's played rather than after the syllable it belongs to:

A7Mary had a DLittle ELamb

Or maybe that's what Bill D did, and he just plays a syncopated beat?

John


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 10:04 PM

Your choice... before or after... if it's consistent, it will do the job when showing someone the chords.


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 10:12 PM

You'd get a problem there with long multi-syllabled words.
 
D    G    D    F    G
Mary Had a favourite lamb
      D    G   F             D
Its fleece was variegated in colour.

Well, "pre" worked that time. (The chords wouldn't!) A useful wheeze - thanks.    And it bears out my point about how useful it can be when people ask questions rather than just using search engines.


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 11:41 PM

Another advantage of the ocassional repeat of a question that's been answered before is that it gives those of our tired old wheezers - - - tired of answering the "same old things," a chance to see which of the newer people have been paying attention and are willing to jump in and help.

(Sometimes it's an opportunity to see whether a previous lesson needs to be repeated a little more clearly too(?).)

If we can't pass it along, and have it repeated, then the whole "folk process" comes apart, doesn't it?

McG - I don't think the multisyllable words are much of a problem. It's fairly conventional to separate the syllables with a hyphen when lyrics are written between or beneath staves, to aid knowing how they match up with the notes, and you can pad with spaces to get room for the chords for the two (or more) separate parts of the word. This is especially useful when there's a pitch or chord change within the word.

There's usually no real need to worry about all the measures being the same length, but if you like you can mark them with "|" marks in the chord line and/or in the verse line. Of course you'd want to adjust the spaces so that the measure bars line up in both if you put them in both.

John


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 07:21 AM

Another way to put chords, without that ugly typewriter font:

C7
Suddenly a 
F 
man stood be-
Gsus 4
hind 
a 
me, 

F 
Asked me: "
F♯o
Where are you 
G7 sus 4  
going, 
G7
mate?"


(Right-click, "View source code").


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: Artful Codger
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 12:32 PM

Love the "archy and mehitabel" reference.

Ahem, most of the "oops" errors above would have been avoided if the posters bothered to PREVIEW THEIR POSTS, which has also been repeatedly recommended, especially when you post messages with embedded HTML.

Note that many things people post here are ill-formed HTML--the errors just happen to be treated benignly by some browsers (for the time being). The most common errors are failing to encode ampersands, angle brackets, accented characters and symbols; and improperly closing or nesting tags. For instance, the only time you should type raw angle brackets is as part of an HTML tag; an angle bracket followed by a space (as in Sugwash's message) is improper, as are bare angle brackets in ABC. And nesting I and B tags within a tag of the same type is dicey, if not illegal outright.

Someone above suggested that if you want to quote someone, retaining his formatting, then cut-n-paste from an HTML source view. Don't do it. It's too easy to create ill-formed HTML that way. First, you may end up nesting their italics within your own. Second, you may end up importing a start or end tag without its mate.

Even worse is to import text this way from other sites or word processors. It may contain style references which aren't defined here--word processors are particularly likely to use such proprietary style information. Or you may be pasting HTML corresponding to a later version than the Mudcat pages support, or which is in reality XHTML, XML or some other format which only superficially resembles HTML. So unless you're HTML-savvy--and careful--don't copy raw HTML. It's better to paste unformatted text and add formatting tags yourself, tedious as this may be. And preview before submitting.

Unfortunately, even previewing may not expose some common errors--Mudcat input validation seems limited to suppressing tags that might allow hacking, not to detecting ill-formed or non-portable constructs.


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 01:46 PM

GUEST,Grishka -

I've used what I think would be the Word equivalent of your method for printed lyrics, but it would take some study to feel comfortable with it in html.

In Word, you can insert a formula field, use the array switch to stack two elements one above the other, align left. Put the chord in as the first element and the lyric up to the next chord. Repeat.

In "field view" in Word your first <div looks like

{eq \a \al (C7,Suddenly a )}

Shift-F9 switches it to the "text view" that you print, which should look just like your first bit.

Note for those who want to try it, the { and } are not characters you type. You have to "Insert Field" or "Ctl-F9" to insert them as "field markers." The rest of it can just be typed in. Shift-F9 is a toggle that flips you between viewing the code and viewing the result.

And of course Ctl-= toggles in and out of subscript, Ctl-Shift-= (same as Ctl-+) toggles in and out of superscript.

Once you have the array set up, you can copy and paste it to repeat, and just change what's inside the ().

John


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 03:13 PM

John, we're waiting patiently for your results.

The method I would prefer for that purpose is the following:

Choose three characters you don't need otherwise, such as *, $, and §. (If your song is about sex, money, law, or all of these, take different ones.) Use an ordinary editor such as Notepad, write down each chord, followed by the first of those characters, then the corresponding text, then the second or third character depending on whether it's the end of a line.

When you have finished writing the whole song, perform three "search & replace"s to produce the <div> tags as in my example. Note that the latter is an experiment, we may still refine the trick.

And indeed, nobody should post any tags she/he does not understand, even if the visual result seems flawless. Count your end tags etc.


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 03:52 PM

All getting a bit too complicated for me, and I suspect for most of us. I suppose I'm glad there are some people who understand this stuff.


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 04:38 PM

Many things well worthwhile take a little effort to work up your own best method. The encouraging thing is that a method that really works well for you becomes easy (and fun) just like some people say they've found when learning something new about how to play their bassoon.

The first step usually is deciding that you need to do something that isn't trivially simple.

The next step often is deciding "how good does it really need to be;" but sometimes you get lucky and find a method that really does it all pretty easily.

Unlike some here, I seldom consider throwing a new program at every new problem, at least until I've finished the RTFM for what I've got, but you have to use the method that you find best and easiest.

Of course for things you post here, somebody will tell you if your method is less than satisfactory ; D)

John


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: Chord symbols
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 05:25 PM

If there is a genuine demand for well-aligned chord symbols the way I sketched above, I think we can devise a little program to do the tricky part of the work for you. For example, you may set the chord symbols in brackets initially, then type Ctrl-a, Ctrl-c, double-click on the Magic Tool, Ctrl-v, Submit Message for preview.

Less than satisfactory? Really desirable? Want silver paper with it?

Grishka


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 05:50 PM

That "pre" thing is simple enough, and it seems to work OK. As the saying goes, Keep It Simple Stupid.


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Subject: RE: HTML Help: italics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 08:44 PM

Excellent thread. I asked about how to do italics and now I feel I'm three-quarters of the way to some degree or other. Cheers! :-)


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