Editing and posting, cut and paste, in CB forums?

Sunday, May 1, 2011 1:21 PM

The first computer I worked on was a TRaSh-80 Model I with Level II BASIC. No disk drives; programs loaded from cassette tape. Just thought I'd throw that in. I moved over to the Apple ][+ as quickly as I could. First computer in the house was an Apple ][e; first computer I bought was an Apple IIgs. I've been an Apple guy since three years before the original Macintosh was introduced.

To get back on topic...the easiest way to upload text into any forum is to make sure that you start with a PLAIN TEXT document. The next tip is to NOT use Notepad on Windows...or if you do use Notepad, be sure to turn OFF the word-wrap "feature". You should have one paragraph per line, and no word wrap, which means your document will be almost impossible to read in Notepad. This is because of a bug that Microsoft has never fixed: if word wrap is turned on and there is a space at the end of the line, that space will be eaten because Windows replaces it with a 'soft' carriage return which gets stripped out when you copy the text but not replaced with a space. When you post the message, copy all from Notepad and paste into the plain text editor. If you want to have styled text, you can insert forum code into your plain text; it isn't at all hard to do.

(but then, I write HTML pages by hand, too...)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Sunday, May 1, 2011 1:35 PM

Windows default must be to leave word wrap off. Because, I didn't even know the feature existed. I to write my own HTML by hand. Albeit very basic HTML, as is evident on my website.

Sunday, May 1, 2011 2:14 PM

Word inserting metadata is one thing, but the rest of the problems Dave describes has to do with different encoding between different operating systems, OS'es, apps and browsers. It's not an easy problem to solve.

Sunday, May 1, 2011 2:43 PM

Problems? It's really only one problem...Notepad, specifically, messes up word wraps. Oh, yeah, you can get into problems of CR vs CRLF vs LF with end-of-paragraph encoding, but I have found that it's generally not a big problem so long as the editor and the browser are running on the same system. It caused me problems when I tried to move files from the Psion (CRLF encoding) to an OS-X browser (LF encoding) and resulted in double paragraph breaks, but I have generally found that when the editor and the browser are on the same system, the text doesn't get munged too badly.

The trick is that you need to avoid putting in extra returns. Let the editor box on the website handle the word wrapping, because unless you are uploading preformatted text (like my signature) the odds of you getting it wrong are pretty much 1. And don't let Notepad do word wrapping for you.

The Notepad word wrap bug, incidentally, seems to be unique to Notepad. Mac users, if you're using TextEdit or TextWrangler, you should be fine. For safety, switch to plain text mode before copying the text. Windows users, I don't know what Notepad alternatives are out there. I would suggest EDIT, except that I don't think you can copy text from a DOS window. I think Wordpad has some of the same problems as Word because it is rich text instead of plain text. Generally speaking, so long as you are working with plain text, you should be fine.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Sunday, May 1, 2011 2:51 PM

I only know basic HTML stuff as well, and the basics are really easy. This website helped me a lot. If I ever get motivated to do so, I might learn some more from that site.

I might turn rich text editor off in CoasterBuzz and see if I can be successful at just inserting my own forum code.


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