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Old 10-21-2011, 10:42 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by GregLee View Post
But when using a proportional font, as most of us do use when typing into a browser
Again, not to nitpick, but as a web developer, I just want to clarify one thing. Usually, when you're composing content for the web, you don't specify the font. You're just specifying the content. The font is up to the individual viewer's browser. They could specify whatever font they want for their "default" font, including a monospaced font like Courier New.

Now, again, of course you can force a particular font, size, colour, whatever on your content, so that you can be certain all your viewers will see your page in purple 12-point Verdana or whatever. But you're not supposed to, because visitors might have perfectly valid reasons for wanting the page to render using the font they've specified themselves, such as poor eyesight (they want text to appear in 18-point), colour blindness (they can't read purple text on a pink background), or maybe they're visually impaired and using a text-to-speech reader that doesn't recognize whatever font you've specified.

"Best Practices" of the web dictate that you should just provide the content, and let the end users' browsers handle the specific formatting and rendering. But thanks to CSS, people have gotten it into their head that the Web is just one big Microsoft Word document, and they want the page to look exactly the same in everybody's browser, on every platform, regardless of peoples' individual needs and preferences.

All that to say, unless you're violating best practices and explicitely specifying a typeface, then you can't be certain that your visitors are reading your text in a proportional-spaced font. They could be viewing it in a monospaced font.
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:45 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Janet H View Post
to summarize the preceding posts, the forum software strips out the extra [periods]
I'm still not convinced that's the case. I think it's the browsers doing any space-compression that may be occurring. Different browsers (and even different versions of the same browser) handle formatting unpredictably, and can even vary based on user preference settings.

I still don't think the forum software has anything to do with it. I'm pretty sure your posts are just stored in a mySql database somewhere, exactly as you typed them, and faithfully regurgitated back to other viewers, where IE or Firefox or Safari or whatever makes a decision whether or not to render the 2 spaces you put after a period, or whether to squish them down to one.

EDIT: In fact, I just confirmed it. All of my posts have 2 spaces after every period. But when I see them here, there's only a single space. However, if I "View Source" and look at the actual HTML code that was delivered to my browser by the forum's PHP software, the double-spacing after periods is clearly there. So it's not the forum software. It's your browsers.
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:24 AM   #43
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Now I'm worried that people on other forums are going to find out what we discuss all day, and make fun of us.
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:58 AM   #44
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Now I'm worried that people on other forums are going to find out what we discuss all day, and make fun of us.
Ya think?

To add.... to the ........fun, I've ...created spaces. .......It's ..magic.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:02 PM   #45
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2. You guys have spent way too much time on this issue -- and that's coming from me, the grammar policeman.
Grammar policeman and now space cop...
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:12 PM   #46
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I'm still not convinced that's the case. I think it's the browsers doing any space-compression that may be occurring. Different browsers (and even different versions of the same browser) handle formatting unpredictably, and can even vary based on user preference settings.

I still don't think the forum software has anything to do with it. I'm pretty sure your posts are just stored in a mySql database somewhere, exactly as you typed them, and faithfully regurgitated back to other viewers, where IE or Firefox or Safari or whatever makes a decision whether or not to render the 2 spaces you put after a period, or whether to squish them down to one.

EDIT: In fact, I just confirmed it. All of my posts have 2 spaces after every period. But when I see them here, there's only a single space. However, if I "View Source" and look at the actual HTML code that was delivered to my browser by the forum's PHP software, the double-spacing after periods is clearly there. So it's not the forum software. It's your browsers.
See my post #15 - I saw the same thing in the source code.

However, I'm going to disagree that the forum SW has nothing to do with it. When the forum software builds the page, it contains the codes (or defaults) to tell the browser what to do with consecutive white-spaces. So it appears to me that the forum SW could construct the pages such that it preserves consecutive white-spaces in the posts.

FWIW - I don't personally care about double-spaced sentences, but deleting the white-space sure screws up attempts to post columnar data, and I find the table thing to be far more awkward than just hitting the space bar.

Browsers should NOT be handling the formatting differently, they should be standards compliant.


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Old 10-21-2011, 12:22 PM   #47
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... you can't be certain that your visitors are reading your text in a proportional-spaced font. They could be viewing it in a monospaced font.
Well, I did say that most of us use a proportional font to type text into our browsers.

I don't think your "best practice" of delivering only content to your browser typifies what many of us actually do.. I supply many formatting commands along with textual content, specifying font, size color, list-type paragraphing, left vs. right alignment of paragraphs, and so on, and I see many others doing this, as well.
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:00 PM   #48
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So it appears to me that the forum SW could construct the pages such that it preserves consecutive white-spaces in the posts.
But according to what kombat just wrote (and despite what Janet says), the forum SW does preserve consecutive white-spaces.. Your browser removes them when it interprets the HTML for display on your computer screen.. If you mean that the forum software should construct the HTML it sends in such a fashion that the consecutive space characters you originally typed are displayed on your screen with twice the white space that a single space character gives, I suppose that would be possible by using the trick I demonstrated and changing some space characters into, say, "n"s, in invisible ink.. Is that the sort of thing you have in mind?
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:30 PM   #49
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But according to what kombat just wrote (and despite what Janet says), the forum SW does preserve consecutive white-spaces.. Your browser removes them when it interprets the HTML for display on your computer screen.. If you mean that the forum software should construct the HTML it sends in such a fashion that the consecutive space characters you originally typed are displayed on your screen with twice the white space that a single space character gives, I suppose that would be possible by using the trick I demonstrated and changing some space characters into, say, "n"s, in invisible ink.. Is that the sort of thing you have in mind?
No, you are misunderstanding what I meant.

Yes, the forum SW does not remove them from what you type. And yes, the browser does not display them. But, the browser does so because it is following the commands (or lack of commands) that are listed on the page that the forum SW produces. I don't know enough about the details of html commands to know if this is the default, or if it must be stated explicitly to retain the spaces. But the contents of the page (produced by the forum SW) can specify to the browser if it should compress or retain the consecutive spaces.

No, I don't want any 'tricks' applied, I just want the forum SW to embed the command into the web page that it produces to tell the browser to display the consecutive white spaces as they were typed.

Here's a kind of pseudo-code representation, assuming that removing consecutive white-spaces is the default:

-------------

Do all the typical html overhead to present the page outline, headers etc,
Do the html to present the post header, author, etc

NOW - just before presenting the poster's text - send the command to preserve all white-spaces

/////poster's text goes here/////

turn off the command to preserve all white-spaces (if it would interfere with other displays)

-------------

That's all - just present the text the way the author typed it. Don't do any cyber-editing of it.


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Old 10-21-2011, 08:56 PM   #50
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That's all - just present the text the way the author typed it. Don't do any cyber-editing of it.
But the browser has to do cyber-editing, because it has to break up paragraphs into lines that will just fit into a box whose size differs depending on the dimensions you've assigned to your browser window.n As you watch some text, try resizing the browser window, and you will see how the text is "re-flowed" into new screen lines.n It's just what browsers do.n And part of the line breaking process (I mean dividing a paragraph into screen lines) is discarding of certain spaces, since after you have a screen line, you don't want to display any space that originally separated the first word of the line from the preceding word, nor a space that originally separated the last word of the screen line from the following word.

So the browser has to edit, and it has to discard some spaces.n You want to change the way it edits, so that it will display all of the sequences of spaces that wind up on the screen interior to a line.n Your proposal assumes that there is some global editing command available that tells the browser that.n I don't think there is.

Just for fun, I put two full word spaces between sentences in what I typed above, so we could see what your proposal, if it were feasible, would give us.
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:08 PM   #51
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But the browser has to do cyber-editing, because it has to break up paragraphs into lines that will just fit into a box whose size differs depending on the dimensions you've assigned to your browser window.n As you watch some text, try resizing the browser window, and you will see how the text is "re-flowed" into new screen lines.n It's just what browsers do.n And part of the line breaking process (I mean dividing a paragraph into screen lines) is discarding of certain spaces, since after you have a screen line, you don't want to display any space that originally separated the first word of the line from the preceding word, nor a space that originally separated the last word of the screen line from the following word.

So the browser has to edit, and it has to discard some spaces.n You want to change the way it edits, so that it will display all of the sequences of spaces that wind up on the screen interior to a line.n Your proposal assumes that there is some global editing command available that tells the browser that.n I don't think there is.

Just for fun, I put two full word spaces between sentences in what I typed above, so we could see what your proposal, if it were feasible, would give us.
Sure, but that is just a matter of deciding when to start a new line to fit the width of the box. But that doesn't mean it needs to remove any white spaces. Let's see if this crude example works (use a fairly wide box), and I'll substitute "-" for " ".:


Here-is-some-
text.--It-is-in-a-
very-narrow-
box.


Here-is-some-text.--It-is-in-a-wider-
box.


So it line breaks when the next full word does not fit on the line. No typed white space removal required. That how my text editor does it when I resize the width.

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Old 10-21-2011, 09:18 PM   #52
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That how my text editor does it when I resize the width.
I doubt that very much.. The spaces at the ends of lines in your example, which you represent with hyphens, are of course not visible, so there is no point in having them there, and leaving them there will reduce the number of words per screen line, overall, and hence increase the number of screen lines required for some paragraphs, to no purpose.. I've seen and written some line breaking code in my day, and it just doesn't work the way you think it does.
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:28 PM   #53
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I doubt that very much. ....

Unless I'm misunderstanding what you are saying, it appears to work exactly as I described. Some screen shots of my text editor:

But actually, I'm not concerned with the wrapping, that would mess up a table of data anyhow. But the spaces within the width should be preserved (like the double space in my previous example, which were mid-box)

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Old 10-21-2011, 09:49 PM   #54
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Unless I'm misunderstanding what you are saying, it appears to work exactly as I described. Some screen shots of my text editor:
I appreciate the effort you've gone to here, but I don't understand your reasoning.. Why have you concluded that the interword spaces in the original text are shown at the ends of lines in the gedit screens?. I'm not saying you're wrong, maybe gedit does put those interword spaces on screen at the ends of lines, but how can you tell?. Do you think that if the spaces at the ends of lines had been removed that in some cases there would have been room for another word at the end of the line?
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:27 PM   #55
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I appreciate the effort you've gone to here, but I don't understand your reasoning.. Why have you concluded that the interword spaces in the original text are shown at the ends of lines in the gedit screens?. I'm not saying you're wrong, maybe gedit does put those interword spaces on screen at the ends of lines, but how can you tell?. Do you think that if the spaces at the ends of lines had been removed that in some cases there would have been room for another word at the end of the line?
I think we're getting sidetracked with the end-of-line space or no space. That isn't my concern.

My concern is to be able to simply use a mono-spaced font to display a few columns of data and pad it with spaces to have it all align for easy reading. For that, it is assumed that the text box is opened wide enough to view the columns w/o wrapping, or it is all jumbled no matter what else you do. Here's the same text, but the auto delete of the spaces used for padding messes it up, only the 'code' tags preserve the spaces, and make it easy to read.


Some numbers: 100,000 10,000 1,000
Other #'s: 99,999 9,999 999



Code:
Some numbers: 100,000  10,000   1,000
Other #'s:     99,999   9,999     999
I'd like it to work as it does with the 'code' tags, but those create other minor issues.

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Old 10-21-2011, 10:37 PM   #56
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I'd like it to work as it does with the 'code' tags, but those create other minor issues.
I think that is a very reasonable proposal.. You, Felici, and I are all in agreement that with a monospaced font, the typographically best way to separate sentences is with two spaces, and, as you point out, having gone that far, we could easily just retain all multiple spaces within a line and gain the ability to do tabular alignment in simple cases.. And without the "code" tags.. But we still have the problem that it appears to be impossible to do this by just modifying the forum software.
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Old 10-22-2011, 06:01 AM   #57
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So..... have you gotten an adequate answer? If not, and to summarize the preceding posts, the forum software strips out the extras. You can use white characters if you really need more space but all that unoccupied space increases scrolling for
readers

Yep, and I kinda stopped following this! I can live with it.
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:00 AM   #58
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As to the OP's question, and based upon my primary education being provided by the "penguins" (e.g. nuns), I was always instructed to use punctuation in a manner that would allow the writing to be read out loud, with the punctuation being used to tell the reader how to speak.

That meant two spaces between sentences (along with the period), two lines between paragraphs(two "CR"'s or carriage returns - for the old folks), and speech stress being provided by underlines.

Exclamation points at the end of the sentence were only used to express excitement in the utterance (such as an organism, which was frowned upon by my instructor ).

Anyway, that's what "sister said" ....
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:35 AM   #59
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...we could easily just retain all multiple spaces within a line and gain the ability to do tabular alignment in simple cases.. And without the "code" tags.. But we still have the problem that it appears to be impossible to do this by just modifying the forum software.
I disagree that it is impossible for the forum SW to do this.

When I enter this text into LibreOffice, and export it as html, my browser displays it with all multiple spaces retained, just as it appears here (specify a fixed font in the Word Processor):

Code:
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX:123456Next
With 6 spaces intact:      Next
With 2 spaces intact:  Next
With 1 spaces intact: Next
If the page created by LibreOffice can do it with standard html, so can the forum SW.

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Old 10-22-2011, 10:09 AM   #60
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Yes, the forum SW does not remove them from what you type. And yes, the browser does not display them. But, the browser does so because it is following the commands (or lack of commands) that are listed on the page that the forum SW produces. I don't know enough about the details of html commands to know if this is the default, or if it must be stated explicitly to retain the spaces.
Yes, this is the default (as it should be), and yes, it must be stated explicitly to retain the spaces. The forum administrators would do this by specifying particular CSS properties to override the browser default. Personally, I don't think they should (and frankly, I'm not even certain what specific CSS properties would accomplish this - I'm merely assuming it's in there somewhere).

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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
No, I don't want any 'tricks' applied,
Overriding the default behaviour with obscure CSS settings would be a "trick."

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I just want the forum SW to embed the command into the web page that it produces to tell the browser to display the consecutive white spaces as they were typed.
I disagree. As I said before, there's a very good reason that such formatting is left up to the individual browser, and it's because the author cannot be certain what kind of device the content will be displayed on. The spacing you're asking for would probably look fine in your browser, on your computer, with your particular monitor resolution. But how would it look on an iPod? A Kindle? A PS3? The programmers who wrote the browsers for all those various platforms know how best to render text, so it doesn't make sense to try and override them. If anything, you should be hounding the authors of FireFox (or whatever browser you're using) to provide a user-configurable setting that would allow you to specify you want double-spaces preserved. Other users could leave it as the default. It would be up to the individual user. As it should be.
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