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Old 10-22-2011, 10:42 AM   #61
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Browser and forum software is evolving all the time to make the text we use to have these conversations more expressive and more pleasing to the eye.. The forum software here seems quite advanced, to me, and has better facilities for displaying links and graphics than I've seen elsewhere.. But there is lots more that could be done.. Look at some of the math and other technical entries in the Wikipedia; the authors of the Wikipedia software have worked hard to produce some remarkable results.. I expect some of that advanced formatting to make its way down to our local browsers soon, so we can all use it.
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:26 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kombat View Post
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).



Overriding the default behaviour with obscure CSS settings would be a "trick."



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.
Thanks for the reply (I'm also guessing that CSS comes into play here, but I'm over my head on this stuff).

But I'm not following how having this displayed (pretend the code box does not exists:

Code:
Some numbers: 100,000  10,000   1,000
Other #'s:     99,999   9,999     999
versus having it show up like this:

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

is going to be affected by whether I view it on my computer, iPad or other device. If my screen is not wide enough to display the columns, it's getting jumbled regardless. And in a post like this, I'm not going to be normally putting together 80 char wide columnar data. Just little notes. The downside seems small compared to the upside.

I see greglee's post - I agree, if the user could over-ride the default, it would probably be best. I don't know if a user can define their own CSS for a site? Seems I've seen references to that, but it is beyond my present (very limited) knowledge (but I like to learn).



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Old 10-22-2011, 12:06 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by ERD50

Thanks for the reply (I'm also guessing that CSS comes into play here, but I'm over my head on this stuff).

But I'm not following how having this displayed (pretend the code box does not exists:

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

versus having it show up like this:

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

is going to be affected by whether I view it on my computer, iPad or other device. If my screen is not wide enough to display the columns, it's getting jumbled regardless. And in a post like this, I'm not going to be normally putting together 80 char wide columnar data. Just little notes. The downside seems small compared to the upside.

I see greglee's post - I agree, if the user could over-ride the default, it would probably be best. I don't know if a user can define their own CSS for a site? Seems I've seen references to that, but it is beyond my present (very limited) knowledge (but I like to learn).

-ERD50
It will vary with the precise details of the computer font installed on the particular device. You could take things to the extreme and specify within the code for the web page that the content be rendered with 12 point New Times Roman, and there would still be room for variations, as for example between the TrueType font layout meta programming within different versions of New Times Roman as shipped for different devices. (Yes, most typefaces include not just glyphs and their layout information, but also include a sort of program that is run by text layout code to determine just which glyphs should be used, and how those glyphs should be permuted.)

To get the desired behavior for whitespace the user content will have to be specified to appear as a fixed width font with no layout options, forcing one glyph per encoded character with no permutations or layout options possible.

If the intent of the HTML generated for the site is to support presentation on multiple devices, with varying layout and no guarantees of what specific font implementations are present, I'd have to say that folks trying to do page layout with varying whitespace character counts are not going to be particularly successful. This just might be part of why the HTML "table" tag was developed.

http://www.w3schools.com/html/html_tables.asp
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Old 10-22-2011, 01:39 PM   #64
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It will vary with the precise details of the computer font installed on the particular device. You could take things to the extreme and specify within the code for the web page that the content be rendered with 12 point New Times Roman, and there would still be room for variations, as for example between the TrueType font layout meta programming within different versions of New Times Roman as shipped for different devices. (Yes, most typefaces include not just glyphs and their layout information, but also include a sort of program that is run by text layout code to determine just which glyphs should be used, and how those glyphs should be permuted.)

To get the desired behavior for whitespace the user content will have to be specified to appear as a fixed width font with no layout options, forcing one glyph per encoded character with no permutations or layout options possible.

If the intent of the HTML generated for the site is to support presentation on multiple devices, with varying layout and no guarantees of what specific font implementations are present, I'd have to say that folks trying to do page layout with varying whitespace character counts are not going to be particularly successful. This just might be part of why the HTML "table" tag was developed.

HTML Tables
Yes, I just find it odd that if I go to the trouble of specifying a mono-spaced font (which is not the default, so I'm taking a specific action), and it is in a posting text box (not general page layout stuff) that it doesn't also preserve the spaces.

Tables are fine, but they take a little extra work to get the "|" char in there.

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
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Old 10-22-2011, 03:35 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Yes, I just find it odd that if I go to the trouble of specifying a mono-spaced font (which is not the default, so I'm taking a specific action), and it is in a posting text box (not general page layout stuff) that it doesn't also preserve the spaces.
I agree with you here.. Since mono-spaced fonts are ugly, there's a good chance that when a user specifies Courier New, he's doing that because of an alignment issue.. So the browser ought not to sabotage his efforts by making alignment essentially impossible for ordinary paragraphed text.
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Old 10-22-2011, 07:27 PM   #66
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Sigh... it was all so much easier in 9th grade typing class. "Put one and only one space after the punctuation ending a sentence 'cause I said so..." and that was that.
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Old 10-22-2011, 07:43 PM   #67
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I agree with you here.. Since mono-spaced fonts are ugly, there's a good chance that when a user specifies Courier New, he's doing that because of an alignment issue.. So the browser ought not to sabotage his efforts by making alignment essentially impossible for ordinary paragraphed text.
It's an interesting point. The HTML specification leaves the interpretation of sequences of white space separating "words", or "sequences of non-white space characters" to the user agent (such as the browser) to identify such words and lay them out according to the conventions of the particular written language (script) and target medium.

The layout operation may include putting space between words, although conventions for inter-word spacing vary from script to script. The HTML 4 specification, Section 9, specifically calls for user agents to collapse input white space sequences when producing output inter-word space, except when within a PRE HTML element, used for preformatted text.

If you wish to have all agents preserve input white space sequences when a fixed pitch font is selected, in effect declaring all uses of fixed pitch fonts to be PRE elements, you'll want to lobby the HTML Working Group. Note that what you are requesting is the codification of an implicit behavior, currently obtained by explicit means, the PRE tag. Given that HTML tightly adheres to an explicit ontology I would suggest that you may have some work ahead of you.

There's a friend of mine that used to be on one of the W3C committees lurking here. Perhaps he'll chime in...

As an alternative, you might lobby for the phpBB folks to modify the software so as to force all fixed point content to always be bracketed with the PRE tag. The CODE metatag does something like this, selecting both a fixed point representation and adding the pre-formatted markup.
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:57 PM   #68
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If you wish to have all agents preserve input white space sequences when a fixed pitch font is selected, in effect declaring all uses of fixed pitch fonts to be PRE elements, ...
As I understand the proposal, for portions of text in a monospace font, not all white space would be preserved, only space characters, and word wrap would not be disabled.. We might ask ERD50 what he'd like to do about TAB characters.
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Old 10-23-2011, 06:20 AM   #69
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I have had a keen interest in the one space or two debate that winger referenced, as I learned to type on a typewriter (old fart) and thus put 2 spaces between sentences. The youngsters, okay anyone under 40, learned the 1 space that is the convention now. I'll never get the hang of it, I suspect.
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Bahahahahaha!
And put me down as another oldie who learned how to type on a MANUAL typewriter. I will never adjust to the one space after a period...muscle memory is permanently fused to add a double space on every device I use.
I think the good news is that we can type any content we want (I'm a two-space dinosaur too) and let the software worry about the formatting.

It's also probably safe now for me to throw out the spare Pica and Elite balls that go with my IBM Selectric...

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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Now I'm worried that people on other forums are going to find out what we discuss all day, and make fun of us.
I'd rather get teased for shaving a space after a period!
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:35 AM   #70
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We might ask ERD50 what he'd like to do about TAB characters.
Now that's another can of worms!

I've always somewhat disliked tabs. The problem seems to be, unless the 'ruler' that was used when the tabs were generated is carried with the text, the output is an unknown. So I would not even want to use tabs in a post, unless it included the ruler (if that's the right term for the tab spacing thingee).

One of the links MP provided seems to agree with me:

Quote:
We strongly discourage using horizontal tabs in preformatted text since it is common practice, when editing, to set the tab-spacing to other values, leading to misaligned documents
.

If the original author set the tab to 12 spaces, how can the output know that? I think some text export functions convert the tabs to their equivalent spaces, so the original intent is preserved, but I'd need to test that.

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Old 10-23-2011, 11:59 AM   #71
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Get a life, people!

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Old 10-23-2011, 04:52 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Nords

I think the good news is that we can type any content we want (I'm a two-space dinosaur too) and let the software worry about the formatting.

It's also probably safe now for me to throw out the spare Pica and Elite balls that go with my IBM Selectric...

I'd rather get teased for shaving a space after a period!
Yes it is safe to throw out your pica balls. And the elite balls, though I'd check
with DW first.
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Old 10-23-2011, 06:54 PM   #73
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Old 10-23-2011, 08:23 PM   #74
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... The forum administrators would do this by specifying particular CSS properties to override the browser default. ... 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?
I ran across a reference which may have some relevance to these issues.. It is a description of two methods for using Knuth-Plass justification on the Kindle, and (I gather) could be used for some browsers.. From the article by Kevin Lynagh, Kindle typography:


Quote:
Figure 2: Knuth & Plass justified text, rendered by setting the CSS word-spacing property for each line. Note that the right margin is very slightly ragged; this is because WebKit ignores subpixel word-spacing values. Text from The Frog Prince, by the Brothers Grimm.
I suppose you'll be wondering what justification has to do with spacing between sentences.. Here is the relevance.. Knuth describes text as boxes (letters, words, and so on) stuck together with glue (white space) with associated penalties.. At the end of the sentence, the glue can be stretched out more, with a lower penalty, than the glue between words, with the consequence that, typically, the glue (white space) between sentences will come out wider than the glue between words.. This will be true even if paragraphs are not fully right justified.. So, if you can justify using Knuth-Plass, you can also turn off full justification if you want, but still get extra space between sentences in most cases.
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:08 PM   #75
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Get a life, people!

It must be that time sometimes weighs heavily.
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:14 AM   #76
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It must be that time sometimes weighs heavily.
To each their own, but if some people were not interested in what seem to others like obscure details, we wouldn't have things like the internet, web browsers, or automobiles (Henry, why are you wasting your time in the garage again with that smelly gasoline stuff?).

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Old 10-24-2011, 11:52 AM   #77
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Grammar policeman and now space cop...
I love a good slow pitch...



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Old 10-24-2011, 03:49 PM   #78
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One space after a period. In the past, with IBM Selectric, etc., it was 2 spaces.

Have been editing and writing to many style guides over the past 40 years. I can't force you to type once space, and I can't force the browser to display multiple spaces either.

Actually had a professor last month who insisted we type 2 spaces in all papers.
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Old 10-24-2011, 04:05 PM   #79
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One space after a period. In the past, with IBM Selectric, etc., it was 2 spaces.

Have been editing and writing to many style guides over the past 40 years.
The IBM Selectric being relevant because it's a typewriter? Or because it has balls?

I don't understand why some people regard style guides as authoritative, except of course in case it's a condition of their jobs that they are required to conform to some style guide.. If a rule gets into a style guide, is there a reason for it, or is the author just making it up as he goes?. Maybe I am insufficiently respectful of authority.
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