Spacing between sentences?

RunningBum

Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
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Jun 18, 2007
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I type in a post with the standard 2 spaces after a period, but then I look at it after submitting the post, and there's only a single period. It looks like it's happening to everyone. As a test, I'll put in 4 spaces after this sentence. Are there 4 spaces before this one?

It looks like the software is removing extra spaces, but 2 spaces between sentences is standard, not 1. I think 1 makes a longer paragraph a lot less readable. Can this be fixed?

I'm using Firefox 7.0.1 on Windows7.
 
TESTING:

Sentence of stuff followed by period and two spaces. Then the next sentence, followed by period and 'enter'.


Sentence of stuff followed by period and one spaces. Then the next sentence, followed by period and 'enter', and I left 'spaces' plural for the same char count.

Sentence of stuff followed by period and six spaces. Then the next sentence, followed by period and 'enter'.


Will post, then look. Preview says yes, it takes them out for me too. I do seem to recall this now. Odd behavior.

-ERD50
 
I had the same problem trying to format a table. Looked great in preview, then all my extra spaces removed in the final post.
 
wwwww
lllll


wwwww
lllll


Animorph - the whole issue of posting data (which we do a lot of) would be soooooo much simpler if they undid this ridiculous yanking out of multiple spaces. Above, I chose courier new as the font in the second case, which is mono-spaced, so columns will line up, and you can easily pad them with spaces. The "Code" icon will keep the spaces, but that has other side effects. One work-around is to use chars other than spaces as the 'fillers', but not so good for sentence endings.

Why would the programmers decide to do this? It isn't a common practice at all. Very odd. But they also skip all sorts of things from searches, and don;t tell you that either.


-ERD50
 
Usually the editing software thinks it gets to decide how all white space is treated. It decides what things are separated by being in different paragraphs, different sentences, or different words, then it formats those for display completely ignoring blank spaces that you typed in (except for what clues they may give about where words, sentences, or paragraphs are supposed to begin and end). Separating sentences with two blanks instead of just one ought to be doable, if we could agree that would be more readable, depending on the accessibility of the editing software that does the dirty work. (And I don't know how accessible it is, or to whom.)

But really, let me suggest, the problem is that there is only one standard width blank space to work with. That's a matter of computer convention that has just grown up with no good reason. Printers have many different spacings as they typeset which they can use to separate words or sentences, and generally they will use an amount between sentences that is intermediate between the inter-word spacing and double that. That's what we're used to seeing in print. But we can't do that on a computer screen, because we have just that single blank character to work with.

The computer fonts we use are proportional, with differing widths for different characters, so there is really no reason (except inertia) why we should not have several sorts of blanks, with varying widths, to correspond to the traditional typesetters' thin shims of lead used to produce white spaces of varying width. It would make text on a computer screen more beautiful, and it would also make it easier to do right justification.
 
I had read about this a few days ago on the net. It seems we are old-timers.
 
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.

As for your other table issues, I'll defer to REW. I only post pictures. :)
 
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.

There is another alternative, one practiced by at least one long-term forum member . I'm using the same technique in this post . You still have two spaces between sentences, one before and after the punctuation mark . I confess it isn't my punctuation preference ! But if Sarah is an "OF" and I've got a kid her age, I suppose that makes me an "AOF" . That might explain my reluctance to accept change . . . :)
 
Last edited:
RunningBum said:
I type in a post with the standard 2 spaces after a period, but then I look at it after submitting the post, and there's only a single period. It looks like it's happening to everyone. As a test, I'll put in 4 spaces after this sentence. Are there 4 spaces before this one?

Using the ER Forum app on iPhone I see the spaces just as you typed them. Which is just how I learned to type on a manual typewriter and how I will type until the day I die.
 
FYI, it's probably not the forum software stripping out extra spaces. It's part of the HTML standard. Browsers are required to ignore extra spaces and do their own formatting. There are, of course ways around this, such as the use of the "code" tag, as already noted. I'm just saying, don't blame the forum software. Even if it dutifully left in 100 space characters after the period at the end of this sentence, your browser would be required to squish it all down to a single space. Blame the WWW Consortium.
 
FYI, it's probably not the forum software stripping out extra spaces. It's part of the HTML standard. Browsers are required to ignore extra spaces and do their own formatting. There are, of course ways around this, such as the use of the "code" tag, as already noted. I'm just saying, don't blame the forum software. Even if it dutifully left in 100 space characters after the period at the end of this sentence, your browser would be required to squish it all down to a single space. Blame the WWW Consortium.

FYI, it's probably not the forum software stripping out extra spaces. It's part of the HTML standard. Browsers are required to ignore extra spaces and do their own formatting. There are, of course ways around this, such as the use of the "code" tag, as already noted. I'm just saying, don't blame the forum software. Even if it dutifully left in 100 space characters after the period at the end of this sentence, your browser would be required to squish it all down to a single space. Blame the WWW Consortium.

I'm no www/html expert, but that doesn't sound right to me based on experience with other forums.

As a test, I created a document in LibreOffice with different spaces, exported it as html, and when my browser read the file in, all the spaces were preserved as typed.

Maybe that author meant 'the html code in the text window'. It just doesn't sound right to me that any standard would strip extra spaces. No other program we use does that.

-ERD50
 
I thought this was the only place I noticed single spaces, but I just looked at another board I post at and see the same thing. I didn't realize that single spacing was being taught now. I thought it was some ER-specific setting, but it probably isn't. I'll live with it, though I would prefer it to leave spaces as I type them without having to jump through hoops.
 
Other places on the web take my extra space away, too. Not just the meanies here at ER-org. ;) I will endeavor to persevere, though, and just let it go.
 
Hmmm, so I looked at the SOURCE of this page, and my post #2 SOURCE has the spaces retained as I typed them. So they are not stripped out by the software, but the browser is stripping them out, but I don't think this happens in every site.

I'm guessing that the er.org source code needs something in the source header that is generated to tell my browser to preserve spaces? Can I over-ride that, or do we need er.org to make the change to how they create the pages? It sure would make formatting posts much, much easier (the code & table tags have drawbacks).

-ERD50
 
FYI, it's probably not the forum software stripping out extra spaces.. It's part of the HTML standard.. Browsers are required to ignore extra spaces and do their own formatting.. There are, of course ways around this, such as the use of the "code" tag, as already noted.. I'm just saying, don't blame the forum software.. Even if it dutifully left in 100 space characters after the period at the end of this sentence, your browser would be required to squish it all down to a single space.. Blame the WWW Consortium.
Here's another way around it.. Notice the extra space after sentences in the above quoted passage.
 
You can always add extra periods..... :ROFLMAO:
 
But no women would recommend that option, and I doubt that few men would, either. :cool:


:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO: 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.
 
Here's another way around it.. Notice the extra space after sentences in the above quoted passage.

That'll do it, but I doubt anyone wants to insert a bunch of white "."s in their text.

Code:
<font color="White">.</font>

-ERD50
 
This also happened on Usenet so no matter how many spaces you put between sentences it posted with one space. Does anyone remember Usenet?
 
That'll do it, but I doubt anyone wants to insert a bunch of white "."s in their text.
It might be possible to add to the forum software an emoticon which displays as a space (preferably narrow). I looked about the Web for one but couldn't find any.
 
It might be possible to add to the forum software an emoticon which displays as a space (preferably narrow). I looked about the Web for one but couldn't find any.

That is still far too tedious compared to hitting the SPACE bar. From a little googling, and my successful experiment in creating a plain html file that preserves spaces w/o any coaxing, it appears to me that there is some code in the source of the web page that tells it to strip out consecutive white-spaces.

If that were set to preserve instead (which seems to be the default), we could see our posts as they were intended, rather than having them cyber-edited.

Try for yourself, save this file and then open it in your browser:

(ooops, the forum software does not support attaching an html file), so just copy/paste this into a word processor, and export as html, then open that file in your browser. If it works trhe same as it did for me, the spaces will be preserved, and as yu can see, there is nothing specifically telling it to do that. So something in the way the forum produces these pages must set something that tells it to strip the white-space.


Code:
01 spaces. Next
02 spaces.  Next
06 spaces.      Next

-ERD50
 
I created a document in LibreOffice with different spaces, exported it as html, and when my browser read the file in, all the spaces were preserved as typed.

Look at the HTML source code. It's probable that LibreOffice "knew" that you intentionally wanted all those extra spaces, so it replaced them with HTML " " (code for non-breaking space) characters in the HTML source file. Browsers will respect the special   character (likewise with using the <br> tag to force a line break).

But all this is really trying to "trick" HTML into doing something it was never intended to do. HTML is a contextual markup language, not a strict formatting language. The whole idea of HTML was to allow the author to specify content and general preferences, while leaving the specific rendering up to the individual browsers themselves, so they could give whatever special treatment is necessary to display the content in a visually pleasing manner on a number of very diverse devices (everything from your computer monitor to your TV to your cell phone/iPod). Forcing 100 blanks spaces or line breaks or font sizes might look just fine on your particular computer monitor (with your particular browser and screen resolution), but it might look choppy and disjointed when rendered on a Blackberry.

There are tricks that let you specify those kinds of things, but you're not supposed to.
 
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