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Old 10-02-2006, 02:42 PM   #1
Molly/CA
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Default Keep text from wrapping?

OK, I'm trying to help my friend Ezra Sims update some info on his website and do some recovery work on the home page, from when it was hacked. It's a very simple site, loads in an instant even with my dialup, and should be kept that way.

http://www.ezrasims.com/

He gave a set of Word .doc files to a student who got it up and running, as I understand it. The student has wandered off and neither of us have any idea how to carry on. I downloaded the home page to work on, on the assumption that when I got the text into a reasonable layout in an htm file we, or someone, could figure out how to load it into the site.

I've now got an htm page that's pretty consistent, but the text wraps as the window is narrowed. Because so much of the information is lists, this messes up the whole list. How do I get the page set up so that the tables will truncate rather than wrap if the window is narrowed beyond the line length (like the box and smilie sidebar I'm writing in--)?

Can this be done and still keep the information easy to update? The composer is still composing, and there should be a recording or two sometime. What do you have to do to update a page, exactly, once it's up?

We have only Word and SeaMonkey's Composer to work with. I figure if it came out as nicely as it did with only Word in the first place, that should do for the present. The new homepage file looks the same in SeaMonkey and IE and is fine (if the links will still work) but I'd like to freeze the format.

(This is just the beginning, and I'm really embarrassed at what a beginner I am. I'm going to need everything explained in words of one syllable and sentences of three words or less, and more and more so as I go on.)

When I laid out and corrected pages for the websites of a couple of other groups, I just sent in the corrected documents. I have no idea how they were put into the whole. But for one site, we were given a special password so we could look at the corrections and make suggestions, without the site being corrected being available to the public --but if I remember the first attempt was still up. Is that standard? Does it depend on the hosting service (HostRocket in this case)?

(I have some thoughts about the layout but they'll have to wait--)

Molly
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Old 10-02-2006, 04:59 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Molly/CA View Post
He gave a set of Word .doc files to a student who got it up and running, as I understand it. The student has wandered off and neither of us have any idea how to carry on.
Had a peep at the source code and if I was responsible I would have wandered off as well!

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How do I get the page set up so that the tables will truncate rather than wrap if the window is narrowed beyond the line length (like the box and smilie sidebar I'm writing in--)?
Do you mean truncate as in loosing the ends of the lines instead of wrapping the text?

On a printed page you as a designer have full control over how it looks, on the web there are a few unknown variables, such as how wide the page is when it is viewed or if the viewer has changed the size of the text or not. You just don't know!

Perhaps it would be a good idea to do something like this:

ORCHESTRAL MUSIC

Le Tombeau d’Albers (1958) 5’
222(bs)2(contra) - perc/harp/strs

(from the "twelve note music" page)

Divide the information using headings and sub headings instead of spreading it out horizontally, that way it doesn't matter so much if lines wrap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Molly/CA View Post
What do you have to do to update a page, exactly, once it's up?
Keep a copy of it on your hard drive and do your edits then upload it with the same file name and that's about it.

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Originally Posted by Molly/CA View Post
We have only Word and SeaMonkey's Composer to work with.
If SeaMonkey Composer is anything like the Mozilla equivalent it will be just fine even if it will do things to how your code looks. (My current site was made with Nvu which is derived from Mozilla Composer.) Hopefully it will have an FTP client built in like Nvu as well.

If you really wanted to, you could download a copy of Nvu as it is a bit more helpful than Composer. It is free so it could be money well spent.

Word is a different matter - you want your text without formatting so it would be good to use something like Notepad to type the document in, and then do the formatting in SeaMonkey Composer.

It would be fascinating to actually hear some snippets of music on there as well.

   
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Last edited by Bo Aakerstrom; 10-03-2006 at 03:30 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 10-03-2006, 12:23 AM   #3
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Molly: you are asking about the whitespace property of CSS, I think (http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/text.h...ite-space-prop ). But as Bo says, the web just isn't DTP and you may be better off accepting its limitations and working around them.
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Old 10-03-2006, 08:40 AM   #4
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http://www.ezrasims.com/ ...

I'm afraid that is really a Word (DOC) document, not an HTML page! It's probably also about 5 times as large as it should be - if not more - due to all the superfluous "HTML" (not!) code that Word generates. (What Bo says: "I was responsible I would have wandered off as well!")

How to carry on?

What you really need is make an outline in HTML (use SeaMonkey, NVu or Notepad) and then fill that with the content copied as (plain) text from the word document. Use proper headings and paragraphs in the outline (tables only where you really have tabular data).

Trying to clean up the mess you now have is going to cost you (waste) far more time... It's not in a form that can be maintained now - you need proper HTML (preferably XHTML) for that.

   
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Old 10-03-2006, 10:25 AM   #5
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Hitting some of your points:

Wrapping is good; it makes the site usable by people with many approaches to web reading (and different browsers). However, much of that information could be placed within tables, which would keep the sections clear.

On the other hand, I agree with Bo — some of the side heads could be more effective and easier to manage as stacked heads.

For a controlled-access update process, set up a drafts folder on the server and place the temporary site in there (leaving the other one still alive). Supply that exact URL to the editors and they can view it online from anywhere. It could be password-protected, though I think having a keep-away statement in the .htaccess file would work as well. (I would not allow any but one person to actually change any text or code, however.)

As for layout, you may find you are solving some of those issues as you work out the page.

Are you willing to get a book? Although it is aging, Elizabeth Castro’s HTML for the World Wide Web (edition 5) is excellent for learning, almost a cookbook.

   
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Old 10-03-2006, 10:49 AM   #6
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It is easy to become a bit elitist about web design - I didn't mean to put down whoever helped out in the first place, at least there was something available for people to read.

Buying a book is better than doing what I did (trawling the internet for information - it is all there but a little hard to get at).

The other thing I did do I recommend wholeheartedly; ask questions and lots of them! There are quite few people on this forum who are eminently equipped to clarify any issues involved.

A properly coded web page is a lot less intimidating than the mess Word left behind, so don't think you can't do it! It's not rocket science (thank goodness).

   
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Old 10-03-2006, 11:20 AM   #7
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Are you willing to get a book? Although it is aging, Elizabeth Castro’s HTML for the World Wide Web (edition 5) is excellent for learning, almost a cookbook.
Version 6 is out. I received mine from Amazon a few weeks ago.

   
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Old 10-03-2006, 11:54 AM   #8
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Version 6 is out. I received mine from Amazon a few weeks ago.
Oh, good. Thought it was about time.

Many changes? Oh, never mind, I will just get it. My 5 is dog-eared and weary anyway.

   
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Old 10-03-2006, 01:27 PM   #9
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I don't have any advice but I really love the photo on his page...very nice...

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Old 10-03-2006, 01:41 PM   #10
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I agree; there are some really good pictures on the site - some cleanup and resizing is required but otherwise it's good stuff.

   
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