This is the Message Centre for MaW

to a software programmer

Post 1

Blue Bird

Hello MaW, I carefully read your Personal Page. I printed it, and read it repeatedly.
I have a recently purchased computer, a Dell laptop.
My Microsoft WORD programm gives me a great opportunity to create any fancy page with the variety of fonts, in colors with visual image insertions, and I can create it very fast.

GML is a time consuming, difficult thing FOR ME to do,-- yet when I write an article my friends like me to use GML.
Can you tell me why h2g2 is not able to pick up my transmission from my "fancy" WORD programm?
Collective is publishing my photos, my repros from my paintings. What is the matter with h2g2 that I am curtailed in so many ways?

I wonder if you would reply where will you send it? To my page, or on your page? You know there is a lot of inconsistency in those programms. Blue Bird aka Gecko smiley - tit

to a software programmer

Post 2


Yes, Word gives you the ability to make excellently presented printed documents. It's not so good for online documents though. Something that a lot of people don't realise is that the requirements for onscreen reading and printed reading are actually different - the eye behaves differently when reading from a screen than when reading from paper, for various reasons to do with how display technology works and the necessity of scrolling/turning the page.

h2g2 uses GuideML largely because it's quite a simple thing to deal with. It provides what is known as 'semantic markup', which basically means that you mark up your text with what it means rather than what you want it to look like - hence why there are tags like and instead of and . By marking out text in that way, h2g2 can ensure that articles appearing in different skins will always look good, as the site's formatting engine will adapt automatically to the skin's appearance. This is also known as a seperation of content and presentation - you define the content in terms of paragraphs, headings etc., then run it through something that knows about the presentation - as in what a header should look like - to get the final result. Word tends to mash these concepts together quite horribly, although proper use of the styles system can let you do semantic documents fairly well.

Getting off topic a little here, trying to wrench it back.

Trying to squeeze a Word document into this model is extremely difficult. Word supports a massively wider range of formatting techniques than GuideML does, so it's almost inevitable that anything you write in Word, even if there was a converter to GuideML, would come out looking fairly awful. It is ultimately not really worth the effort it would take to produce something even partially good.

That is of course not an official position of the BBCi development people, but I know a bit about how the software that runs this place works so I think I can comment with a reasonable degree of accuracy.

You may be pleased to know that there is a project called GuideDog who intend, eventually, to produce a nice graphical editor for GuideML. I personally have produced a non-graphical GuideML editor in the past, and intend to do a new version in the future, but that's more of an assistant than a WYSIWYG one.

to a software programmer

Post 3

Blue Bird

Hello smiley - smiley MaW and Thank you! This is the tail end of this day.
I have to get a fresh start to elaborate on this issue of GML.

Lo and Behold: I did produce an introduction with GML: with lot of help from a couple of GURUS, but than I got tired of it very soon to see the same page and I deleted it. Since than I change my introduction fequently.

But this goes for other members pages as well. You see the same thing over and over again. Gets boring. Particularly when there are seasonal stuff involved, like Merry Christmas, but a half a year later is still Merry Christmas--- perhaps down-under where is winter in July.

Anyway I'll be in better shape tomorrow, have an important meeting to attend. I don't know how will my day end. But I promise to get back to you with more intersting, perhaps "fun" stuff.smiley - cool

If there is something very exciting for today: Google got into the Stockmarket which is fantastic. So it goes: in 5 short years they can issue stocks starting at $ 85---$95???? I wonder what Bill Gates will have to say? Wow! smiley - wow

I'll be back tomorrow! Thanks again. Blue Bird smiley - titsmiley - smiley

to a software programmer

Post 4


One of the reasons Google stock is so expensive is its scarcity I think. Bill Gates' personal worth is greater than the entire worth of Google at the moment, so I doubt he's particularly bothered, although it is said that Microsoft did try to buy Google at one point and Google said no, so Microsoft got all sulky and started attempting to improved their MSN Search engine. They keep saying they've got a new search system on the way that'll be better than Google's.

Good luck to them - search is a seriously tricky business.

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