Thursday, June 21, 2007

Blog Posting

What's my technique?
    I have found the Compose window to provide unsatisfactory service. It seems to insert confusing code almost like is has MS in front of its name. The entry box is too small and is not representative of what the post will look like. Additionally, what you see is not related to what appears in preview, which itself is defective in that it is not in any way similar to the actual post format.
    So, the Compose window is useless and I have it turned off.
    I know simple html code and I'm not afraid to use it. In fact, because I do the formatting manually, I have a real good idea of exactly what the final result will be.
    My set-up: I have a blog folder on my desktop and in it are an ideas folder, a writing folder, a local_css folder and a pictures folder. I have four primary files that I use with a text editor (KWrite) and some supporting files, mostly with formatting code.
    The local_css folder has a local.css file with some key post-level styles. The ideas folder contains text files that I create when I think of something I might write about. It has a title and an rough outline. If I have images that support the idea I crop and size them and put them in the pictures folder. I indicate where the pictures might go in the idea file; just the name at that point.
    When I think I will actually make a post, I move the idea file to the writing folder and start trying to come up with filler. The writing folder also has a writing _template folder containing an html document which is the preview window for my post. It's in the form of a single cell table formatted to the same width as my blog-post column. It also has a link to my local.css file, so when I paste my writing in I get a real good idea of what the final will look like.
    Usually, when I start the serious writing phase I drag some formatting code to the bottom of the file so I can easily copy it into place. Examples of the code are <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; <br /><br />Tom</span> and <br />&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;. The first is my basic post wrapper as I want the text to be black and the second is the way I end a paragraph and start a new indented one.
    I apply some code like <em> (italics) and <strong> (bold) as I go, but some goes in when I am previewing. Also, when I am in writing mode, I put the local-link in for any images I may be using and decide how to format those. When I think I am ready, I spell check, then I read it over, and copy/paste into my writing-template, which also has space for the title.
    I save frequently as I write and I save the writing template as a post-title named file, so I have a copy of the post permanently saved on my computer.
    One or two more reads and adjustments, and I am ready to post. At this point I also know I may have to make some code adjustments when I post in Blogger as some code works a little different between my template and Blogger.
    In Blogger, I work in the Edit Html window as Compose is turned off. You do not want to work code in Edit Html, then switch to Compose as the code will be lost.
    The first thing I do is upload any images in the order they are used. Then, I copy the code and paste it into position in my writing-template, over-writing my local link, and delete the code from the Edit window. Next, I copy the entire post into the Edit Html window, followed by a quick preview. Quick because the preview window is barely above useless.
    Publish and any adjustments are made. It's unfortunate that the first real look at the post happens when the world sees it, but the price is right. If I have to make serious edits, I go back to the writing-template, then recopy the entire post back to Edit.
    A final note about the writing-template. At this stage the post is opened in the text editor and the web browser at the same time. Make a change in the editor, save, refresh the browser. Repeat until happy.

Tom

1 comment:

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Sorry for offtopic