Re: HTML/Word Processor Source (LONG)

Subject: Re: HTML/Word Processor Source (LONG)
From: Nancy Hayes <nancyh -at- PMAFIRE -dot- INEL -dot- GOV>
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 1996 22:29:08 GMT

In article <01-30-1996 -dot- 108 -at- gvarney -dot- opentext -dot- com> you write:
>I'm looking for suggestions for a way to create good looking printed
>documentation *and* good looking HTML files from the same source file.

As far as I know, there is no good way to do this. HTML will not produce
a standard look for your document; whoever is reading the HTML document
controls its appearance by modifying their viewer. There are also
different design concerns for what looks good on paper and what is useful
on screen.

Some of the things HTML will not do (at least w/o misusing the codes and
hoping someone's viewer doesn't blow your document up):

Outline format (legal, paragraph, or outline). HTML does unnumbered
lists and numbered lists.

Indents. With very few, specialized acceptions, HTML does not indent
text. It takes everything flush left.

Fonts: Your readers control the fonts with their viewers (like Netscape,
Mosaic, etc.)

Tables: Unfortunately, HTML tables are not the most user-friendly things
on earth. I'm having trouble with one right now.

HTML is a convenience; it provides the ability to link different parts of
a document together. In my opinion, it's also a kludgy program that is
entirely too narrow-focused in what it can and cannot do.

I'm sure this isn't what you were hoping to hear, but I really don't
think it's possible to have a word processing document and an HTML
document mirror each other. There's always preformatted text, but again
you can't control the font (monospaced); it doesn't always preformat the
text like it's supposed to; and it's extremely difficult (so I've heard)
to get links to work properly if they're anchored to preformatted text.

Good luck. If you're interested in HTML, here's a couple of places to
look: http://www.w3.org/hypertext/WWW/MarkUp/MarkUp.html and the
newsgroup comp.infosystems.authoring.html (search html if this doesn't
work). A word of warning, though. Some of the people in the html
newsgroup eat newcomers for breakfast. It's a great place to eavesdrop,
though. I've learned quite a bit just from listening in to their
conversations.

Sorry I couldn't be more help.

Nancy Lynn Hayes (nancyh -at- pmafire -dot- inel -dot- gov) Carpe Diem
Seize the Day!


PS: This alternative may work for you. When we place a document out on
the net, we have a link to a WordPerfect file that the person can
download by clicking on the disk icon. There are actually two separate
documents: the WordPerfect file (the controlled document) and the HTML
version (usually with the minimal code in it).

Also, when I write HTML document, I write the document in WordPerfect and
then use the search-replace function to add the HTML codes. It seems to
be easier than fiddling with something like HTML assist.

Again, good luck. If someone else comes up with a better solution,
please let me know.


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