Throughout A Place to Study let's follow two principles.
- Engage the work of another as the work of a peer. Shakespeare lived a human life, as you are doing.
- When another discusses our work, let's listen with neither a desire nor need to reply. Protecting our pride, merely impedes our learning well what we have to say.
- In place of a neutral point-of-view, we should strive to express fair and forthright thinking, informed by Matthew Arnold's sweetness and light. This is too much!
- Brad McCormick 1 — I (BMcC) am too much? I apologize. Editor in Chief always has options. (Aside: I would not boldface user comments.) I have cut out much. "over the long run" just makes Wiktext sadder since its unreleased parking brake will drag against persons' forward thinking for a long time. "pure bred" Maine Coon cats! "relatively few people packaging": I hoped SGML to replace "diagramming sentences" in middle school English. "HTML and CSS": HTML 5 IMO obfuscating/undemocratic. CSS? Reason I did not use CSS as basis for my personal website was it was not universally web browser identical (HTML 3.2/4.01 pretty much is browser agnostic).
SGML v. Wikitext
- Brad McCormick 2 — (1) I found Wiki Markup Cheatsheet link which used to be here helpful. (2) In the "dialog" between medium and message (ref.: Marshall McLuhan) it is sad to be stuck with a hobbled/cobbled partner. SGML was lucid, evocative medium for elaborating thinking in cyber (as opposed to: print) space. Shouldn't our tools be worthy of the effort we must invest in them trying to think/speak? Good tools help good craftspersons to both do good work and also enjoy it; but a competent craftsperson can often make do with inadequate resources (To a good craftsperson with only a hammer, not everything is a nail but a hammer is many things). Wikitext does not facilitate my thought; it causes me to think about/notice it like Androcles's lion thought about/noticed his paw. One thorn at a time....
Agreed, Wiki Markup is a pain in the paw. It seems to me that SGML, or the pure bred descendents of it, are best for relatively stable, very large documentation projects with lots of material and relatively few people packaging it. I don't think the choice is really one of Wiki Markup versus something else. What is the optimal platform in the universe of open source activity, broadly conceived, for making full use of digital media for serious cultural purposes over the long run (i.e., decades+) through voluntary, unremunerated activity? Given the circumstances, MediaWiki seems to me the best (but far from perfect ) option. We are kind of like Androcles, a runaway slave, holed up in a cave. MediaWiki is like the lion there too, with a thorn in its paw. Let's take that out—HTML and CSS and much else work fine in MediaWiki. Like Androcles we need to find a way to thrive in a plutocratic world without big bucks to finance our effort. I'm open to the possibility that some other platform, rather than MediaWiki, would be the best choice, all things considered, but I've explored the possibility some and haven't yet seen an alternative. Can we get Charles Goldfarb to help, or maybe Edward Mosher and Raymond Lorie also?
- I was not suggesting you change from using Wikitext. If there was/is anything better, conversion might be too big a diversion of your resources. My resources too.
- Younger users will feel right at home, by inurement, with Wikitext. But it is not right. I desperately wanted to get little hard-right justified text "boxes" to insert annotations in my pages. I finally figured out how to get them, sorta. But when I add them to my code, if I position box code anywhere other than at the end of previous paragraph, the line spacing in my paragraph gets botched -- it looks distasteful/pathetic to me, Q: "Why bother formatting? Why bother thinking?" A: per aspera ad astra.
- 31 July 2020. How can one get an exact spacing between text blocks (e.g., paragraphs)? I don't want 1 blank line and I don't want 2 blank lines. I want 1_1/2 blank lines (or other precise vertical spacing). (Am I asking for something that should not be hoped for?) Am I too dense to figure out how to do this? Or were the Wikitechies too dense to think any user might want such? If I'm dense, I ask to be enlightened. If they're dense, shame on them. Or there is a tertium quid here? (I do not mean to boldface/shout this, but to respectfully ask.) I think/feel web pages should not be limited to utility (e.g., Wikipedia pages) and advertising -- I think web pages should also be able to be works of art, works of art createable by non-techies even.