Thursday, July 17, 2008

Remedial Respondent

Blogging is a fun activity because it gives me the opportunity to learn new skills and practice old ones. HTML coding, albeit limited to only the simplest of codes, is one of those skills which I am learning s l o w l y.

For reasons which I still do not quite comprehend, but most probably have to do with my impatience and (unexplainable in this particular situation) lack of attention to detail, I continue to post responses on other people’s blogs in which I misspell, misspeak, or just generally miss. I honestly think that when I decide, last minute, to add a word, a bracket, or a punctuation mark, my cursor, in direct correlation to the exigency of my fingers, jumps position to some other line. Because the addition is minor relative to the rest of the words, I never really notice the misplacement until after I hit “submit”.

If you, like me, need to improve the mechanics of your response skills, I have one word for you – tinyURL (yes, thanks to the wikiworld, it is one word). I know it’s been around for a long time, but if you’ve never used, you might want to think about using it.

I have found that instead of coding a hyperlink in a response (for which I have made the ugly mistake of hyperlinking an entire paragraph on more than one occasion), it’s more reliable to turn your incredibly long link into a tiny link. I know this is old hat to some, but I just started using it recently – and I like it as an alternative to the quirky hyperlink or incredibly long URL address.

For instance:

Should I wish to write a response on a post entitled “Guilty Pleasures”, I may want to link to the TBS site about Dawson’s Creek. I can do this by adding a hyperlink, but that involves me typing in all sorts of weird characters which provides a tremendous opportunity to make a stupid mistake, which, in turn, is even more embarrassing than divulging my mild obsession for the teen drama if you can believe it.

< href="“,,38710,00.html”">some related word or set of words, and then I need to close!!! the code < /a > (all without extra spaces that I needed to add in order to see the code).

[Note: In some situations, the quotation marks around the URL are unwarranted. Which situations? Sadly, I don’t know – another problem – but I have experienced it.]

Of course all this is doable, but I’d rather go to my favorites, open in a new window, and paste in the too-long URL. It instantly generates a new smaller link which I can copy and paste directly into the response. Sure, the reader has to actually copy and paste the link in his address line, but it saves me from miscoding, or having one huge URL address that falls off the comments page.

I thought maybe someone else could use this little trick tutorial.


C. August said...

< href="“http:www.tbs.
com/stories/story/0,,38710,00.html”">some related word or set of words, and then I need to close!!! the code < /a > (all without extra spaces that I needed to add in order to see the code).

[Note: In some situations, the quotation marks around the URL are unwarranted. Which situations? Sadly, I don’t know – another problem – but I have experienced it.]

Actually, the quotes are absolutely necessary in an HREF. One pair of quotes - only one.

The proper form of an A tag is
< a href=""> text text< /a >
If you add an extra set of quotes in the URL (how did you get a URL like that anyway?) then it will break.

So if you often end up with doubled URLs like your example, with a one followed by the actual URL you want people to click, make sure to get rid of the thing, and make sure that there is only one set of quotes around the URL.

LB said...

I meant to do that.

Just kidding. Apparently, I'm am a remedial poster now as well!

When I wrote this in Word, copied it into blogger, and published, I saw that I had to edit and re-publish it from the "html" because it had actually taken my tags as code and put a hyperlink on the extraneous words (I added the extra spaces to avoid that).

When I went back in, I didn't even notice the double URL!

But, I know for a fact that once I had to remove the quotation marks in a comment on blogger because it would not accept the tag with them. Ask Stephen! Really! It was his blog!

C. August said...

You may think that's what happened...

I'm being a pest, I know. But my experience is -- and this is why I love working with computers -- that there is always a hard and fast answer to seemingly wacky problems.

If you compose your comments in word, they probably use "fancy" quotes instead of the straight plain-text quotes you get in the blogger comment window. I have seen browsers be unable to render those fancy quotes, so who knows? Maybe it choked on those?

Oh, and you can actually see the different types of quotes in the example you gave. The URL is surrounded by them.

I'm just throwing that out there as an example of something that might have caused a glitch. I doubt that was actually the cause. It's tough to really diagnose without reproducing it.

Oh, and once you removed the quotes, did the resulting link work once it was posted? Which post was it? I can look at the source code if you give me a link to the post.

LB said...

Okay - you're right in implying that the system is not "quirky" - I was being stupid; however, I really do not need quotes around the href URL in order for it to post correctly in a response.

Let's see if I can do it here.

C. August said...

I wasn't saying you were being stupid. I'm just trying to help and poke a little fun at the same.

FYI, you taught me something new. You can indeed add a link in a blogger comment without quotes. Blogger conveniently adds them for you behind the scenes. (I checked the code by viewing the page source in the browser)

LB said...

Aaah! I considered that but thought if it happened behind the scenes, when I hit "preview", the changes would magically appear in the original comment box! I should have known better.

Regarding "being stupid", I said that but please refer to my quiz and your comments on sensitivity.

And I do appreciate the help. In this case, it was pointing out my lack of careful editing.