Teething Report II

by Kieran Healy on March 12, 2005

Teething continues apace. Right now the main issue is with formatting. More below the fold.

Update: Now we have comment previewing and validation. We aim to please. Seems to be working OK.

I’m using “TextControl”:http://dev.wp-plugins.org/wiki/TextControl to manage the text markup. Many CT posts and comments use the “Textile”:http://www.textism.com/tools/textile/ markup syntax — specifically “Textile 2”:http://www.textism.com/article/739/ — , so we want to continue that. TextControl allows you to set the default markup for your blog (between Textile, Textile2, and others) and also choose which markup to use in particular posts. Unfortunately this latter functionality is currently broken with WordPress 1.5.

More importantly, though, some “difficult”:http://examinedlife.typepad.com/johnbelle/ “people”:http://www.albany.edu/philosophy/Faculty.html#mandle write their posts using TypePad’s editor, or some other wordprocessor that automatically fancifies text. This botches Textile 2’s parsing of these posts, leading to garbage output when dashes, apostrophes or quotation marks are encountered. Line-breaks within blockquote enviroments aren’t right in these circumstances, either. Switching the default markup from Textile 2 to its little brother Textile fixes most of these problems. But it comes at the price (there’s always a price, isn’t there?) of removing support for footnotes. Pointy-headed academics that we mostly are, this is a problem. I’m not sure whether there’s an easy way around it, either. It’d be nice if footnotes could be “backwarded” into Textile (which would have the benefit of speeding things up, too, because Textile 2 is much bigger than Textile), but I doubt this an option. Or maybe there’s a way to search-and-replace the offending characters (quotes and apostrophes, mostly) out of the database. Absent a solution, we’re currently using Textile for markup, so no nice footnotes, alas.



Jay Conner 03.12.05 at 3:51 pm

Why no longer a link to Juan Cole and Daily Kos ?
And who is this unlink, DC Girl >


Kieran Healy 03.12.05 at 4:18 pm

Juan Cole and DC Media links fixed. Not sure we ever did have a link to Kos, though.


Matt Weiner 03.12.05 at 4:49 pm

Are the two links to DeLong meant to make up to us academics for getting kicked off the front page? We’re not so easily appeased. Well, yes we are.

I think he’s moved to delong.typepad.com (with the current address mirroring or something for a while). That’s the useful bit of information I have for ye.


P.T. 03.12.05 at 8:23 pm

Yes, Daily Kos was linked. Used it frequently, especially prior to the US election.


julian 03.12.05 at 10:23 pm

Timothy Burke has been exiled from the lumber room, as well.


chris 03.13.05 at 7:01 am

And Jeanne d’Arc. Boo


Kieran Healy 03.13.05 at 9:25 am



KCinDC 03.13.05 at 9:48 am

Here’s a diff of the present Lumber Room against one from nearly a year ago. Presumably most changes were intentional, but maybe there are still a few that slipped through the cracks.

Roger Ailes
+Another False Alarm
-Jack Balkin
+Backword Dave
Body and Soul
-Michael Brooke
-Peter Briffa
Timothy Burke
-Avedon Carol
-Josh Cherniss
-Iain Coleman
-Davos Newbies
+Juan Cole
Daily Kos
-The Decembrist
Brad DeLong
+DC Media Girl
Charles Dodgson
Daniel Drezner
Kevin Drum
A Fistful of Euros
Ed Felten
Gary Farber
Russell Arben Fox
+Bill Gardner
Harry’s Place
The Head Heeb
Jim Henley
-John Holbo/Belle Waring
-Invisible Adjunct
Steven Johnson
Mark Kleiman
Larry Lessig
Libertarian Samizdata
Chris Lightfoot
+Long Story, Short Pier
Making Light
Joshua Marshall
-Iain Murray
-Charles Murtaugh
+Scott McLemee
+Ms. Musings
Nathan Newman
+Maud Newton
Natalie Solent
-Philosophy from the 617
-Political Aims
The Poor Man
+Public Health Press
+Respectful of Otters
Road to Surfdom
+Sappho’s Breathing
Alan Schussman
+Shot by Both Sides
6th International
Slugger O’Toole
Lawrence Solum
+Suburban Guerilla
+Talk Left
The Talking Dog
Two Blowhards
+Matthew Turner
Unlearned Hand
+War and Piece
The Virtual Stoa
Volokh Conspiracy
Matthew Yglesias



KCinDC 03.13.05 at 9:52 am

Hmm, the PRE tag worked in the preview. I can understand why it could be dangerous to allow it, but if it’s not going to work on “Submit”, it shouldn’t work on “Preview”.
Also, any chance of bringing back “Remember me” on the comment form?


KCinDC 03.13.05 at 9:54 am

Argh, apparently the preview is often different from the submitted format. The paragraph break in the previous one and the angle brackets in the one before were fine in preview.


Kieran Healy 03.13.05 at 10:54 am

KC — thanks for the diff. Most of those were intentional but a few not. I’ll fix any errors.
The preview and validation is a new plugin so I’m still figuring it out. It doesn’t seem to have a ‘remember me’ option. Maybe I can put one in, if I can find the relevant function in the default comment form. (Was there one?)


Kieran Healy 03.13.05 at 10:55 am

And I see you’re right about the paragraph breaks.


Don Lloyd 03.13.05 at 11:11 am

It used to be that your blog was almost unique in that the display of your front page would be punctuated by a blanking out of groups of a few lines of text, with the blanking coming and going as the page was scrolled up and down. Sometimes the lines would first display and then be blanked as something finally loaded in that vertical position on one of the margin columns.
This seems to have largely disappeared, except that the blanking still is sometimes found in the continuation or comments sections.


Matt 03.13.05 at 6:27 pm

Is there any chance of going back to the old link list, rather than having to specifically click on the list? That was something I found very convenient and nice w/ the old site, and while it’s not much harder, it’s less convenient on the new version.


Kieran Healy 03.13.05 at 7:15 pm

The trouble with the link list was that it was getting to be gigantic. There are so many academic bloggers that we couldn’t track the new ones, couldn’t regularly check to see how many of the existing ones were defunct, and were stuck with hugely long list on one side of the page.


Ajax Bucky 03.14.05 at 12:57 am

The post title font color could be subdued.


Danny 03.14.05 at 7:14 am

Speaking of the academic link list, I (Danny Loss) appear twice on the history list. Much as I appreciate the bonus traffic that must come with two links, I’m guessing you want to fix it.


Chris 03.14.05 at 4:27 pm

Aw man, I kind of liked that new color scheme you had going for 30 or 40 minutes there.


Kieran Healy 03.14.05 at 9:38 pm

Thanks Chris. Turns out nobody else did :(
I’m also aware of the paragraph-break problem, which is afflicting Jim Henley’s site too.


peter ramus 03.15.05 at 9:56 am

The WordPress migration is really coming along. Congratulations.

You might want to try these changes to your comment page:

A <br /> immediately after the closing label tag of “Your Comment” will keep those words nested above the comments box no matter how wide the browser window gets.

To adjust the size and font of the labels, add this line to your CSS (season to taste):

form {font: 85%; "Some Font-Family Or Other";}

Here’s a decent resource if you’re still interested in tweaking the colors on your site. I see you’ve toned down the red headings a bit. I wish I’d seen your experiment. Maybe a reprise on April 1?


ArC 03.17.05 at 5:38 am

The auto-fancification of text makes it a royal pain to cut-n-paste into old-school text applications such as unix terminals.
I know, I should join the 21st century.

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