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Text Presentation [message #4373] Mon, 23 January 2006 02:45 Go to next message
Eric  is currently offline Eric
Messages: 641
Registered: January 2003
Location: San Francisco
Senior Member
FWIW, I attempted to upload a page of Tuck done in a format similar (I think) to what Ellen was suggesting in her 1/22 Tuck Note, but the function didn't work.

Anyway, printing the story in "textbook" format -- 8" x 11" pages, half-inch margins, two-column text -- with no text breaks other than the time checks and chapter titles (not even paragraphs within a time-check), in 8-point Arial/Helvetica type, the full 114 chapters can be presented in exactly 555 pages of text, without resorting to condensed type.

(I'm not really suggesting that paragraphs be eliminated to that extent, and I'm told that a serif type (Times Roman, Garamond) is easier for readers to handle in large quantity than sans-serif. But I thought that information might be useful.)

Eric

  • Attachment: tuckp473.pdf
    (Size: 0.00KB, Downloaded 409 time(s))

[Updated on: Mon, 23 January 2006 03:01]

Re: Text Presentation [message #4375] Mon, 23 January 2006 09:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
Messages: 684
Registered: September 2002
Senior Member
If you have this, could you mail me A FEW PAGES of this in PDF format? It would be helpful to see it, and with some work I can read PDFs (just not easily).
DON'T mail me the whole thing; my Internet is still trickling through a 56k modem, and if I get a 200Mb file I'm going to wipe it off the mailserver without reading it.


Ellen
nosig
Re: Text Presentation [message #4376] Mon, 23 January 2006 13:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sir Lee  is currently offline Sir Lee
Messages: 440
Registered: October 2003
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Senior Member
Ellen, may I interest you in a version of the Tuck Saga carefully converted to hand-crafted, very clean, HTML+CSS?
Main features:

- I tried to keep close to your general layout (using *** flush left for the timestamps, for instance).
- Paragraph lines joined, though.
- Quote marks,etc. converted into typographic quotes.
- Special cases (IRC chats, pager messages, songs) have distinc styles.
- Highlights (like *this* and _that_) converted into <strong> and <em> respectively (although, for aesthetic reasons, I hacked the CSS so the <strong> tags are actually italic and the <em> are bold)
- I kept your "end of chapter comments," in a highlighted box to make it clear they are not part of the main text.

But the best part is... since ALL the formatting is done through CSS, any person with a bit of CSS knowledge can reformat the whole thing in a few minutes.

Right now, I have done it up to chapter #100. It's joined into four big files of 25 chapters each (plus the very small CSS file), but if would no trouble at all to "trim" one of them in order for you to have a preliminary look.

Since I was doing this for my own amusement (I promise, nobody else even *saw* it, and nobody will unless you give your OK), I tried doing some fancier stuff which mostly is relevant only for reading on a computer... for instance, I bothered to add tooltips with the song credits on every uncredited song I could find. And, to make it easier to remember which day of the week it is, I colored the *** in the timestamps. Again, all very easy to remove.

Each 25-chapter block is about 1.2 Mb in lenght, and zips nicely into a file about 400 kb (that's kilo, not mega). The whole thing, zipped, is just about 1.6 Mb -- smaller than the compressed original text files, due to the elimination of repeated stuff and the fact that a few big files compress better than a lot of small ones.

Sir Lee


Don't call me Shirley. You will surely make me surly.
Re: Text Presentation [message #4379] Mon, 23 January 2006 16:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
Messages: 712
Registered: September 2002
Location: Surf City, USA
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Ellen, I emailed you a two-column pdf of chapter one, just for an example. It's rough but can be cleaned up.

- Erin (Joyce)
Re: Text Presentation [message #4387] Wed, 25 January 2006 01:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Eric  is currently offline Eric
Messages: 641
Registered: January 2003
Location: San Francisco
Senior Member
Ellen, I just emailed four pages to you (from my Yahoo box; I've had better luck sending attachments from there than from the Netscape address referenced here).

Eric
Re: Text Presentation [message #4389] Wed, 25 January 2006 10:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
Messages: 684
Registered: September 2002
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Sir Lee wrote on Mon, 23 January 2006 18:42

Ellen, may I interest you in a version of the Tuck Saga carefully converted to hand-crafted, very clean, HTML+CSS?


No.
And, of course, if you distribute this to anyone, I'l be forced to get up, stop writing Tuck for a while, and hunt you down and mutilate you to death.
So the rest of you, don't even bother asking. Sir Lee would very much like to experience the rest of his life with his skin still on his body.

Really, if I wanted HTML, I'd have done it, back when I started writing. The only reason I am asking for PDF formatted stuff at the moment, is that this seems to be the preferred *spits* way to send stuff to publishers, which seems to be A Thing To Do again.


Ellen
nosig
Re: Text Presentation [message #4390] Wed, 25 January 2006 10:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
Messages: 684
Registered: September 2002
Senior Member
Good enough for a while. Thanks, kids.

NOBODY SEND ME ANY MORE!!


Ellen
nosig
Re: Text Presentation [message #4393] Wed, 25 January 2006 13:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
Messages: 712
Registered: September 2002
Location: Surf City, USA
Senior Member
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Lulu will actually accept stuff in MS Word .doc format. Not that I think you're likely to have that program. Smile

Still, it's probably bettger to do the .pdf on your end rather than letting them do it and examining their conversion, etc. Take two steps out of the process of dealing with the printer.

- Erin
Re: Text Presentation [message #4398] Wed, 25 January 2006 18:02 Go to previous message
rachel.greenham  is currently offline rachel.greenham
Messages: 290
Registered: November 2002
Location: Bristol, UK
Senior Member
Ellen Hayes wrote on Wed, 25 January 2006 15:03

Sir Lee wrote on Mon, 23 January 2006 18:42

Ellen, may I interest you in a version of the Tuck Saga carefully converted to hand-crafted, very clean, HTML+CSS?


No.
And, of course, if you distribute this to anyone, I'l be forced to get up, stop writing Tuck for a while, and hunt you down and mutilate you to death.
So the rest of you, don't even bother asking. Sir Lee would very much like to experience the rest of his life with his skin still on his body.

Really, if I wanted HTML, I'd have done it, back when I started writing. The only reason I am asking for PDF formatted stuff at the moment, is that this seems to be the preferred *spits* way to send stuff to publishers, which seems to be A Thing To Do again.


Ellen
nosig



Ellen, in fairness to Sir Lee, and myself and that Tuck2HTML program I wrote a few years back which does basically the same thing programmatically, the purpose of his mentioning it isn't to try to persuade you to allow HTML versions to be distributed, but to use XHTML as an intermediate structural document description format that can make much easier the task of readying Tuck to typographical standards. The reason Sir Lee and I both did it to XHTML is probably because, being XML, it's easy to generate and subsequently tweak either by hand or with a conversion tool.

Then CSS can be used to define a for-print stylesheet. Stylesheets are media-specific - normally for web pages we just see "screen" but there's also "print" and "audio" as well-defined parts of the standard. Possibly more but I can't remember them.)

So an XHTML "master" can be easily created (with tools that already exist!) which adds all the extra typographical richness to the text. Smart-quotes, the right kind of dashes, accents, footnotes, etc. More to the point it knows which parts of the text are normal paragraphs, timestamps or scene-changes, chapter headings, song lyrics, emphasis and character-thought, so all those things' appearance can be readily controlled by the stylesheet.

Then a single for-print stylesheet is created, to define the actual look, page size, left-right behaviour, guttering, font, font size, leading, tracking, justification, page numbers, page headers/footers, new-chapter behaviour, all the rest.

Then you just use a browser (well, a modern one like Firefox, I'm afraid lynx won't cut it) and print it to PDF.

[Updated on: Wed, 25 January 2006 18:05]


Rachel
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