Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Wednesday, 06 February 2002

Various bits of good news to report:

I found out today that I've sold a story to the Why I Hate Aliens anthology. I also found out that I'll be sharing a table of contents not only with Karina, but also with yet another Clarion 2001 class member (who hasn't announced that fact, so I'm not going to say who it is). So, good news all around. Clarion class of 2001 rocks.

I also found that the new issue of Speculations is out and has my article on story structure in it. I'm pleased about that (my pleasure only very slightly diminished by the fact that they spelled my name wrong).

Yet another Clarion classmate, Beth Adele Long has put up on the website of her new zine Turbocharged Fortune Cookie an experimental, collaborative piece that I contributed to, along with a few other members of the Clarion class and other folks. She's calling it a "digital quilt." Check it out.

I'm an html snob.

Markup languages, such as html, were designed to let the author indicate that elements in the file are specific things, such as paragraphs, headings, or links to other files. Markup languages were not designed to let the author say that certain elements in the file should be set in a bigger point size or in italics, and most certainly not designed to let the author say that headings should be set in 18 point arial. The details of how to display something were to be made by the reader, who could say, "I think body text should be in times and headings in helvetica" and configure his browser that way.

Then the graphic designers started whining, wanting to control everything. I'd say, "Let 'em whine." But no. The html standard got loaded down with all kinds of features to let the writer indicate how the file should be displayed--features that make it hard for the reader to chose how to view the file.

Anyhow, I don't do any of that. My html is plain markup without any indication as to how you ought to view the file. I don't try to tell your browser what fonts to use, what point size to use, or how wide the page ought to be. I don't even say whether text should be in italics or bold--I just indicate that it should be emphasized or strongly emphasized. (I also indicate if certain text is a book title.) Your browser displays the text. If you don't like it, you can change your browser configuration (or get a more configurable browser). If the columns are too wide, make the browser window narrower. More specifically: Make the buffer window exactly the width that you find most comfortable to read; the text will adjust to fit. Far be it from me to decide how wide your columns ought to be.

That is, I do it the right way. And I'm smug about it.


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