Tuesday, August 14, 2012

In the meantime

I was obviously otherwise engaged last week. That could just be a nice way of saying “lazy”, but this time I was just busy. First there was work, then at the weekend we went to Tairua. It’s been a busy time, and I’m only now getting caught up.

However, even though I haven’t published, it doesn’t mean I wasn’t working on things related to the blog: I have several posts in various states of completion, most of which will eventually end up published. But I also took time for a radical (for me) departure.

When I started this blog, and for many years afterward, I had a policy of never editing posts once another one was published: If I posted something, I could change it as much as I wanted until I published a new one, and then I stopped edits (apart from addendums and spelling corrections).

In the past year or so I’ve had second thoughts about that, and have allowed myself to make minor edits for clarity or for better grammar, not just to correct spelling. This month, it went up another notch: I started fixing formatting.

For quite some time, I used Microsoft Word to write my posts, cutting and pasting the things into Blogger, including type effects like italic, bold, etc. It was great. Some years later, after a couple Blogger upgrades and two template changes, I noticed that when I looked at the HTML, Word included all sorts of garbage code—mostly stuff to tell Word what to do or what things were (like adding some sort of location tag whenever I dared to mention “NZ”).

Mostly, this was an annoyance, but sometimes it messed up the formatting, especially spacing between paragraphs. I eventually worked out that if I pasted the text into the HTML box instead of “Compose” all that garbage formatting was stripped off, and I’ve been doing that ever since (and manually adding type effects like italics).

But lately when I’ve searched old posts, some—especially those from around the beginning—have triple spaces or more between paragraphs. So, I decided to start fixing them as I run across them. In a way, this is just making the look of this blog consistent across all posts, but it IS a change from when I first published them. Does it matter? Clearly I don’t think so.

The fact that I even wondered whether such changes matter or not shows that even when I’m busy I can think about silly stuff. Must be a coping mechanism. I have no similar excuse for doing so the rest of the time.

And, I’m still going to fix stuff.


Roger Owen Green said...

The only reason I don't do that is that I'd never write new stuff...

Arthur Schenck said...

Well, it's not like I go LOOKING for it—I just change things as I find them. And, probably, sometimes so I can avoid doing new stuff…