Psycho-Babble Administration Thread 3004

Shown: posts 1 to 25 of 91. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

HTML-Enabling Extra?

Posted by IsoM on February 18, 2002, at 15:12:25

This is no big deal for me, Dr. Bob, so if it's lots of work, just ignore the suggestion.

Is it possible to design it so that we can use HTML ourselves when we post a message, while still allowing those who don't know HTML to enter a URL & have it automatically become a hyperlink? I'm not sure if both choices can can be coded in for the same site. Never tried anything like that myself.

I can see a drawback to making it HTML enabled. Some may start trying to use bright and/or unusual fonts & animated gifs, slowing down loading times for others, but I don't think many would. I'm asking because when I type a message (instead of saying it), I'd like to add emphasis to certain words with occasional italics or bold font. Also, when I add URLs, I'd like to do it as <a href="URL"><b><font color=blue>TITLE OF SITE></font></b></a> so only the name of the site shows without all the address. I'd never add images from other sites, especially any copyrighted ones. You don't need the hassle.

Like I said, it's a small point only & may not be possible.

 

Re: HTML-Enabling Extra?

Posted by christophrejmc on February 18, 2002, at 23:37:45

In reply to HTML-Enabling Extra?, posted by IsoM on February 18, 2002, at 15:12:25

Enabling raw HTML would not be a good idea (for security reasons, mostly (also, someone could link to an exceptionally large image, sound, video, etc. -- most people know how to "stop" the connection, but it would be annoying nonetheless)), but it's possible to allow only certain codes (or limits). Another possibility is to write a mini language in something like lex (if you're not familiar with lex, perl probably has something similar), something easy that could be used by someone who isn't familiar with HTML.

 

Re: HTML-Enabling Extra?

Posted by Dr. Bob on February 19, 2002, at 1:03:14

In reply to Re: HTML-Enabling Extra?, posted by christophrejmc on February 18, 2002, at 23:37:45

> Enabling raw HTML would not be a good idea

The script actually has an enable-HTML option that's easy to turn on, but I've left it off for the reasons you two have mentioned.

> Another possibility is to write a mini language in something like lex, something easy that could be used by someone who isn't familiar with HTML.

I'm not familiar with lex, but I've seen boards that let you put bold text between [b] and [/b]. Why that's better than <b> and </b> I don't know...

But: one idea I just had was a specialized <amazon>Book Title</amazon> system...

Bob

 

amazon tag Dr. Bob

Posted by christophrejmc on February 20, 2002, at 21:21:15

In reply to Re: HTML-Enabling Extra?, posted by Dr. Bob on February 19, 2002, at 1:03:14

I like the amazon tag idea.

Another thing to think about might be a "<drug>" tag that would link to http://www.rxlist.com/cgi/rxlist.cgi?drug=$DRUG (of course, a different medication site could be used).

Just an idea,
Christophre

 

Re: linking book titles to amazon

Posted by Dr. Bob on October 21, 2002, at 0:35:38

In reply to amazon tag Dr. Bob, posted by christophrejmc on February 20, 2002, at 21:21:15

> I like the amazon tag idea.

OK, let's give this a try. But how about double double quotes instead of a tag?

Just put a book title in double double quotes, and the server will automatically search Amazon.com and link to the first match. When you confirm your post, you have the option of linking to a different book (or not linking at all). Sorry, but this only works with double quotes and Amazon.com. There's a little more information and an example in the FAQ:

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/faq.html#amazon

Let me know what you think...

Bob

 

Re: linking book titles to amazon Dr. Bob

Posted by Dinah on October 21, 2002, at 11:07:48

In reply to Re: linking book titles to amazon, posted by Dr. Bob on October 21, 2002, at 0:35:38

Impressive Dr. Bob. So that was what Hello Kitty was about. And a nice plug for your upcoming book, too. :)

 

Re: :-) (nm)

Posted by Dr. Bob on October 22, 2002, at 1:05:38

In reply to Re: linking book titles to amazon Dr. Bob, posted by Dinah on October 21, 2002, at 11:07:48

 

Re: Hey, it works!! Dr. Bob

Posted by Dinah on October 24, 2002, at 13:59:16

In reply to Re: :-) (nm), posted by Dr. Bob on October 22, 2002, at 1:05:38

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/20021019/msgs/125027.html

 

Re: whew! :-) (nm)

Posted by Dr. Bob on October 25, 2002, at 0:25:05

In reply to Re: Hey, it works!! Dr. Bob, posted by Dinah on October 24, 2002, at 13:59:16

 

Hey, Dr Bob's in print!!! :o) (nm)

Posted by NikkiT2 on October 25, 2002, at 5:18:28

In reply to Re: Hey, it works!! Dr. Bob, posted by Dinah on October 24, 2002, at 13:59:16

 

Re: linking book titles to amazon

Posted by ~Alii~ on October 26, 2002, at 17:03:33

In reply to Re: linking book titles to amazon, posted by Dr. Bob on October 21, 2002, at 0:35:38

>>>>I'd just like to plug the new double double quote feature. But I don't mean to be pushy. Did you deliberately not use it to link to Amazon? If so, I'd be interested in why, over at PBA<<<<<

Dr. Bob,

I understand your curiousity but as a reader having seen your numerous pleas to anyone *not* using the double double quote method seems a touch pushy to me.

There are those of us that despise Amazon and their business practices. Some of us choose to shop at local independent booksellers or order online from the few independents that can afford to do online sales.

You asked for input and I'm giving you mine. The above opinions are the musings of Alii only.

~~Independent Alii who will never give a dime to the huge chain bookstores that are crushing out small publishing and leaving us with 'nothing but Crichton and King' (nothing wrong with those writers.....only a few will understand where that quote came from so extra points for those that can identify it ;) )

extra hint: do you have anything by Robert Lodlum?

 

Feeling a little silly today

Posted by Alara on October 26, 2002, at 21:36:03

In reply to Re: linking book titles to amazon, posted by Dr. Bob on October 21, 2002, at 0:35:38

Either I'm having a blonde day or Americans and Australians don't mean the same thing by `quotes'. :-)
(See my failed attempts in the `Mr Doctor Called me Neurotic' thread!)

By double double quotes, do you mean quadruple:

"
'
<
on each side???

Alara

 

Not at all silly! Dr. Bob Alara

Posted by Jonathan on October 27, 2002, at 0:34:26

In reply to Feeling a little silly today, posted by Alara on October 26, 2002, at 21:36:03

> Either I'm having a blonde day or Americans and Australians don't mean the same thing by `quotes'. :-)
> (See my failed attempts in the `Mr Doctor Called me Neurotic' thread!)

Your second attempt in that thread should have worked to prove it here's an exact copy of what you wrote:

> Oops, sorry! I forgot all about that. The name of the book by David Burns is "Feeling Good".

When I submitted this, what I copied from your post caused a list of books to appear above the "Revise your post" form; fortunately, the first of these, which is selected for you as the default choice, looks like the book you meant, so I clicked on the "Submit your links" button below the book list. This made the other nine choices disappear, leaving only the first choice, indented about 1 cm to the right.

I then typed the above paragraph, explaining what I had just done, in the big text box at the bottom of the "Revise your post" form, and clicked the "Submit your revised post" button to add the new paragraph to my post.

Oops! The book list has gone back to the way it looked before I pressed the "Submit your links" button; I think I may have discovered an unintended feature of Dr. Bob's new CGI script!

Alara, it's possible that you didn't click the "Submit your links" button at all; it's also possible that you inadvertently cancelled the links you had previously submitted by subsequently revising your post.

It looks to me as if we have to resubmit all links after *any* change to the post, even if none of the text between double double quotes has been changed: "Submit your links" should be the last button you press before "Confirm".

Jonathan.

 

Re: Amazon business practices

Posted by Dr. Bob on October 27, 2002, at 9:56:02

In reply to Re: linking book titles to amazon, posted by ~Alii~ on October 26, 2002, at 17:03:33

> > I'd just like to plug the new double double quote feature. But I don't mean to be pushy.
>
> I understand your curiousity but as a reader having seen your numerous pleas to anyone *not* using the double double quote method seems a touch pushy to me.

Sorry about that, it's hard to be sure how much is enough and how much is too much, especially since it might also depend on the poster. Thanks for your patience, I don't think this will go on forever...

> There are those of us that despise Amazon and their business practices. Some of us choose to shop at local independent booksellers or order online from the few independents that can afford to do online sales.

That's fine. I just don't want people (1) not to know about it or (2) to find it too difficult to use.

> ~~Independent Alii who will never give a dime to the huge chain bookstores that are crushing out small publishing and leaving us with 'nothing but Crichton and King'

What about the huge chain web sites vs. the small ones? :-)

Bob

 

Re: the 'submit your links' button

Posted by Dr. Bob on October 27, 2002, at 10:09:49

In reply to Not at all silly! Dr. Bob Alara, posted by Jonathan on October 27, 2002, at 0:34:26

> > Either I'm having a blonde day or Americans and Australians don't mean the same thing by `quotes'. :-)

Sorry, what I mean by double double quotes is two double quotes on each side, with each double quote being a ".

> When I submitted this, what I copied from your post caused a list of books to appear above the "Revise your post" form; fortunately, the first of these, which is selected for you as the default choice, looks like the book you meant, so I clicked on the "Submit your links" button below the book list. This made the other nine choices disappear, leaving only the first choice, indented about 1 cm to the right.
>
> I then typed the above paragraph, explaining what I had just done, in the big text box at the bottom of the "Revise your post" form, and clicked the "Submit your revised post" button to add the new paragraph to my post.
>
> Oops! The book list has gone back to the way it looked before I pressed the "Submit your links" button

Yes, it starts over if you revise your post, since you might be changing which books you mention. BTW, the "link" section does say:

> > Use this section if you want to link to a different book at Amazon or don't want to link to Amazon at all. If you revise your post, these options are reset, so do that before you do this.

So first say what you have to say, then take care of the links.

Note that you do *not* even need to click "submit your links" *unless* you want to link to a different book or don't want to link at all. Just click "confirm your post" for the default (first) link.

Is that more clear? Should I revise the explanation in that section? Thanks for your willingness to try this out, and for your patience...

Bob

 

I heart Amazon, for Alii, others, and... Dr. Bob

Posted by BeardedLady on October 27, 2002, at 10:25:37

In reply to Re: Amazon business practices, posted by Dr. Bob on October 27, 2002, at 9:56:02

This is long, but I hope you'll bear with me.

After Hechinger and Home Depot came to town, I continued to pay exhorbitant prices for screws and saws at my local Mom & Pop hardware store. I continued to pay them, and they continued to thank me by name. Alas, others stopped shopping there, and only one such store remains in my area. I have my windows rescreened there every year.

It is indeed sad that these chain places have pushed the indy sellers out of business.

But in my big metropolitan city, we've had two or three independent bookstores, and two of them only sold used books. The third was a lovely little cafe where everyone in town waited in line for a fabulous jazz brunch served by art school students and a few transvestites. That has also closed. All my life I grew up with the chains like Walden and B. Dalton. I am now grateful to have a bunch of Borders and Barnes and Nobles in my area.

I embrace Amazon as a place to save money in this troubled economy. It doesn't mean I don't support the other places; I do. But there aren't any indy stores left here.


As far as I know and have read and heard, Amazon is a great place to work. Many of the jobs are not exciting to me, but lots of those who work them have opportunities they may not have had elsewhere. And I admire Jeff Bezos for pulling off an internet store with fabulous customer service. Every year, UPS delivers me something I didn't order--a mug or a gift certificate--just for being a customer.

It's a great thing to be able to support the independent merchants. Many of us are not financially capable of doing so, and most of us who are don't do it in all cases. We have pizza from Papa Johns sometimes. We take our kids three times a year for MacDonald's french fries (that's literally how often I have done this). And we shop at Macy*s, Hecht's, and the Gap because it's just too expensive to choose the independent boutiques.

Dr. Bob's linking doesn't mean that anyone has to shop at Amazon. But they are offering a free service (for the price of a monthly ISP fee, which isn't paid to Amazon), and that is to be able to preview before buying. I go there often just to read the customer reviews and recommendations and to hear music before buying from my local real-life store.

No one has to link, but please remember that you are helping the independent authors of books (check out my wonderfully talented friend Steve Parke's new book, "In the Shadow of Edgar Allan Poe") , the independent recording artists (like my all-time favorite, Ani DiFranco, whose new album is out: "So Much Shouting So Much Laughter"*), and the work of other independent struggling artists.

This, to me, is the important part. I don't want to be pushy here. We all have our causes (some of us even correct other people's grammar a little too often! : )> ). I just wanted to present an alternative view that might make people like Alii feel a little bit more comfortable with the decision of others to use the double quotes.

And when my book of poetry is released, maybe someone will double quote it on the pages of social. Of course, I won't be able to own up to it due to my top-secret true identity.

Take care, y'all.

beardy

P.S. Docbob: you need to make that work with CDs and videos, too!

 

Re: linking book titles to amazon ~Alii~

Posted by NikkiT2 on October 27, 2002, at 10:30:13

In reply to Re: linking book titles to amazon, posted by ~Alii~ on October 26, 2002, at 17:03:33

Unfortunatly, Amazon is often the only place I can find the less known books, or not recently published books...

And for us book loving angro phobics its a dream come true!!!

Nikki xx

 

Re: the 'submit your links' button

Posted by Jonathan on October 27, 2002, at 13:14:37

In reply to Re: the 'submit your links' button, posted by Dr. Bob on October 27, 2002, at 10:09:49

> Yes, it starts over if you revise your post, since you might be changing which books you mention. BTW, the "link" section does say:
>
> > > Use this section if you want to link to a different book at Amazon or don't want to link to Amazon at all. If you revise your post, these options are reset, so do that before you do this.
>
> So first say what you have to say, then take care of the links.
>
> Note that you do *not* even need to click "submit your links" *unless* you want to link to a different book or don't want to link at all. Just click "confirm your post" for the default (first) link.
>
> Is that more clear? Should I revise the explanation in that section?


I'm sorry: I misunderstood the function of the "Submit your links" button, wrongly believing that no link would be created unless it was pressed. Thanks for explaining further, though with hindsight the explanation on the form is so clear that I'm embarrassed by my mistake; I don't think you need revise the explanation on the form unless others misunderstand it as I did.

It now looks to me as if Alara must have accidentally clicked on both the "Do not link" radio button and then the "Submit your links" button before she confirmed her post http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/20021025/msgs/125369.html unless you can suggest a more plausible reason why her link didn't appear?

> Thanks for your willingness to try this out, and for your patience...

You're very welcome; thank *you* for the many hours you must have spent writing the complex Perl script that does this, and for even more hours, over the last nine months or so, pasting in all those Amazon links by hand.

Jonathan.

 

Re: the 'submit your links' button

Posted by Alara on October 27, 2002, at 20:42:51

In reply to Re: the 'submit your links' button, posted by Dr. Bob on October 27, 2002, at 10:09:49

>>
> Sorry, what I mean by double double quotes is two double quotes on each side, with each double quote being a ".
>
> >>
My perception of the syntax was all wrong! I read `<double double> quotes' (meaning quadruple single quotes) rather than `double <double quotes>' (two sets of double quotes). :-) As a result I typed in four separate inverted commas instead of two sets of quotation marks (on each side).

It was a blonde day. Sorry!

 

Re: linking book titles to amazon Dr. Bob

Posted by Squiggles on October 28, 2002, at 8:16:17

In reply to Re: linking book titles to amazon, posted by Dr. Bob on October 21, 2002, at 0:35:38

I was quoting from my personal copy at home.

Squiggles

 

Re: linking book titles to amazon

Posted by Dr. Bob on October 28, 2002, at 22:46:23

In reply to Re: linking book titles to amazon Dr. Bob, posted by Squiggles on October 28, 2002, at 8:16:17

> I was quoting from my personal copy at home.

I just thought others might be interested... Did you deliberately not link it to Amazon? To paraphrase Beardy, from above:

No one has to shop at Amazon. But they do offer a free service, being able to preview books, and this does also help the authors.

Bob

 

Not everyone wants to preview books Dr. Bob

Posted by ~Alii~ on October 28, 2002, at 23:45:43

In reply to Re: linking book titles to amazon, posted by Dr. Bob on October 28, 2002, at 22:46:23

>>>>>I just thought others might be interested... Did you deliberately not link it to Amazon? To paraphrase Beardy, from above:

No one has to shop at Amazon. But they do offer a free service, being able to preview books, and this does also help the authors.<<<<<--Bob

How about providing links to Barnes and Noble or Powells? Why not provide links to every large online bookseller and allow the reader/poster to decide for themselves where they wish to receive their information from? The reviews on different sites vary quite a bit and the prices as well. Amazon offers a convenient service but I'm not sure that the mass public realizes what the true cost of running and supporting a company like Amazon is.

Here are two links to indies that can provide adequate book information without the corporate culture of the large dot coms:

http://www.booksense.com/about/booksense.jsp
http://www.bookfinder.com/about/

Happy book hunting for all you book lovers out there. Don't forget to check your local library too. The United States is losing libraries at an alarming rate. Support yours.

--Activist Alii

 

Re: links to every large online bookseller

Posted by Dr. Bob on October 29, 2002, at 0:03:31

In reply to Not everyone wants to preview books Dr. Bob, posted by ~Alii~ on October 28, 2002, at 23:45:43

> How about providing links to Barnes and Noble or Powells? Why not provide links to every large online bookseller and allow the reader/poster to decide for themselves where they wish to receive their information from?

Hmm, interesting idea. But one step at a time...

Bob

PS: People are already free to decide for themselves where to receive information from.

 

Freedom? Or forced corporate culture? Dr. Bob

Posted by ~Alii~ on October 29, 2002, at 0:15:49

In reply to Re: links to every large online bookseller, posted by Dr. Bob on October 29, 2002, at 0:03:31

>>>>>Hmm, interesting idea. But one step at a time...
Bob
PS: People are already free to decide for themselves where to receive information from.<<<<<

Dr. Bob,

How free to decide is someone when your default link goes to Amazon?

~~Alii

 

Re: Not everyone wants to preview books ~Alii~

Posted by NikkiT2 on October 29, 2002, at 9:50:26

In reply to Not everyone wants to preview books Dr. Bob, posted by ~Alii~ on October 28, 2002, at 23:45:43

How about for us outside th US htough??? At least Amazon has a UK site for me, and many others around the world.

And it would just get way too confusing to have a million links to each different book supplier - we have to choose one, and Amazon doe supply world wide.

Nikki


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