Re: Huge long lines in archives

1999-01-26 21:59:59
On 26 Jan 99 at 10:39, S P Arif Sahari Wibowo wrote:

Actually, I was thinking of requesting a feature that made MHonArc reformat
paragraphs into a single long line in the HTML output, since HTML viewers
*do* handle word-wrapping.  

Not in mhonarc, since mhonarc will put the text in <PRE> tag, that is, no
formatting will be done by the browser, so there will be no wrapping

Yes, that's the problem I have: the lines can end up many screenfuls

What we need is a facility to make it possible to insert <P> tag
between paragraph in the text, and then remove that <PRE> tag.
That will be what > you two (and I) want.

That may be a little difficult to implement satisfactorily :(

The first problem is that many of the posts are formatted  in 
monospace, so all sorts of things like tables and hanging indents 
get messed up if you allow the browser to render it in the 
proportional fonts used for most browsers.  You could get round that 
by enclosing each para in <TT></TT> tags, but that seems rather 
ugly, and adds a lot of extra code.

Secondly, defining what constitutes a paragraph break can be very 
difficult with email ... because people do it in very different ways.
Some folks neatly put a null line in betwen paras (as I have done 
here), but other just put in a line break; and others put in a line 
break followed by a tab or a few spaces.  Even by going to great 
levels of complexity, I can't see any way of devising a set of rules 
that would determine a parapraph break.  The semingly obvious one of 
allowing a line break followed by space doesn't work: paras with 
hanging indents would be broken up by having each line treated a new 
para, as would indented paras.

So it seems to me that the only portable solution is to stick with 
<PRE>-formatted messages, but to force a wrap on long lines.  I think 
that what I'll do is to build a post-processor to sort this out once 
the files have been created, by simply wrapping lines longer than 
(say) 80 characters, and retaining a list of files which have bneen 
so processed.  If the methodology works, perhaps it could be 
incorporated into future releases of Mhonarc?

Best wishes,

Claire McNab -- Claire(_at_)siberia(_dot_)demon(_dot_)co(_dot_)uk

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