I'm toying with making some articles in Cites & Insights
additionally available in very simple HTML form.
I'm not sold on the idea. The reasons I give in the FAQ for using PDF continue to be valid. The trial run I'm mentioning here even validates one of them: despite using the most space-efficient (and somewhat hard to read, since the lines are so wide) HTML options, the articles combine to require more than twice as much paper as the issue does: 45 to 50 pages as compared to 24. (Yes, some of that's because of repeated headers and footers, but I'm not going to put articles out there without the surrounding material.) I also think the HTML form is a whole lot less readable and attractive, at least for print readers.
But I'm willing to give it a try, if I can do it without significant software investment or needing to take more than an extra hour per issue doing my least favorite part of C&I--that is, screwing around with HTML and postings to get the word out.
The methodology I used for this trial does appear to take about an hour to handle a typical issue's worth of articles, and used the cheapest software I could find that would handle copied Word text reasonably well. (It was a $5 CD-ROM that turned out to be a little more than just a web editor. If I turn this trial into a real feature, I'll mention that story in Bibs & Blather.) "About an hour" is without attempting to turn any URLs into live links, fix any cases where I've inserted a blank to make a URL break lines, or really do anything other than copy, paste, and mass-replace typeface indications.
Anyway: If you're interested--I'm only publicizing this here and on my LISNews journal--here's what you do:
Go to the C&I Tables of Contents form, click on 2005, go down to the latest issue. You'll note that each article name is a livelink. Try a couple of them.
Let me know what you think: Is this--
- Pointless unless I make the separate articles a whole lot nicer?
- Worth doing without any extra tweaking?
- Worth doing, but you'd suggest a tweak or two that won't require real work on my part?
Comments either here or to me, wcc at notes.rlg.org--or, brand new, waltcrawford at gmail.google.com, but I'm only likely to check that once a day or so. Comments by this Sunday, please: If I decide to do this for real, I'll try to back-convert this year's issues before 5:4 comes out (late February), then back-convert each previous volume--selectively--over the next month or four.
Extra note for this source only: "Minor tweaks" do not include suggestions for how I can pick up a bunch of other tools, learn them, and produce cleaner and better HTML by just going through a simple markup pass for each article. If the selective HTML versions happen, they'll be extras--and they have to be low-overhead extras. Otherwise, they take energy and time away from writing, reading, thinking, watching TV, relaxing...all the stuff I want to do.