Stamping Out Gremlins

Although it probably hasn't been obvious to you, I've been quite busy here polishing up In a Dark Time. As I've found out every time I've tried to convert from one blogging tool to a new one, such transitions never go quite as smoothly as you'd like. Since I've made this change several times now since I've started blogging, the problems weren't totally unexpected, though the passage of time, thankfully dims them. Of course, that doesn't make it any more pleasant to correct them.

There's only been one persistent problem I've identified with the transition to Wordform, the conversion of some quotes and single quotes and a few other rare kinds of punctuation to "�," as shown below:

While many of the entries are, as you would suspect from the title, sentimental, the sentimentality is often cloaked in humor, and rightfully so since these are stories of men, and women, communicating with their fathers, not their mothers. W. Bruce Cameron's:

As my father has proven to me time and time again, there is a big difference between fishing and catching fish. �Fishing is the soul-numbing act of sitting for hours and watching a thin cobweb of nylon trail out of sight into the black depths of the lake behind the boat while nothing happens. This is best accomplished in a light rain, the boat yawing back and forth in tsunamis, your breakfast hearing voices telling it to �come on back up.�

�Catching fish,� is what the other boats do.

was one of my daughter's favorite entries.

As any of my ex-yearbook workers would confirm, I hate typo's like this – they grate like a grain of sand in the eye. Unfortunately, as you probably recall, I'm also an INTP, and that suggests that I hate tedious details and repetition. And there is nothing more repetitious than speed reading every entry I've ever written looking for obvious typos, finding them, opening them from the Wordform editor, coping and pasting them into BB Edit, running search and replace, copying and pasting them back into the Wordform editor, saving the changes, and finally rebuilding the original page to make sure all the errors have been corrected.

It wearies me just to type the process, but when I think how many times I've repeated the process in the last four days it's no wonder I'm tired. Unfortunately, in the process I've discovered a few more of those typos in the comments. I don't think there's a real straight forward means of accessing all the comments at once, so some of those typos might just be around for awhile.

I'm looking forward actually getting back to reading poetry in the next few days after I've finally finished polishing a few more things up around here, once I have a better idea where pieces of the design are stored.

5 thoughts on “Stamping Out Gremlins

  1. I’m slowly getting used to the changeover. However, your talk of the misbehaving typo boxes and so forth is certainly a reminder to me of why I don’t want to change blogging tools. I too have impatience with such things, and I have corrected dozens of files in my lifetime (the last time, I changed from WordPerfect to Word, and that’s a severe example of such agony), but I don’t want to do it ever again! Now I don’t know if I’d even want more readers since I might end up in your situation. Aaagh!

  2. Ah, what would life be without annoyances, Ron?


    Small price to pay for such a glamorous new toy, one not plagued by spam or other such annoyances, well at least not yet.

  3. I too can’t stomach the tedium of systematically correcting these kinds of errors. So I never did. Consequently, I still occasionally find one of these question marks in an old post from when I switched to textpattern a year ago. I feel for you. I prefer to fix them as the situation comes up because I’m browsing the archives for some reason or other. So few people ever look at those old ones anyway. Have I rationalized my laziness away yet?

  4. I suspect you’re a true INTP, andru, seeing the “big picture.” Maybe it’s just the fact that I taught so long and marked so many mechanical errors that I feel responsible to somehow be consistent with what I taught.

    Besides, I still get enough hits on the old stuff, probably because there’s so little direct commentary on the web, that I feel obliged to my high school audience to maintain some semblance of “correctness” in my old age.

What do you think?