[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Word Wrap

Bill Wichers wrote some very informative stuff about Word Wrap and why
everyone isn't going to be happy.  Skip to the last paragraph if you
don't want the tech stuff. 

A few technical remarks:

According to Novell (I haven't checked the original source) any mail
composing/sending system that uses the native Windows RTF (Rich Text
Format) type editor does not insert soft or hard returns during word
wrap, at least not unless the client software provides for forcing hard
returns (Outlook, Outlook Express, and some others).  [A hard return is
one that doesn't move with  the window size, it always breaks a line at
the point where the hard return is place.  A soft return can be ignored
when necesary by the viewing software.]

There are other mail editors (read "composers") that also do not insert
hard returns (some of the Novell's Groupwise mail editors).  Why not?
Because it is expected that the viewing software will take care of
wrapping text as necessary, depending on window size.  Some gateways
replace soft returns with hard returns before they sond messages on
their way and others actually just strip out soft returns when they
send mail outside to the internet, expecting mail servers on the other
end to wrap text as necessary.  Needing to insert the hard returns is
actually considered by some programmers to be somewhat old-fashioned
and out of step with the everchanging standards in a Windows world.

When the mail is viewed on the internet and not directly from a mail
server, things can become less than accommodating.

When you view a message from the APD archives, the viewing software
isn't taking care of wrapping the text, and, as Bill points out below,
neither is your browser.  Both are expecting the composer's editor to
have created the text with hard returns.

> What Actwin's archive thing is doing is to put all the body of the
> message
> withing a <pre> </pre> block, which tells the web browser to treat
> everything inside there as preformatted text -- that is however you
> write
> it, that's how it will be displayed. Thus in mail readers that don't
> insert
> carriage returns and linefeeds at the end of each line, the text will
> show
> as one looong line.

> A lot of mail readers will have an option talking about CR/LF
> (Carriage
> Return / LineFeed -- the names come from the old typewriter and
> daisywheel/dot matrix printer days) line termination. Maybe also
> something
> about 80 column text. Depending on your mail reader, a setting
> something
> like "end all lines with CR/LF" or "use 80 column text" will (should
> :-)
> fix the line wrap problems. 

76 is the norm, to allow for the > mark and indentation in quoted text.

> >Some people just skip messages that are LLU and that
> >lessens the discussion for all of us.
> I agree. I have skipped many messages that were several paragraphs of
> info
> but only appeared on one line in the archives.

If you copy and paste an unwrapped message into Microsoft Notepad, it
can auto wrap the text for you.  But you have to tell it to do so: on
the main menu click Edit then click Word Wrap.  A little extra effort
lets you read more of those great APD posts.

Scott H.

Do You Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Movies - coverage of the 74th Academy Awards®