# How do you compose your post?

Discussion in 'About the Members' started by Tiassa, Jul 30, 2004.

1. ### TiassaLet us not launch the boat ...Staff Member

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Question: How do you compose your posts?

I prefer composing in a text editor so I can launch and close browser windows as necessary without fear of axing my post accidentally. Also, I can save the file periodically against random system disasters.

Most of my posts are written this way; experience does remind me, however, that the MS Notepad and WordPad are unwieldy by comparison to Apple's Text Editor and its former incarnation, SimpleText. Apples Text Editor is not without its issues, but I work around them as a matter of familiarity. MS users may not find the Notepad issues as annoying as I do. Regardless of my poor attitude toward MS, I urge people to compose their posts in a text editor or word processor, although I admit the latter is bulky and inelegant to my tastes.

I do not use the "Reply to Post" function except occasionally as a route to tag a "View Single Post" window. (Ironically, the "Report Bad Post" function is the easiest way to do this; you only have to replace one term in the address.)

All of my posts are constructed from the ground up. All quote tags are manufactured at the time of composition. Copy-and-paste is my friend, an essential tool for the process.

There are specific reasons I ask, but it's not something I actually want to fight about. Generally speaking, I was asked about my posting style regarding an issue that, while I'm aware of it, is absolutely brand-spanking-new to me as a basis for complaint. In attempting to respond to and accommodate the issue, I find myself utterly puzzled by the notion of what the other's posting process looks like. In five years I've never encountered this issue in any problematic sense, even for my own posts.

Of my excessive tags, part of the reason is for the benefit of the reader. I mean ... it's not like I enjoy tagging "font=times new roman" over and over again, but neither is it anything that specifically bothers me. It's easier to read the quotes if it's not an italicized sans-serif font in shades of gray. And of my links ... well ... really, I thought it was a polite thing to do.

But in light of the issue recently raised in my discussion with another, I'm left wondering how people compose their posts and responses. While I'm willing to adjust certain aspects of my style to accommodate folks, I'm left to wonder what the process looks like at others' desks. The issue I'm looking at makes anything I do in order to "formally" enhance the communicative value of my posts generally useless.

Last edited: Jul 30, 2004

3. ### invert_nexusZe do caixaoValued Senior Member

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Sometimes I'll compose in an editor. But, doing so doesn't give one the feel of how it's going to lay on the page. So, have to copy and paste into the forum to preview. And, there is always the risk of hitting submit rather than preview.

You know what would be killer? A text editor that makes use of vbCode. One that could be configured to look like different forums so that as you compose it will look like the finished project. That might be worth investing some time in. The hard part would be in making it flexible. Adapting it to the styles of various forums. Hmmm.

Anyway, sometimes I use a text editor if it's gonna be a long one or an important one. But, if it's just something I'm coming up with on the fly then I go ahead and do it in forum. Really, it's kinda random. Depending on whether I feel like bringing up a text editor or just start typing in the quick post box.

I use Firefox, by the way, with tabbed browsing. So that I don't have to open multiple windows and can leave my composition sitting cold for a while while I move around gathering thoughts in other tabs.

5. ### ArditezzaBannedBanned

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I usually use quick reply... since my replies are usually short and snotty.

However, when I do post longer bits I do them in MS Word so that I can spell check before I do copy and paste.

7. ### cosmictravelerBe kind to yourself always.Valued Senior Member

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In my underwear!

8. ### FireflyRegistered Senior Member

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I use quick reply, but my posts are never that long anyway. On other forums where I tend to write longer posts, I still do it in the same window, but often click Go Advanced, and before I post I'll just put the whole thing onto the clipboard incase I get disconnected or it jams or something. I never check it in Word... I usually read my post over once I've posted it to check for spelling mistakes or unclosed tags.

tiassa - what other poster/discussion are you talking about? I don't see why you'd suddenly question your method.

9. ### TiassaLet us not launch the boat ...Staff Member

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Ever hear about Terry Jones and Starship Titanic? So the story goes, part of the agreement he made to write the book was that he insisted on writing the book in the nude. Naively, everyone shrugged and said, "Okay." It hadn't occurred to them to consider what Jones included in the writing process until he showed up to his first official staff meeting naked.

10. ### Fraggle RockerStaff Member

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24,690
I generally reply to specific posts, and I cut and paste bits of other posts in as necessary. I keep two SciForums windows open so I can do that easily.

I just type right in the reply window. Once or twice over the years there have been periods when something had a tendency to crash too often (not SciForums itself) and I lost all my typing. I got discipline and started typing in a text editor. But after time goes by and the crashing stops, I just go back to using the reply window.

Some of the world's greatest pieces of writing were produced after the original draft was lost. It's not a totally exasperating experience to lose a screen full of text and have to start over from scratch.

I put a lot of effort into proofreading and re-edting what I write until it's as good as I can make it. I understand that most people don't care about typos and style errors and think I'm wasting my time. But I do a lot of writing in my career and everything I write is practice for coming closer to achieving perfection in efforts where it really does matter.

Besides, I'm one of the elders here, and somebody has to set the standards. ^_^

11. ### whitewolfasleep under the juniper bushRegistered Senior Member

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I uh .... I just say whatever comes out. I didn't even suspect people go fancy with drafts and stuff

Well, if my post is supposed to carry some important information, I think it out in my mind and pick the best wording. Most of the time, though, it's the stream of consciousness. Aren't you all glad you get to look directly into my head? No you're not. Too bad then.

12. ### wesmorrisNerd Overlord - we(s):1 of NValued Senior Member

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I do the same thing. I just thought of the worst analogy, but it rings true. Posting is like taking a mental dump. I use the "reply to post" and in it, after having read the post through once, I reply to stuff that seems worthy of response as I would in a conversation in real life. I think about what was said, and then my thoughts come straight out. I skim it again as I go, but I can't stop the flow or I lose my entire train of thought. I have to keep it moving or I get entirely derailed... regardless of whether or not I'm in a rut or whatever. Meh, that's it. Oh, and when I'm done it's like a weird thing.. the thoughts linger and the keep trying to go on down the path, so I usually can't even read the post again for a while, or what I wrote doesn't make sense to me for a bit because I'm still on down the line. WHen I go back later I know what I meant, but it's not always exactly what I said.. because the words come out in haste.... but again sometimes that is the benefit of the process.. that they are pure to a passing state maybe. I dunno. Just more of the same process here. Yikes. Cool too. Yeah.

Last edited: Jul 31, 2004
13. ### Alpha«Visitor»Registered Senior Member

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I use Firefox, and have a javascript link on the toolbar called Edit Selection:
Code:
javascript:gS5aUb=document.getSelection().replace(/ +| /g,' '),dST7Mt=new Date();wSv6rC=open('','w'+dST7Mt.getTime(),'width=475,height=250');with(wSv6rC.document){write('<center><form><textarea rows=15 cols=60 wrap>'+gS5aUb+'</textarea>');void(close())}
(From http://www.bookmarklets.com/tools/categor.html )
I simply highlight the text I want to reply to, then click the link, which opens a little window with a textbox containing the text, which I use for editing.
I also have the BBCode extension so I can select text, right click and automatically apply BBCode tags to the selected text. For example, to make a quote, I simply select the text, right click, and choose Quote Selection.
I then paste the result into the quickreply box.
Very handy and makes things much easier and more efficient.

14. ### sargentlardSave the whales motherfuckerValued Senior Member

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Quick reply box 99% of the time despite the length of the post. Be it short or long......

15. ### NeildoGoneRegistered Senior Member

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Heh, that's what I do for the exact same reasons. Sucks when ya lose a long post. And then I just copy and paste it all into the quick reply box since there's no need to do use the normal one if I know all the smilies and other shortcuts.

- N

16. ### TiassaLet us not launch the boat ...Staff Member

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36,217

Thank you all for your replies. Do not let the following statement of purpose preclude further input from people.

But the reason I ask in the first place is that I'm trying to find a solution to a small hitch I've encountered: How to accommodate someone with a slow connection who would like absolutely no text put into quotes, since they post from the "reply" function attached to a given post (e.g. at the top of this post), as that function does not include the quoted text from the post.

For instance, if you click "reply" at the top of Neildo's post, you only see his original text, and not the quotation of two sentences from my topic post.

I'm not inclined to drop what visual organization I have for longer posts, but in the end I'll try if I can't find another solution.

In the meantime, the issue has stalled entirely a discussion I was involved in, and at rather a critical juncture. A number of "quick" responses come to mind, but they seem rash at this point.

Last edited: Aug 1, 2004
17. ### invert_nexusZe do caixaoValued Senior Member

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That is sweet. I altered the code to make it 1024 wide with 120 columns. Should probably shrink the columns a bit to make them match the forum width a bit closer. What's a shame is that:
• There's no preview.
• Seems that when the window opens, it ends up behind the browser. So a little clicking is required before I can start typing.
• It'd be good if it were always on top, that way I could select text from the main window without it going behind the browser again.
• I'd also like a version that opens in a new tab rather than a new window. That's what I like about mozilla and firefox to begin with. The tabbed browsing feature. Saves on extraneous windows being open.
• It'd be nice if it had a button that copies the contents of the box to the clipboard and then closes the window.

I guess it's time to learn how to muck about with javascript a bit to see what can be done with it, eh? Thanks for the link.

And that BBCode thing is sweet too. The tough thing about that is that there are no shortcut keys. That's what would really save time for me. And also user customizable. I checked out the guys homepage and he says that customization is coming. I wonder if hot keys would be part of that.

18. ### Alpha«Visitor»Registered Senior Member

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Yep.

Heh. And I already altered it to make it larger, and make the window fit better.
If you're using the BBCode extension you can be sure your code is right. All you need is to check your spelling.
Doesn't for me. Perhaps you have "raise and lower windows" disabled in the advanced javascript settings? Or maybe some other option in about:config or something. BTW, you can ALT+TAB between them.
You could always make the main Firefox window a bit smaller so they both fit on screen at once. There might be some javascript you can add to have it stay on top.
I like tabs too, but for some reason I prefer this in a window.
Is it so hard to press CTRL+A,C,W ?

No problem. There's other handy ones at that site I linked to as well (bookmarklets.com). I find the Set In-Page and Go To In-Page links handy for really long pages. Keeps you from losing your spot.
Yeah, that would be pretty handy, though I'd probably still use the context menu. This is mainly because I'm on linux and I copy and paste with the mouse, so my hand is already on the mouse when I go to add tags.

19. ### waterthe seaRegistered Senior Member

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I study for school and I have to make a lot of notes, and I have several journals -- I am used to a lot of handwriting. The nifty thing with handwriting is that you can make fancy diagrams, pictures, circle something, make mindmaps, emphasize with colours, use different sizes and styles -- and I miss tremendously this when typing here, it all looks so much livelier when done in handwriting. I wish my posts could look as fancy as my notes.

Otherwise, I compose my posts in the quick reply window, copy-paste quotes I am replying to, tag them (I know most of the frequently used tags), then *paste and save* the thing in a text editor for the sake of safety -- I have lost way too many posts due to connection crashes and such.

20. ### AthelwulfRest in peace Kurt...Registered Senior Member

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tiassa: How do you compose your posts?
Athelwulf: I use my fingers to bang the keyboard in a certain pattern which makes coherent words and sentences.

Seriously, though? Hmm . . .

I use the Quick Reply box very often. If the post includes Smilies or vB Code I don't often use, or has a lot of this stuff in it, I go advanced! I also do that to see what my post is gonna look like before I actually post, should I feel the urge.

Ya know what I would LOVE?! More smilies! Maybe that's a little off topic . . . Oh well.

21. ### GodlessObjectivist MindRegistered Senior Member

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I do this:

I also just hit the reply and go from there. I don't generally spend too much time with what I have to say, If I misspell a word, so be it. I'm not freaking perfect, and if I'm judged by my spelling other than content, why the hell would I worry what anyone has to say, if that's the case. :bugeye:

Grammar?, damn I know I should have stayed in high-school.

Godless.

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I never use the reply to single post link. I almost always start with "Quick Reply". If it becomes a more protracted post, I then "go advanced". For some reason I'm rarely motivated to proof well until after I've posted, and then it's often a frantic minute correcting errors before the dreaded "edited- " flag appears. Until WCF pointed out why it's annoying, I used to merrily edit at will, copy into clipboard (Windows),delete post, and paste into a fresh one, until someone posted after me, at which time I ceased and desisted.

Since being chastised for that, I do a little more proofing before posting. Often, especially when the forums I posted in seemed more active, I would ruminate on a post while the conversation turned, not checking for activity before posting out of sequence and context. When I take the time to look back with multiple windows, traffic is so nonexistent, that it's uneccessary. I wish the "Advanced" edit interface could refresh every minute or so with any new posts in the thread. Then, when others say something much smarter than I have, while I'm still composing a post, I could digitally wad it up and throw it in the corner.

23. ### AthelwulfRest in peace Kurt...Registered Senior Member

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Why is it annoying?