Tuesday, July 11, 2006

What I Learned In Lesson One of HTML

Many of you will not be able to believe this, but there are those of us who are entirely ignorant of basic computing, even of HTML. When I started this blog two short months ago I had heard of it but didn't know much about it other than a parenthesis followed by an 8 would produce an unwanted smiley face. I naively thought I'd be able to do this without it. But I was wrong. Even installing the blog roll has proven impossible. So I've begun a course to learn the tedious stuff.

The big question of the day though, finding out there is a choice I can't make up my mind. Serif or san-serif? Any recommendations?

My dissertation advisor's very into sans-serif: his wife is a graphic artist of sorts and he's a frustrated artist, so I would go with his 'expert' opinion.

Me -- I'm lazy and use the default typeface.
I'm a "sans-serif" kinda guy, but mostly I want to point you to a very useful reference. It's a html reference in a windows help file, called the "HTML Reference Library" and I think it's up to version 4. Search for a download called "hlbsetup.exe" & you should be ready to go. (Practice safe computing, of course!) http://www.htmlhelp.com/distribution/ looks like a good source.
Oddly, for word processing stuff I can't bear anything sans-serif (Palatino fan for over 15 years), but for blogging, I find I prefer it. Don't ask me to explain why - it just seems more comfortable to the eye somehow.
My professional opinion (I've been a tech writer and editor for 20 years): Sans-serif for online reading is literally easier on the eyes. It has to do with the way the letters are created on the screen and how the eye processes the screen display.
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