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Archive for November, 2007

High ASCII characters found

Friday, November 23rd, 2007

When I am preparing a page for the web, the last stage is to validate the HTML – use software to check that my coding is correct. This is a helpful way to spot small faults, tags opened but not closed, images with no alt text, and so on.

But – particularly if my starting point was a word-processed document, or has foreign words with accented letters – it also queries non-standard characters: not just the és and üs, the ampersands and double quotes (which have their own uses in coding, and can’t therefore be used in the text) but also non-standard punctuation, smart quotes and smart apostrophes.

Sometimes these are numerous, and it all seems like nit-picking: is it really worth the bother? And then I visit a web page (like this one, for a vineyard in France) which has skipped this detail, and where my browser stumbles over the unfamiliar characters, in this case rendering every o circumflex (ô) as TM – and realise again that yes, it is.

Friday Night Live

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

We went on Friday evening to Colpitts Poetry, where Valerie Laws was reading with Jenny Lewis.

The two poets are friends, and know each other’s work well, which made for a relaxed and sociable atmosphere, and also for some entertaining give and take between them. Jenny Lewis asked Valerie Laws to read one of her early poems, about the sex-lives of slugs, as a prelude to a piece of her own, a poem which she had written in her garden and left outside, so that when she returned to retrieve the sheet of paper, she discovered that it had been half-destroyed by slugs, and the poem slug-edited down to a haiku – an excavated haiku, rather than one of Valerie’s embedded haiku.

Autumn Harvest

Monday, November 12th, 2007

I don’t talk much about completing web sites: no web site is ever complete, they can always be improved, expanded, polished, updated. Nonetheless, there’s a sense of achievement when a web site is ready to be launched, to be opened to the public – and all the more so if that’s accompanied by some sort of celebration!

This has been a fruitful autumn for Cornwell Internet in that respect. First we completed the refurbishment of the Red Squirrel Press site, in time for the publication of their third book; then came the launch of Vine Visit Ltd, a specialist tour company offering holidays for wine lovers, visiting the vineyards and talking to the winemakers.

Although the people behind Vine Visit Ltd – Helen Savage and Jamie Harrison – have years of experience in running trips of this kind, the company itself is a new one, and there was a breathless dash to get the web site up and functional in time to start accepting bookings for holidays in 2008.

But when it was done, there was a party! Admittedly, the party was for the launch of the company, not just the web site, but a party at the Biscuit Factory, with interesting artwork to look at, and delicious wines from NH Wines and wine related music from a cappella singing group Scherzo – it was a fine evening.

And so home, and on with the next site!

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