Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Notes before posting student essays on Expression Engine

Some notes to review before posting your student essays on Expression Engine

First, I’m sorry I wasn’t available to de-bug when you started posting your proposals for next year. I’d tested the site with only one post on it, but when the second post was made, the site “broke” and I wasn’t free to fix it. This caused you unnecessary hassles, and gave you a bad first experience. It also made my sort of humble and not eager to pick on anyone.

Here are some things we learned from that first experience.

1. We’ve turned off the “required fields” for nearly everything. The program won’t let you submit (save) your work unless all the required field have been filled in. I normally just type and “x” in those fields as a place holder on a post that I can’t finish in one session, but I didn’t tell you that. This caused some people to lose work they couldn’t figure out how to save.

2. Getting rid of “garbage” characters: word processors support all sorts of fancy characters that web pages don’t support, such as curly quotes and em dashes and on and on. When you paste from a word processor into EE, these special characters get rendered as garbage. There’s no simple fix for this, as there are so many different character sets that different word processors or browsers may be using.

The easiest thing to do, if you are posting from Word or Wordperfect into Expression Engine, is to copy the entire document then paste it into a new email message. Then copy the entire text from the email and paste it into Expression Engine.

(It doesn’t work to paste it into notepad or to use the “save as unicode” feature of your word processor. Since email is web-based, the email programs are built to do a good job of converting word processes documents to a simpler text that works well on the web.

We’ve tried this with Outlook, Outlook Express, and Yahoo.

3. If you use the submission form (intead of going into the Control Panel), you will still need to log onto the Control Panel if you want to edit your post.

Posted by Michael L Umphrey on 03/15 at 09:27 PM
(0) CommentsPermalinkE-mail this page
 2005 Montana Heritage Project