Monday, February 11, 2008

"Happy Friday (Last One Before Valentine's Day)"

"Happy Friday (Last One Before Valentine's Day)"

Friday's are always nice, but this past Friday, it seemed like the women in my section were more electrified than usual. "Hmm... I guess they've got something planned" thought I. Feeing like doing something to unwind a little, I stopped by Ebisu on the way home and looked around - idly noticing happy-looking fashionable women to the right, to the left, behind, in front, all around! "Hmm... it must just be one of those things - like a full moon or something" I mused.

The next day - it finally hit me what's going on! The day before had been the last Friday before Valentine's Day! Keep in mind that Valentine's Day here is not the same as in the West - here it's the day when women give chocolate to men. (A month later - on March 14th, is when men give chocolate to women. For more details, see your friendly Google search engine.)

I did notice that the shop I bought some things at was selling chocolate in front of the store, and there were several women looking over the display, but it wasn't until Saturday that I began to wonder if the more-festive-than-usual atmosphere the day before was due to the coming romantic day? I'm still not sure, but it seems like it might have something to do with it - a last chance to get together with friends and discuss what/who/where/how/etc?

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

"Are Two Spaces Illegal?"

I'm migrating away from Netscape Composer 4.0 (from the deep misty reaches of ancient time - for those of you who don't know what that is) to newer software (non-MacroBucks of course) and I'm coming upon my original complaint with MacroBucks Word 7.0, back in 1996. MB-7.0 had this weird deal where you could have one space between sentences, or you could have three, but the bloody program would not allow two!!

Now why would they do that? Did they have a meeting and in the meeting some typical, but truly horrible, mid-level management bozo came up with the wonderful idea of eliminating double-spacing? (Probably not for that reason, but it's truly amazing how much damage is inflicted on the world by mid-level management trash!) In any case, what happened is that you got one space by hitting the space bar once (breath-taking concept, that) but then, when you hit it a second time, you got two more spaces, for a total of three spaces for two hits on the space bar! Maybe someone thought that "Three for the price of two!" was a spiffy sales phrase, so they went for "Three spaces for the effort of two!"? It doesn't make any sense.

Anyway, this unforgivable behavior pushed me to using text editors to write with and I only used the horrible MacroBucks program Word when forced to at work. (Some later versions of Word were less obnoxious with the spacing than version 7.0, come to think of it.) Now, with HTML, I'm finding that my double spaces between sentences are being reduced to single spaces. Why?! Who sat down with the programmers and told them "Look, we have to do something about double spaces between sentences. It must not be allowed! Program the application so that it eradicates one of the spaces every time someone puts two of them between sentences."? Grrrrrr....!!

Hate that as I do, I can still live with it. And then there's the spacing between paragraphs! when I hit the Enter key at the end of a paragraph, the application gives me a line space down... so I'm already to go with the next paragraph. Okay... irritating (it should take two hits of the Enter key to get there), but also something I can live with. But then if I want to have two line spaces between paragraphs, I get (shades of MacroBucks Word 7.0), three lines spaces when I hit the Enter key again - "Three line spaces for the effort of two!" Why?!

Since the programmers for these HTML programs I use seem to have been infected with Mid-level management disease, I realized that I would have to look at my old HTML pages and get into the code to fix modern damaged HTML. I'm not sure of the cause of the extra spacing between paragraphs yet, but I think I've discovered the cause of the space-killer between sentences. It seems to be this: "&quot". Proper double-spacing can be had via "&nbsp". I'd rather not have to go on search & replace missions in the code for everything I write, but bad programming is forcing me in that direction.

People can write however they want to write, but I really resent programs forcing me into someone else's style! ...... Well... anyway.

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

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