The relentlessly helpful blog


Enhancing web output with jQuery

In this post, John Espirian explains how a few lines of code can allow us to add a host of rich features to our web output.

(This article first appeared in the Spring 2014 edition of Communicator, the magazine of the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators.)

Most technical communicators are used to producing content that makes its way onto the web in some form or other. It is becoming ever more important to grasp the reader’s attention quickly, and one way to do that is by enhancing the formatting and functionality of web output.

Many of us are aware of how unappealing it can be to be presented with dreary blocks of texts, tables of data and such like. We can spruce up the content by taking some basic actions: using clear headings, writing short sentences, including visual aids, and so on.

jQuery

jQuery is a JavaScript framework

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Anatomy of an HTML page – part 5

Anatomy of an HTML page – part 5

In this post:

This series has covered some of the common elements found within the <body></body> element of HTML documents. This time, we’re going to look at the <head></head> element, which contains the essential metadata that helps give our content both meaning and style.

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Anatomy of an HTML page – part 1

Anatomy of an HTML page – part 1

In this post:

With more and more editors being expected to correct content on the web, it’s becoming increasingly useful for us to know at least the basics of HyperText Markup Language (HTML). So, here’s a simple introduction to the language of the web.

Whenever you view a website, your web browser converts HTML code into rendered text, images and other media. If you ever want to fix or amend the contents of a page, you’ll often need to change that HTML code. The very thought of this strikes fear into many hearts, but that needn’t be the case.

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Powerline

If you’ve ever had Wi-Fi problems at home with either your desktop or laptop computer, you may well have longed for some other way to get online and stay online. In this post, John Espirian explains a handy alternative to Wi-Fi in the home.

Performance

Go faster with Powerline

These days, Wi-Fi is a necessity in many homes – anyone who has a smartphone or tablet knows that. But what if you’ve got a computer in a room that doesn’t have a stable Wi-Fi signal? You probably won’t want to move the computer to another room just to get online. So, what to do?

Connection options

We usually have one of two options for getting online with a broadband router:

  • Wi-Fi – convenient but not always stable
  • Ethernet – stable but not always convenient

Both systems have pros and cons, and neither is perfect. My suggested alternative is to use Powerline.
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South Wales Editors

To date, no group of professionals has come together to offer editorial services to businesses, organisations or individuals in the South Wales area. In this post, John Espirian explains how and why South Wales Editors came about.

I’ve been involved with the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) since 2009. Among many of the benefits offered by the SfEP is its local groups – a great way to meet like-minded editorial professionals who live and work nearby. There are now around 40 of these groups in the UK.

South Wales Editors

South Wales Editors

After being dormant for years, the South Wales local group was reawakened in early 2013. Since then, the group has gone from strength to strength.

We now meet regularly in Cardiff to discuss editing, proofreading, best practices and general issues about working in-house and as freelances.

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Add a favicon to your website

Do you want your website to stand out when your viewers look at their browser bookmarks? In this post, John Espirian explains an easy way to create ‘favicons’ – the small images that represent each site.

Back in 2012, my colleague Louise Harnby wrote a post about how to get a favicon for your website. I thought it was about time to revisit that topic and recommend a new and easy way of creating and displaying your own favicon.
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About SfEP forums

Online discussion forums are now so commonplace that many people think they couldn’t possibly be too much trouble to set up and maintain. In this post, John Espirian explains how he developed and delivered a combined forum and mailing list for the Society for Editors and Proofreaders.

This article first appeared in the November/December 2014 episode of Editing Matters, the magazine of the SfEP.

The SfEP forums, our online message boards, celebrated their second anniversary at the beginning of September. John Espirian, the SfEP’s internet director, explains how we got there. He’s not promising any cake and candles, though.
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