vrijdag 13 mei 2016

Hotline HTML

In my post No Panic you could already read that Foreign and Domestic Politics of Japan and I don't quite have a good relation. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the classes and thought the material was pretty interesting (no, I'm not being sarcastic), but the collective paper left kind of a bitter taste at the end. And that taste kept hanging around for a while because we (or do I mean "I"?) got two assignments with that paper as the lead; rewrite the introduction of the paper and convert it to an e-book. I had a better feeling about the first assignment because we had to work together - so I thought - and we already received the ingredients for a well-written intro: definition, controversy, motivation, objectives, limitations and different points of view. Unfortunately we didn't get the ingredients list for the conversion to e-bookformat, which could've come in handy.

During the class in which the first assignment got announced, we got to work on our introduction 2.0 per group. Well, who of your group actually took the class Methodology and Digital Literacy, which caused us to be with only half of our group. And of that half only two third contributed to our new introduction, which actually reminded me of the actual paper; some things never change (no shade). Unfortunately, we couldn't save it the way Mr. Coppens wanted: "Create new revision, no moderation." This option wasn't available for us yet, causing our work to be done for nothing (partially because I forgot to save it somewhere). Weeks later when I was converting it to e-bookformat, I realized that I still hadn't finished the assignment, so I tried to rewrite the intro by myself (with the emphasis on "tried"). Luckily, the option "Create new revision, no moderation" was available now and I could save it directly.

Converting the paper to e-bookformat I had a completely different problem: aesthetics. This because I'm a bit (now don't you fool yourself) of a perfectionist. Problem number one was that all of our names were arranged in such a clumsy way, but I couldn't fix that so it still is an issue (especially for me). The second problem was the table of contents in which I forgot to mention it is a table of contents, so I had to re-do it again. I did this for three times because I kept on forgetting to add page breaks, causing it to look really sloppy. Problem number three was giving the introduction the title of "Introduction", which I realized I forgot after the third attempt. Besides that, I'd also forgotten to give the table of contents the title "Contents", making this the fourth problem. Eventually I attempted converting my paper to an e-book for at least five times, because I kept on hoping the names would be arranged less clumsily, but as you know I failed. The e-book Scheiding van Religie en Staat is now available (in Dutch) for all of you to read (in Dutch).

Besides those two assignments I also converted my wiki-article Kenzo Takada (original: Kenzo Takada) from HTML to PDF. This went laboriously because I kept on having issues with pictures in HTML (and of course with Pandoc), as mentioned in Do Pandoctors Exist?. Perhaps I should work less stressfully and be more at ease when I try programming that stuff. Pandoc is just being Pandoc and isn't doing the weird stuff, while I'm the person who is.

zaterdag 7 mei 2016

Do Pandoctors Exist?

Since today, May 7th 2016, I'm part of the list "Pandoc users Authorea" on Twitter (no, this doesn't make me a Pandoc-prophet). The reason why I'm part of this list is very simple: I tweeted about Pandoc. And because most lists get triggered by a, or more, keyword(s) I got automatically added to this list. It began when I started converting a wiki-article, Kenzo Takada more specifically, in markdown or just plain text. I had a hard time trying to convert my article, especially because I just couldn't make head or tail of it (but who does?!). Eventually my hard work did pay off with a nice portfolio post which isn't publicly available, but to be honest I am pretty proud of myself (if that's acceptable?).
I'll be honest with you and admit that I was searching the web for a tutorial during about an hour - maybe an hour and a half, maybe more. It was a pretty fruitless search leading me to think that Mr. Hans Coppens just made it up or something (I was literally this close to quitting). Then I had the exquisite idea of taking a look on Toledo (a closed community for students, professors and other people who go to my university), where I found a tutorial by Mr. Coppens himself (this was supposed to be step one); finally I could start with the real deal. I've gotta say that I did it in a quite unorthodox way, but it's all about the result (this isn't algebra where the formula is more important than the outcome).
As in the tutorial I started by installing Pandoc (after which I got added to that list). Terminal was needed as well to complete the assignment successfully, but I didn't even know where to find the application (perhaps in the file Applications, know-all?). So I used the useful shortcut Command-Spacebar to open Spotlight and search for Terminal. Once found I thought: in all those years I didn't need you, I didn't even notice you and now you're so important in my life (I'm such a drama queen). After this I pretty much deviated a bit from the tutorial because the commando's didn't work when I inserted them, but luckily I found my own way to do this all. You can see what I did in the following plan.

First I saved my wiki-article in Evernote.

Secondly I exported the note, in which my wiki-article was saved, as HTML.

Then I opened this HTML-file in Atom.

After that, I copied everything and pasted it in StackEdit, whereafter I deleted everything outside of the body tags (I also deleted the image).

Thereafter I copied everything in markdown en pasted it in a portfolio post (I added the image later).

I hope that if somebody would try my way of converting they'd get the same result as me, because I know my way isn't the way. It did work out for me, didn't it? Unfortunately I didn't get to work with Pandoc and I do think it's unfortunate. I'd really wanted to feel like a programmer who inserts all those abstract commando's with the enter key as a magic wand to make more weird symbols appear in that small dark box. I guess that'll be for another time.