Leon Avery leon at EATWORMS.SWMED.EDU
Fri Sep 8 19:41:57 EST 1995

In-Reply-To: hardin at vms2.macc.wisc.edu
        "WBG format" (Sep  8,  1:51pm)
In-Reply-To: "David L. Baillie" <dbaillie at darwin.mbb.sfu.ca>
        "Re:  electronic WBG" (Sep  8,  3:40pm)
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Subject: Re: electronic WBG
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I've had some replies to my question about submission format for an
electronic WBG.  Since I'm hoping for an open discussion and no one
said anything too embarassing (to me, anyway) the replies are appended

Jeff Hardin suggests acrobat.  My problem with acrobat is that it's
only an output format.  (It's basically postcript.)  This means it
can't be searched, edited, or quoted easily.  It only gives you half
the function you want from an electronic WBG.

Curtis Jamison, Thomas Buerglin, and David Baillie all vote for HTML.
Thomas included a long report about HTML-producing programs exhibited
at a tradeshow, where PageMill was apparently a big hit.  Since
PageMill is not much use except to WWW publishers, it's not likely
that the worm community at large is going to buy this.  Thomas's idea
is that someone (probably me) is going to buy PageMill, and that
Ceneca is going to make PageMill capable of importing from
MS-Word--there's no evidence for that that I know of, but it might
happen, and then everyone's going to submit documents as MS-Word
binary files (what about the non-Word users?), and then I'm going to
use PageMill to translate them all.  As far as I can see this comes
down to using MS-Word as the submission format instead of RTF.  It has
all the problems of RTF, but in addition it is much more complicated
and involves software that none of us has ever used, other software
that may not exist, and yet more software that is clearly entirely

Curtis mentions rtftohtml (which is in fact what I'm using now to
translate RTF to HTML) and the availability of HTML output from
WordPerfect (which, according to Thomas's trade show report, had been
announced but not yet released).  Dave Baillie points out that editing
HTML isn't that hard.  =

WordPerfect would be OK for those who use WordPerfect already, but
MS-Word users (the majority) aren't going to want to buy or use it.
rtftohtml or hand-editing are just too complicated for the average Joe
and Jane.  Look, there are plenty of people who have trouble getting a
PLAIN TEXT submission properly formatted.  They're not stupid--they've
made a very reasonable decision that they have better things to do
with their time than learn how computers work.

It does sound to me like there's a significant minority interested in
HTML submission.  Therefore, effectively immediately, you may submit
WBG abstracts in HTML.  For now, mail them to
wbg-rtf at eatworms.swmed.edu.  Maybe this will become a reasonable
general format when word processors catch up.

-- =

Leon Avery					   (214) 648-2420 (office)
Department of Biochemistry			            -2768 (lab)
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center             -8856 (fax)
5323 Harry Hines Blvd				   leon at eatworms.swmed.edu
Dallas, TX  75235-9038			  http://eatworms.swmed.edu/~leon/

On Sep 8,  1:24pm, Curtis Jamison wrote:
> Subject: Re: electronic WBG
> Hi Leon -
> =

> How's it going? I've a few comments to make about this subject:
> =

> In article <42pf3p$jc1 at swsu65.swmed.edu>, you write:
> >I want to re-open an old discussion.  Back when this newsgroup first
> >started, we talked about the mechanics of an electronic Worm Breeder's=

> >Gazette.
> ...
> =

> >(2) HTML.  No one is going to learn HTML just to submit WBG abstracts.=

> >    The vast majority of worm people will never learn HTML at all.
> >    The only reason I think this might be (or become) a viable option
> >    is this: word processors are now being written with options to
> >    export HTML.  Microsoft has a plug-in for Word for Windows called
> >    Internet Assistant that does it, and FrameMaker 5.0 will do it.
> >    Unfortunately, last time I looked there was still no HTML export
> >    software for MS-Word on MacIntosh, the main platform used by worm
> >    people.
> >
> =

> There are a couple of options for the Mac platform. First there is a
> package called Simple HTML Editor. I've used it, and was ultimately
> disappointed with it because of the lack of editing capabilities and
> the small subset of HTML it actually implemented. I've pretty much
> completely gone to authoring HTML using XEmacs' HTML-mode (which of
> course doesn't help the Mac folks at all).
> =

> Another possiibility is a package called RTF->HTML Converter. I used
> this to convert the WCS manual to HTML before that project was dropped.=

> It worked reasonably well.
> =

> These two programs are shareware.
> =

> On the coommersial front:
> According too my information, the current version of Wordperfect for
> the Mac contains HTML editing capabilities. I haven't seen it myself,
> though.
> =

> Hope this helps.
> Curt
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------=
> Curt Jamison					     jamison at csl.ncsa.uiuc.edu
> Fan of Steam-age Locomotives, Denver Broncos, CU Buffs, and Dr. Who
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------=
>-- End of excerpt from Curtis Jamison

On Sep 8,  1:37pm, Thomas  B=FCrglin wrote:
> Subject: Re: electronic WBG
> =

> [ text/plain
>   Encoded with "quoted-printable" ] :

> >(2) HTML.  No one is going to learn HTML just to submit WBG abstracts.=

> >    The vast majority of worm people will never learn HTML at all.
> >    The only reason I think this might be (or become) a viable option
> >    is this: word processors are now being written with options to
> >    export HTML.  Microsoft has a plug-in for Word for Windows called
> >    Internet Assistant that does it, and FrameMaker 5.0 will do it.
> >    Unfortunately, last time I looked there was still no HTML export
> >    software for MS-Word on MacIntosh, the main platform used by worm
> >    people.
> >
> >Any ideas?
> >
> I think that is the solution: HTML.
> we just have to get either a) good converters or b) good
> HTML doc writers.  However, I think the logical choice is a).
> However, for b) an excellent Mac choice is now available:
> =

> For the MacIntosh, the current situation is like this:
> taken from Tidbits:
> =

> *********
> Boston MacWorld had more of a buzz than the last few major MacWorld
> Expos, and that buzz came in no small part from the steady hum of
> Internet talk, with an emphasis on HTML and the Web. (This was the
> first MacWorld Expo where many of the booths had T-1 connections.) I
> spent a few hours in the booth of my book publisher, Hayden, and
> watched a steady stream of people walk over to the Internet section,
> pick up a few books with "HTML" or "Web" in their titles, and then
> walk over to the cash register without even looking through the
> books.
> =

> In terms of HTML products, several word processors sported HTML
> features, including the currently shipping ClarisWorks 4.0 with its
> HTML export capability, the currently shipping NisusWriter 4.1 with
> an improved set of Sandra Silcot's excellent HTML macros, and the
> soon-to-be-released WordPerfect 3.5 with its HTML
> features. WordPerfect 3.5 will export to HTML and has some
> WYSIWYG-like HTML editing features (plus table-creation and link
> resolution), but it's not a complete solution except for simple HTML
> documents.  WordPerfect takes many of the ideas in today's crop of
> shareware HTML tools, cleans them up a bit, and pushes them a little
> further. Finally, although it's not a sure thing, Microsoft
> continues to consider the possibility of releasing a Macintosh
> version of its Internet Assistant for Word 6.
> =

> Evolutionary add-ons to word processors get a smattering of
> applause, but the HTML tools I've been waiting for appeared at the
> show, in the form of two programs - PageMill and SiteMill. Developed
> by a new company, Ceneca Communications, the programs offer
> outstanding tools for making Web pages and managing Web sites.
> =

> PageMill -- Simply put, PageMill is the PageMaker of the
> Web. Previous attempts at a WYSIWYG approach have had edges rough
> enough to give splinters; PageMill is polished, professional, and
> utterly Mac-like (not surprising given the Apple and Taligent
> backgrounds of the people who started Ceneca Software). PageMill
> users need not know any HTML whatsoever - creating Web documents in
> any other program is like writing Word documents in RTF, Microsoft's
> human-unreadable Rich Text Format. Mac users almost never do
> anything in straight RTF, and they overwhelmingly rejected the idea
> of WordPerfect's codes, so I expect that given an option like
> PageMill, many Mac users will reject the idea of using (or even
> knowing) HTML tags.
> =

> Working with PageMill is much like working in a simple page layout
> program - you can type text or use drag and drop to add text from
> pre-existing files. You can use drag and drop to add graphics (PICTs
> are automatically converted to GIFs), and a built-in graphics tool
> can do interlacing, transparent backgrounds, and image
> maps. PageMill can import existing HTML documents and correct errors
> in those documents. PageMill demos extremely well, and I'll save
> more specific comments for when I review the program later this
> year.
> =

> PageMill supports HTML 2.0 (which includes forms) and some Netscape
> extensions (but not tables in this version). If Ceneca priced
> PageMill for $50 or less, I think they could sell the program to
> virtually every Web-savvy Macintosh user on the planet. Instead,
> Ceneca plans to sell the program for around $200, restricting its
> use to Web professionals and businesses. Although I think the price
> is steep, perhaps the high price will keep the number of customers
> to a manageable level. Ceneca's greatest challenge may be in growing
> fast enough to keep up with interest in their product - PageMill was
> easily the most-talked-about product at the show. I wouldn't be at
> all surprised to see the program acquired or at least marketed by a
> larger organization like Apple or Claris; rumor has it that Guy
> Kawasaki is trumpeting the importance of PageMill and SiteMill
> within Apple, and from what I've seen, PageMill is the best HTML
> editor available on any platform.
> =

> SiteMill -- PageMill's companion program, SiteMill, helps you manage
> a Web site, and each main feature happens in a different view:
> =

> snip
> =

> ************
> =

> If PageMill would support importing from MSWord 5.1a
> then it might be the solution.  Someone (who?) purchases this program,
> receives all Mac MSWord documents as binaries (through mime/eudora)
> and converts them.
> =

> Thomas Burglin (German spelling: B=FCrglin)
> burglin at ubaclu.unibas.ch
> =

> =

>-- End of excerpt from Thomas  B=FCrglin

On Sep 8,  1:51pm, hardin at vms2.macc.wisc.edu wrote:
> Subject: WBG format
> Leon-
> =

> If RTF files were edited in Adobe Acrobat format files, then people cou=
> use Acrobat reader to read them, including figures. I don't really like=

> this, but Netscape has pledged to integrate Acrobat with subsequent
> releases of Netscape.
> =

> Good luck!
> =

> Jeff
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------=
>                               Jeff Hardin
>                          Department of Zoology =

>                          University of Wisconsin
>                            1117 W. Johnson St.
>                            Madison, WI 53706
>                       office phone: (608) 262-9634
>                        lab phone: (608) 265-2520
>                            fax: (608) 262-7319
>                        email: hardin at macc.wisc.edu
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------=
> =

>-- End of excerpt from hardin at vms2.macc.wisc.edu

On Sep 8,  3:40pm, David L. Baillie wrote:
> Subject: Re:  electronic WBG
> Leon, =

> =

> I think the limited number of HTML commands that need to be learned is =
> italic, bold, Paragraph, Center, and maybe list.  It should be possible=

> for people to learn this limited command set.  Those who don't care can=

> continue to submit plain asci versions of there notes.
> =

> Maybe I am being overly optimistic, what do you think.
> =

> Dave Baillie =

>  =

>  =

> Institute of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry =

> Department of Biological Sciences =

> Simon Fraser University =

> Burnaby, British Columbia =

> Canada, V5A 1S6 =

>  =

> Phone: Voice or Fax  604-291-4597 =

>        Home          604-298-5902 =

>  =

> e-mail baillie at sfu.ca or dbaillie at darwin.mbb.sfu.ca
>-- End of excerpt from David L. Baillie


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