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TOPIC: Hardy Cook explains how he publishes the SHAKSPER list

Hardy Cook explains how he publishes the SHAKSPER list 8 years 4 months ago #2041

  • William Shakespeare
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Since I began editing SHAKSPER digests for distribution, I strove for a
consistent "look and feel" to the digests, one that would appear roughly
the same no matter what computer platform, web browser, or e-mail client
the member used to send messages to or to read the digests from SHAKSPER.

At this point in writing this response, I had intended to describe in
detail the procedures that I use, including the macros I have created,
to transform an e-mail message I receive into the digest I send out.
However, as I was writing, I realized that my detailed description was
unnecessary. Let me momentarily continue as I was until I get to the
explanation.

1. I save messages that appear in my inbox for SHAKSPER as Windows
default "plain text" documents to a folder on one of my hard drives.

2. When I edit what I have received, I begin by opening a file I have
named HEADER, I make adjustments so that the header reflects the day,
date, and number of the digest I am working on, such as "The Shakespeare
Conference: SHK XX.XXXx Monday, 5 May 2008" - Next, I select all and
copy the header.

EXPLANATION FOR "MECHANICAL" REASON:

I am composing this response in WORD 2007 with the document format set
to WORD 97-2003. Above, I just typed two hyphens after 2008" and Word
automatically changed those two hyphens, as soon as I typed the comma
after "Next," into an em-line dash in the default Tahoma 12 point font
of the document.

In my efforts to create digests that look roughly the same no matter
what computer platform, web browser, or e-mail client the member uses, I
employ a "full block" format I have developed for SHAKSPER digests.

1. All lines are flush with left hand margin, including long quotations
and bulleted or numbered lists (since the right hand margin is variable,
having consistent-looking results is virtually impossible).

2. Lines are single-spaced.

3. Paragraphs are not indented; instead, separate paragraphs are
indicated by having a blank line between them.

4. All sentences are formatted in a manner so that they word-wrap in the
e-mail client; to avoid sentences that might begin with a single space
indentation, I put one space between the terminal mark of punctuation
and the beginning of the next sentence instead of two. (When an e-mail
is saved, some computer platforms, web browsers, or e-mail clients
insert "Carriage Returns" or "Line Feeds" or both at line breaks, so I
have created a macro I use to remove "Carriage Returns," indicated by CR
or the Paragraph symbol or CR/LF at the end of a line (EOL). If you are
interested in these matters, you should read "The End-of-Line Story":
<www.rfc-editor.org/EOLstory.txt>.)

When I am done formatting, I click on one of my macros and save the
digest as a US-ASCII plain text file with character substitutions and
lines that word-wrap. As I format, any time I type two hyphens Word
converts them into an em-line dash; furthermore, any two hyphens that
members have typed are, at one stage in my formatting process, similarly
converted into em-line dashes. Thus, when I am ready to click on my
macro to conclude my editing/formatting, all em-line dashes appear as
em-line dashes in the default Tahoma 12 point font of the document, and
my final step of saving the file in US-ASCII transforms all these
em-line dashes into single hyphens, since the basic ASCII character set
does not have an em-line dash character (The initial ASCII character set
consists of 128 characters, of which 33 are non-print control characters
that affect how text is processed and of which 94 are the printable
letters of the English alphabet <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASCII>.)

As limited as it is, the US-ASCII character set is generally
acknowledged to be the de facto standard for electronic communication in
English across computer platforms, Internet browsers, and e-mail
clients: Jukka Korpela maintains that "ASCII is the safest character
repertoire to be used in data transfer." In fact, "Most character codes
currently in use contain ASCII as their subset in some sense" (Korpela
<www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/chars.html>).

I have read and made editing and stylistic changes in this document for
perhaps the twentieth time and am ready to save it as a "plain text"
(i.e., US-ASCII) file that I will later combine into the digest for the
subject in the Subject line above. After I Save-as as I indicated above,
the em-line dash in this file will become a single hyphen, explaining (I
hope) the "mechanical" reason that Gabriel Egan mentions in his
contribution.

Mechanically yours,
Hardy M. Cook

Works Cited

RFC Editor. "The End-of-Line Story." Online document. 18 April 2004.
RFC (Requests for Comments) Editor. 4 May 2008
<www.rfc-editor.org/EOLstory.txt>.

"ASCII." Online article. 1 May 2008. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
4 May 2008 <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASCII>.

Korpela, Jukka. "A Tutorial on Character Code Issues." Online article.
13 July 2007 <www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/chars.html>.


http://www.shaksper.net/archives/2008/0260.html
Last Edit: 8 years 4 months ago by William Shakespeare.
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Hardy Cook explains how he publishes the SHAKSPER list 8 years 4 months ago #2042

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I'd like to clear up some misconceptions about Hardy's approach, correct some inaccuracies, and elaborate on why it's out of date. Hardy Cook doesn't always send out messages to the SHAKSPER list, so I wanted to respond to those items in an open forum.
Hardy Cook wrote:
Since I began editing SHAKSPER digests for distribution, I strove for a
consistent "look and feel" to the digests, one that would appear roughly
the same no matter what computer platform, web browser, or e-mail client
the member used to send messages to or to read the digests from SHAKSPER.

At this point in writing this response, I had intended to describe in
detail the procedures that I use, including the macros I have created,
to transform an e-mail message I receive into the digest I send out.
However, as I was writing, I realized that my detailed description was
unnecessary. Let me momentarily continue as I was until I get to the
explanation.

1. I save messages that appear in my inbox for SHAKSPER as Windows
default "plain text" documents to a folder on one of my hard drives.

Plain text is not a Windows format, nor a default.
Hardy Cook wrote:
2. When I edit what I have received, I begin by opening a file I have
named HEADER, I make adjustments so that the header reflects the day,
date, and number of the digest I am working on, such as "The Shakespeare
Conference: SHK XX.XXXx Monday, 5 May 2008" - Next, I select all and
copy the header.

This must be tedious. There are a multitude of ways this could be automated.
Hardy Cook wrote:
EXPLANATION FOR "MECHANICAL" REASON:

I am composing this response in WORD 2007 with the document format set
to WORD 97-2003. Above, I just typed two hyphens after 2008" and Word
automatically changed those two hyphens, as soon as I typed the comma
after "Next," into an em-line dash in the default Tahoma 12 point font
of the document.

In my efforts to create digests that look roughly the same no matter
what computer platform, web browser, or e-mail client the member uses, I
employ a "full block" format I have developed for SHAKSPER digests.

The only problem with full block is that it makes long emails difficult and tedious to read. It doesn't allow for the reader to scan the information for what they feel might be of particular interest.
Hardy Cook wrote:
1. All lines are flush with left hand margin, including long quotations
and bulleted or numbered lists (since the right hand margin is variable,
having consistent-looking results is virtually impossible).

Yes, the right hand margin is variable. But this description of the process has all lines broken at a particular width (as have a few other digests in the past) and this doesn't respect variable screen or window widths. You are attempting to define how email programs view the digests. What you aren't considering is that everyone has different screen sizes and different email window sizes. Some people use a vertical stacking of windows (email list above and the email body below) and some use a horizontal view (emails on the left, body on the right). When using the horizontal version, text can be broken mid-line, which makes it harder to read. This is doubly true for anyone who gets email on their cell phone (which more and more people do).
Hardy Cook wrote:
2. Lines are single-spaced.

If it's plain text, you don't have a choice but to use single-spaced lines.
Hardy Cook wrote:
3. Paragraphs are not indented; instead, separate paragraphs are
indicated by having a blank line between them.

4. All sentences are formatted in a manner so that they word-wrap in the
e-mail client;

They don't always do that, but the approach is correct.
Hardy Cook wrote:
...to avoid sentences that might begin with a single space
indentation, I put one space between the terminal mark of punctuation
and the beginning of the next sentence instead of two. (When an e-mail
is saved, some computer platforms, web browsers, or e-mail clients
insert "Carriage Returns" or "Line Feeds" or both at line breaks, so I
have created a macro I use to remove "Carriage Returns," indicated by CR
or the Paragraph symbol or CR/LF at the end of a line (EOL). If you are
interested in these matters, you should read "The End-of-Line Story":
<www.rfc-editor.org/EOLstory.txt>.)

When I am done formatting, I click on one of my macros and save the
digest as a US-ASCII plain text file with character substitutions and
lines that word-wrap. As I format, any time I type two hyphens Word
converts them into an em-line dash; furthermore, any two hyphens that
members have typed are, at one stage in my formatting process, similarly
converted into em-line dashes. Thus, when I am ready to click on my
macro to conclude my editing/formatting, all em-line dashes appear as
em-line dashes in the default Tahoma 12 point font of the document, and
my final step of saving the file in US-ASCII transforms all these
em-line dashes into single hyphens, since the basic ASCII character set
does not have an em-line dash character (The initial ASCII character set
consists of 128 characters, of which 33 are non-print control characters
that affect how text is processed and of which 94 are the printable
letters of the English alphabet <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASCII>.)

The first problem with ASCII is that it's the American Standard Code for Information Interchange. It doesn't respect many characters from other languages. As it's called, the American Standard Code. ASCII was developed for teleprinter systems in the 1950s and the reason why it still exists today is legacy, not for it's superiority. Unicode is the superior standard (and has been for many years now almost since its inception in 1991) and more specifically UTF-8 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UTF-8 ), an ISO standard since the early 1990s.

SHAKSPER boasts over 1300 members from 63 countries. Despite English being the world standard for communication, why wouldn't there be a more inclusive and compatible view taken?

As the semantic Web develops, ASCII will be relegated to antiquated texts and UTF will become the minimum standard for everything online. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semantic_Web )
Hardy Cook wrote:
As limited as it is, the US-ASCII character set is generally
acknowledged to be the de facto standard for electronic communication in
English across computer platforms, Internet browsers, and e-mail
clients: Jukka Korpela maintains that "ASCII is the safest character
repertoire to be used in data transfer." In fact, "Most character codes
currently in use contain ASCII as their subset in some sense" (Korpela
<www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/chars.html>).

ASCII is a subset of UTF-8, so you're not losing anything at all. In fact you're gaining future compatibility with more systems, not to mention the inter-language accessibility. The mere fact you cited Jukka Korpela as a source, shows how dated your ideas are. Sure it's "safe"...but is it the best way (for the multitude of reasons I've stated and the dozens more beyond those)?

You should consider reading this great book called Electronic Textual Editing. It's not all gospel, but it's a great primer on handling electronic texts and has even a special focus on how it pertains to literary works.

http://www.amazon.com/Electronic-Textua ... 676&sr=8-1

It might also break you out of that US-centric way of thinking.
Hardy Cook wrote:
I have read and made editing and stylistic changes in this document for
perhaps the twentieth time and am ready to save it as a "plain text"
(i.e., US-ASCII) file that I will later combine into the digest for the
subject in the Subject line above. After I Save-as as I indicated above,
the em-line dash in this file will become a single hyphen, explaining (I
hope) the "mechanical" reason that Gabriel Egan mentions in his
contribution.

I don't envy you having to do this process over and over again. It's a shame you don't have the incentive to make things easier on yourself. But I guess it's a meditative process for some.

To sum all this up, I have offered in the past to help modernize the SHAKSPER list, even host it on the PlayShakespeare server, but never got any response. I've also requested an interview with Hardy about running the list and how things got started, etc., which also never received a response. Even though I'm a little disappointed he only responds to correspondence he stands to gain something from, the offer still stands.



For more information on the SHAKSPER mailing list:
http://www.shaksper.net/

For more information on Hardy Cook:
http://gcgraphix.com/engl/cook.htm
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Hardy Cook explains how he publishes the SHAKSPER list 8 years 2 months ago #2216

  • Hardy M. Cook
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[size=150:1bouiiqx]TITLE: Hardy Cook Responds[/size]
shakespeare wrote:
I'd like to clear up some misconceptions about Hardy's approach, correct some inaccuracies, and elaborate on why it's out of date. Hardy Cook doesn't always send out messages to the SHAKSPER list, so I wanted to respond to those items in an open forum.

I am very confused about this post, or is it called an "article" in this format?

To begin, the initial article from me to which, Ron Severdia (I assume that “shakespeare” is Ron) responds was originally a posting on the SHAKSPER listserv (taken out of context I might further note), that appeared in this forum without what I consider to be adequate documentation and without informing me of its publication. The URL to the posting’s location is included at the bottom of the article, but no further information about its source or the context for its appearance is provided. Yet, (and I emphasize that I am not interested in engaging in a discussion of intellectual property or copyright law) I was not given the courtesy of being informed of the article’s being reprinted or the courtesy of being asked permission to have it reprinted. It is difficult to engage in a dialogue when one of the party does not know that a discussion is going on.

Now, as to the content, beginning with the first sentence and leaving aside for the moment my approach’s so-called “misconceptions,” “inaccuracies,” and obsolescence, I do not follow the logic of the following statement: “Hardy Cook doesn't always send out messages to the SHAKSPER list, so I wanted to respond to those items in an open forum.” Yes, SHAKSPER is a moderated list; therefore, I, as editor/moderator, do not indeed post every item that is submitted to me to the members of the list (this is what is meant by SHAKSPER’s being an edited and moderated list and not an unmoderated one in which everything that is submitted, including advertisements for sexual aids, is distributed to the members of the list). But how then does it follow that “shakespeare” felt compelled to respond (without informing me that he was doing do) “in an open forum.” If Ron wanted to respond to points that I made in a posting that was intended by me to apologize for and explain the reasons why Gabriel Egan’s “usual MLA-style typescript representation of an em-line dash (which is two hyphens with no space either side)” appeared as single hyphens (a problem that I have since resolved), then he should have, at the very least, let me know that he was responding to points that I had made and informed me where he was making those responses.
Hardy Cook wrote:
Since I began editing SHAKSPER digests for distribution, I strove for a consistent "look and feel" to the digests, one that would appear roughly the same no matter what computer platform, web browser, or e-mail client the member used to send messages to or to read the digests from SHAKSPER. . . . I save messages that appear in my inbox for SHAKSPER as Windows default "plain text" documents to a folder on one of my hard drives.
shakespeare wrote:
Plain text is not a Windows format, nor a default.

Here, I did not explain myself in a step-by-step manner and consequently “shakespeare” used the opportunity to create the appearance that I do not know what I am talking about.

What I was trying to avoid in my posting was going into an exceedingly long explanation. But here it is. For other reasons that I really do not want to explain, I generally use Netscape 7.2 for SHAKSPER. So when I go to my Inbox in Netscape 7.2 and see a message that is intended for SHAKSPER, I right click on that message and select “Save as” in the dialog box that pops up, I then rename the file, assigning it a number in the sequence to which it belongs. For example, if there is a discussion thread on “West’s Census of First Folios,” I might title the first response in that thread “census1.txt,” the second “census2.txt,” and so on.

When I next open these files that I have saved as “text” files with the “.txt” extension in Word 2007, I am opening a file that Windows considers to be one of three different types of plain text files. The easiest way to locate these three types of “plain text” files and thus to be able to distinguish between them, is to examine the “Save as” command.

To understand what I meant by Windows default "plain text" document, follow me if you will; in Windows 2007, when one saves a document using the “Save as” command a dialog box appears. Next, the user must provide a “File name” and click on the “Save as type” button. After selecting “Plain text” from the drop down menu, the user must click on the “Save” button, to be presented with another dialog box, “The file conversion” dialog box. Here is where one can distinguish between the three types of “plain text” files in Windows by the titles of the three radio buttons: the first is “Window (Default),” the second “MS-DOS,” and the third “Other encoding,” where I select “US-ASCII.” There are other ways to see this dialog box. Sometimes when one has saved an e-mail message as a text file and opens that message in Windows 2007, the “File conversion” box will appear with the command “Select the encoding that makes your document readable” with the following choices next to radio buttons: “Window (Default),” “MS-DOS,” and “Other encoding,” where “US-ASCII” is a choice in a drop down menu.

In the passage that “shakespeare” critiques, I was referring to the saving of a file as “Plain text” and when doing so having that file being what Windows 2007 considers a “Window (Default)” plain text file rather than a plain text file with the “MS-DOS” or with an encoding that appears in the drop down menu of the “File conversion” dialog box under the “Other encoding” list of choices found in the drop down menu.

It has taken me several hours to compose what you see above and it is after 1:00 am and I am quite tired. I simply do not have the energy to continue with this degree of detail, so I will go through the remainder of this RESPONSE by “shakespeare” to see if there are any egregious points that need my attention.
shakespeare wrote:
This must be tedious. There are a multitude of ways this could be automated. . . .

The only problem with full block is that it makes long emails difficult and tedious to read. It doesn't allow for the reader to scan the information for what they feel might be of particular interest. . . .

The first problem with ASCII is that it's the American Standard Code for Information Interchange. It doesn't respect many characters from other languages. As it's called, the American Standard Code. ASCII was developed for teleprinter systems in the 1950s and the reason why it still exists today is legacy, not for it's superiority. Unicode is the superior standard (and has been for many years now almost since its inception in 1991) and more specifically UTF-8 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UTF-8 ), an ISO standard since the early 1990s. . . .

You should consider reading this great book called Electronic Textual Editing. It's not all gospel, but it's a great primer on handling electronic texts and has even a special focus on how it pertains to literary works. . . .

I don't envy you having to do this process over and over again. It's a shame you don't have the incentive to make things easier on yourself. But I guess it's a meditative process for some.

To sum all this up, I have offered in the past to help modernize the SHAKSPER list, even host it on the PlayShakespeare server, but never got any response. I've also requested an interview with Hardy about running the list and how things got started, etc., which also never received a response. Even though I'm a little disappointed he only responds to correspondence he stands to gain something from, the offer still stands.

I concede that some points that are made are legitimate; others are simply catty and not in the least helpful.

Yes, editing to produce the consistent format that I strive for is indeed sometimes tedious. Yes, ASCII is not ideal; nevertheless, projects like the Internet Shakespeare Editions, for which I am a member of the editorial board and am an editor of Shakespeare’s Poems for the ISE, still use it. Although in the end our diplomatic transcriptions of quarto and folio texts and our modern editions are encoded in XML, they are prepared in ASCII, using a simplified SGML character set. Excerpts from the ISE Guidelines can be found at http://internetshakespeare.uvic.ca/Foye ... index.html. Michael Best also discussed the place of XML encoding in a recent posting on SHAKSPER:

Hardy M. Cook wrote:

>My second question is to Michael: How are files for the
>Internet Shakespeare Editions encoded into XML? Are
>they encoded manually or do you use a program to
>perform the encoding? And if so, what is that program
>or what is the process?

This is an excellent and deceptively simple question. As Hardy will
realize, since he has been working on the poems for the Internet
Shakespeare Editions, Shakespeare's texts are complex, and our aims
ambitious. We aim to encode, in the old-spelling texts now on the site,
a great deal of information about both the semantic structure of the
plays (how they are divided into acts, scenes, speeches, and so on), and
about the physical structure of the books they were published in, with
their division of pages, columns, and physical lines. Normal XML does
not deal elegantly with this level of complexity, and has to privilege
one of these structures. Our response has been to encode the plays and
poems initially in an earlier, more flexible standard (SGML -- Standard
Generalized Markup Language), from which we generate separate XML files
for the different structures.

http://www.shaksper.net/archives/2008/0310.html

To sum up and get some sleep, let me address the following that “shakespeare” wrote:
shakespeare wrote:
To sum all this up, I have offered in the past to help modernize the SHAKSPER list, even host it on the PlayShakespeare server, but never got any response. I've also requested an interview with Hardy about running the list and how things got started, etc., which also never received a response. Even though I'm a little disappointed he only responds to correspondence he stands to gain something from, the offer still stands.

I am an extremely busy person, suffering from some serious health problems that greatly interfere with the quality of my life; I vaguely remember Ron saying something in the past to me about modernizing SHAKSPER. I do not remember the details and do not have the time now to retrieve my past e-mail exchanges to find out what was said. One several occasions I have discussed with various people, possible ways that SHAKSPER might be “modernized.” In the end, I have rejected such options as turning SHAKSPER into a blog or having it operated without moderation, and I have decided to continue with listserv, a program that many would consider an out-dated and obsolete method for Internet communication. Nevertheless, SHAKSPER is now in its nineteenth year with my being its editor for all but eighteen or so months of its existence, and it continues to be an innovative medium for Shakespearean scholarly discourse (as evident by the success of the recently initiated Roundtables and by, I hope, the upcoming Peer-Reviewed Book Review feature that a well-respected group of peers on the SHAKSPER Book Review Panel are making happen).

I have my own dedicated server in my home office from which SHAKSPER operates, and do not need to depend on anyone else for its operation. I have agreed to be interview as I recall, and I have noted that I have several publications about the history of the list and about my running of it. Last year, I published an essay in Borrowers and Lenders http://lachesis.english.uga.edu/cocoon/ ... ?id=590387 and I have another upcoming in a special edition of College Literature and another in Style.

I apologize if there is a misunderstanding about my being interview (As I said, I thought that I had agreed to it.). I would be glad to discuss SHAKSPER with Ron, but as I said I am an extremely busy person with health problems.

I wish that I had more time and energy to address other of the points that were made in this article, but it is after 2:00 am. I hope those points that I have addressed will bring some clarity to my position, and I welcome more dialog with Ron. However, I repeat, in order for me to participate in an exchange, I have to know about it, and responding to a post I made on one venue in another without informing of it is simply not fair.

HMCook
Hardy M. Cook
Professor of English
Editor of SHAKSPER
www.shaksper.net
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Hardy Cook explains how he publishes the SHAKSPER list 8 years 2 months ago #2217

  • William Shakespeare
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HMCook wrote:
To begin, the initial article from me to which, Ron Severdia (I assume that “shakespeare” is Ron) responds was originally a posting on the SHAKSPER listserv (taken out of context I might further note), that appeared in this forum without what I consider to be adequate documentation and without informing me of its publication. The URL to the posting’s location is included at the bottom of the article, but no further information about its source or the context for its appearance is provided. Yet, (and I emphasize that I am not interested in engaging in a discussion of intellectual property or copyright law) I was not given the courtesy of being informed of the article’s being reprinted or the courtesy of being asked permission to have it reprinted. It is difficult to engage in a dialogue when one of the party does not know that a discussion is going on.

Yes, shakespeare is Ron. I posted the article here because I thought it gave some insight into how the list was prepared and has hoped to have an unmoderated discussion about the items therein. As you can see by the date on the original posting (2+ months ago), I'd intended on following up but have so busy with other things that I didn't come back to it. Frankly, I forgot it was here and assume full responsibility for not notifying you I'd posted it. A dialogue is always better than a monologue (which it was never intended to be) and if, at any time, you feel I have revealed any inappropriate information for violated any law or guideline, I will be happy to remove it.

HMCook wrote:
...But how then does it follow that “shakespeare” felt compelled to respond (without informing me that he was doing do) “in an open forum.” If Ron wanted to respond to points that I made in a posting that was intended by me to apologize for and explain the reasons why Gabriel Egan’s “usual MLA-style typescript representation of an em-line dash (which is two hyphens with no space either side)” appeared as single hyphens (a problem that I have since resolved), then he should have, at the very least, let me know that he was responding to points that I had made and informed me where he was making those responses.

Again, this posting was not intended to be a one-sided "bashing" of the list. Now that I re-read my original posting, I certainly could have changed the tone/wording of some things (must have been late at night for me as well), but the points remain the same. Sometimes in life things slip through the cracks and informing Hardy was one of those things.
HMCook wrote:
To understand what I meant by Windows default "plain text" document, follow me if you will...

It was a very minor point and not at all worth your lengthy explanation, but it certainly clears up what you were trying to say.
HMCook wrote:
It has taken me several hours to compose what you see above and it is after 1:00 am and I am quite tired. I simply do not have the energy to continue with this degree of detail, so I will go through the remainder of this RESPONSE by “shakespeare” to see if there are any egregious points that need my attention.

Again, it was such a minor thing that it didn't at all warrant so much effort on your part.
HMCook wrote:
I concede that some points that are made are legitimate; others are simply catty and not in the least helpful.

Sorry, it wasn't intended to be catty, but in re-reading it, I can fully understand why it might have appeared such. Sorry about that. Like I said, I'd intended to come back to it (like many other things on this site for that matter), but it got lost in the shuffle.
HMCook wrote:
Yes, editing to produce the consistent format that I strive for is indeed sometimes tedious. Yes, ASCII is not ideal; nevertheless, projects like the Internet Shakespeare Editions, for which I am a member of the editorial board and am an editor of Shakespeare’s Poems for the ISE, still use it. Although in the end our diplomatic transcriptions of quarto and folio texts and our modern editions are encoded in XML, they are prepared in ASCII, using a simplified SGML character set. Excerpts from the ISE Guidelines can be found at http://internetshakespeare.uvic.ca/Foye ... index.html. Michael Best also discussed the place of XML encoding in a recent posting on SHAKSPER:...

Yes, I just looked up this exchange. XML is the way to go, but it's a markup language (like SGML) and will use the encoding you specify. So it's a bit like comparing apples to oranges when comparing ASCII or UTF to XML.

Additionally, while the ISE does great work, I personally don't think the fact they still use ASCII is any kind of ringing endorsement.
HMCook wrote:
To sum up and get some sleep, let me address the following that “shakespeare” wrote:
shakespeare wrote:
To sum all this up, I have offered in the past to help modernize the SHAKSPER list....

I am an extremely busy person, suffering from some serious health problems that greatly interfere with the quality of my life...
... well-respected group of peers on the SHAKSPER Book Review Panel are making happen).

Far be it from me to denigrate the immeasurable contribution the list has made to the Shakespeare community over the years. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that many a site or mailing list was inspired by the list itself. In Internet time, nineteen years is an eternity and I can only hope this site lasts that long.

I offered to help make life easier, not change the list itself. Turning down my offer was somewhat understandable since surely you treat your "19-year-old-baby" the same way I treat this site—as a labor of love that I wouldn't want to just hand over to someone. I guess the bottom line is that if doing what you're doing gives you joy and satisfaction, far be it from me to change that. I'd just gotten the impression (from your comments about your health & time in the past) that anything to ease the burden would be welcome (or at least open to discussion).
HMCook wrote:
I have my own dedicated server in my home office from which SHAKSPER operates, and do not need to depend on anyone else for its operation. I have agreed to be interview as I recall, ...
...but as I said I am an extremely busy person with health problems.

I sent three emails asking about an interview for this site and they went all unanswered. On one of them, you responded back to me regarding another matter, so I knew you'd received at least one of those emails. You never agreed to do it and I just assumed it was not interesting for you. Not everyone wants to be "in the spotlight" so to speak, so that's the way I took it when there was not other explanation.
HMCook wrote:
I wish that I had more time and energy to address other of the points that were made in this article, but it is after 2:00 am. I hope those points that I have addressed will bring some clarity to my position, and I welcome more dialog with Ron. However, I repeat, in order for me to participate in an exchange, I have to know about it, and responding to a post I made on one venue in another without informing of it is simply not fair.

Thank you for clarifying those points. Again, I'm sorry for not dropping you an email at the time I wrote it. It sometimes happens where I think I'll get right back to something and then it slips my mind. I was going to remove this post altogether, but I don't want those who have read it to think there's anything to hide or any negativity. The original spirit was one of regret of some of the choices made and how things could be better.

I look forward to a continued dialogue and hope your London trip is an enjoyable one.
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