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> Two Spaces After Period?
katfisch
post Jul 26 2014, 01:06 PM
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I did a search to see if this had been discussed before, and it looks like it hasn't. I'm hoping this can save the admins/editors some time when editing people's posts.

The site's FAQ / Rules state that users must use two spaces after a period in their reviews. However:

1) Every web browser in existence will remove the second space and only display a single space.
2) Browsers do this because every major typography guide states that only one space should be used after a period (e.g. Chicago Manual of Style, Elements of Typographic Style, Complete Manual on Typography, etc.)

A long time ago in school I was taught to use two spaces after a period. This was the norm when typesetting was done using blocks of wood and metal letter forms and spaces were tiny slivers of metal, or when typewriters used monospaced fonts. Modern typesetting practices overcame the need for double-spacing, leading to the change in style guides. From the earliest days of the Web (well, since the HTML 2.0 standard in 1995), two or more spaces were automatically converted into just one space.

Why all the fuss? Well, two spaces after a period is one of the Rules listed on this web site (meaning reviews can be rejected if they don't follow the rules), and I can never remember to (incorrectly) do it since I've been writing my whole life following official style guides (calling for a single space). Since it's one of the Rules of this site, it's obviously important to the admins, so perhaps it's worthwhile to verify the appropriateness (requiring incorrect styling) and usefulness (browsers un-do it anyway) of it?

Ultimately, the Rules are of course completely up to the site admins and if they prefer to keep the existing rule, that's fine. I just wanted to ensure it was a conscious decision in light of modern typography guides and web browser behavior.

Also, I'm pretty sure this is the most boring message ever posted ever made to the forum here! :-)
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docj
post Jul 27 2014, 06:46 AM
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Thanks for your concerns about grammatical correctness; you are one of the few these days who seems to understand that there are still "rules" for how the language is supposed to be written. In today's world of SMS text messages so many people appear to have discarded all standard language conventions.

Let me first assure you that reviews you submit will not be rejected if they fail to have two spaces after periods (or other full grammatical sentence stops). You are totally correct in pointing out that modern usage now calls for only one space and our stated rule for reviews is out of date.

However, contrary to what you assert about text editors in browsers, the software that drives this website does not make changes in how you type a review; what you type is what you will see. So if you insert two spaces they will remain when it is posted. The same is NOT true for the software that drives this forum; it will remove second spaces if they are inserted.

As many of our members are aware, this website is in the process of undergoing a major transformation which should take place in the next couple of months. When that takes place, lots of updating will occur, not the least of which will be revisions in the Rules for Reviewers. At that time, one of those changes will be to reduce the requested spacing after a full stop to a single space.

Thanks again for taking the time to express your concern and for actually having taken the time to read the Rules. It's good to know that someone actually does.


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katfisch
post Jul 27 2014, 08:30 AM
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Joel, thanks for the reply!

It's great to hear that the site will be undergoing an update. It has by far the best campground review content, and I've seen a few other new sites popping up which would just cause fragmentation. I'd rather see the best get modernized! As a web developer myself I was crossing my fingers that this would happen...

Sounds like the two spaces "issue" will be going away when the site update is done, so the rest of this message is moot. Feel free to ignore if you want :-)

To clarify one point that may have not come through clearly: I agree that the park reviews keep the formatting, i.e. if I put in two spaces, the review is saved that way and sent to the web browser that way, nothing removed. However, the web browser itself (on my computer, not your server) will remove the extra space when displaying the review. To confirm, I took a look at one of my recently posted reviews. It has two spaces after periods, and shows up that way when I "view source" in the browser, but when viewing the web page, only one space is displayed. I took the source and changed it to one space, but saw no change on the screen. Same for three or more spaces... Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and MSIE all just display one space.

View source:
Attached Image

Web display:
Attached Image

It's been written into the HTML specification since 1995 that web browsers must ignore multiple spaces and just display one space, even if two or more are included in the web page.

Thanks again for all you do! We're just three months into RVing (full-time!) but have used this site to find every RV Park we've stayed at so far (and reviewed them afterwards).

-Mike
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docj
post Jul 27 2014, 09:40 AM
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Hi Mike:

Well, you learn something new everyday. One of the other admins had checked the observed spacing on reviews before I wrote my reply to you and she was convinced that the test review she had created exhibited the two spaces she had entered. I've been Googling a bit on the topic and I wonder if the issue isn't somewhat intertwined with what the default settings are on the browser being used. I did discover that it is possible to "force" HTML to show the extra spaces and I wonder if specific choices of browser and font might result in them being displayed. As an extreme case, would a non-proportional font such as Courier override the normal HTML instructions to drop the extra space?

Anyway, thanks again for being a member of this site and helping to make it "all that it can be!" I'm sure you'll greatly enjoy the new platform and all of the new features it will give us the capability of adding. We welcome you "testing" it when it is released to help us find the inevitable bugs.

Joel


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Texasrvers
post Jul 27 2014, 11:15 AM
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OK, I'm the one who ran a very simple test to try to find out how our software treats spaces at the end of sentences. Those tests showed that forum messages are posted with only one space regardless of what is written, but reviews appear to retain exactly what is written. I never considered the browser would make changes. But as docj said, you learn something everyday.
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dalsgal
post Jul 27 2014, 11:23 AM
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I learned to type back in high school in 1967 and was a professional typist for many years. I don't think I could ever stop my fingers from automatically doing 2 spaces.
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katfisch
post Jul 27 2014, 11:26 AM
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Thanks all for listening to my nit-picky comments! If only all of life's problems were as minor as one or two spaces after a period, we'd be in great shape!
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Fitzjohnfan
post Jul 28 2014, 12:48 AM
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QUOTE(dalsgal @ Jul 27 2014, 11:23 AM) *

I learned to type back in high school in 1967 and was a professional typist for many years. I don't think I could ever stop my fingers from automatically doing 2 spaces.

I learned typing around 1980, and even then was taught to use two spaces. Now, when I help my kids type their research papers, and type the spaces, I get the" we're not supposed to do it that way dad" speech.

Btw, please don't beat me up over having the quotation marks in the wrong place at the beginning of the quote. (word quote space word). I'm typing on an android smartphone and this is its default. Very annoying and difficult to correct.


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HappiestCamper
post Jul 28 2014, 06:41 AM
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You could replace the spaces with the following - an ampersand followed by nbsp followed by a semi-colon - this will display a space, and the browser will display however many you put in a row.


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docj
post Jul 28 2014, 08:13 AM
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QUOTE(HappiestCamper @ Jul 28 2014, 07:41 AM) *

You could replace the spaces with the following - an ampersand followed by nbsp followed by a semi-colon - this will display a space, and the browser will display however many you put in a row.


Now that's a bit too much of an effort for me just to get the spacing the way I want! I can live with one space after a period! biggrin.gif


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