weird (work-related) question

I’ve been working with our print publications person to get a better process for the class bulletin. based on my own bootstrapping over the last couple of years, we’ve finally got something that sorta works…. we get a word document which has the correct styles already applied, then I convert to html, then xhtml, then a really ugly xml. then I make a nice xml file that can be imported into InDesign, or transformed into a complete Web site (don’t look at the current one; I’ll be working on something better on Monday). it all sounds much uglier than it turns out to be in practice.

here’s the weird part. I’m on Windows, she’s on Mac. when she imports, she gets an extra line in between every line of text (generally, it’s one line per element in the xml). that’s with line breaks in the xml; when I tried generating the xml with no line breaks at all, the whole thing smushes together, with only the first style applied.

what’s up with that? is it related to this problem? is there anything I can do about it? (short of either of us switching platforms…not an option in either direction.)

2 Replies to “weird (work-related) question”

  1. Yes, it sounds like it’s caused by the difference in line feeds. How are you transferring the files to your co-worker? If you’re ftp-ing them somewhere, make sure you’re doing so in ASCII mode rather than binary. ASCII mode takes care of translating the line feed characters automagically. If you’re just using floppies or what have you, there is software that can change the line feeds, depending on whether your co-worker is using Mac OS 9 or OS X. Based on what you’re describing, my guess is she’s using OS 9. She could download BBEdit Lite and use that to open and resave the files with Mac line endings if that’s the case. There are other possible solutions involving MacPerl and droppable apps where she could just drag and drop the files you give her on the app, which would change the line endings. There are probably some apps already written that do this, but since BBEdit does such a good job of changing line endings, I haven’t used any in many years.

  2. hmmmm. I was emailing them — maybe FTP is the quick ‘n dirty solution, since I’m all over anything being done automagically! thanks!

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