• Please contribute your entries; this database needs your assistance. • Can you help?
Typically, database information is presented in tabular format with column headers and a tiny sans serif font. Database programmers have an aversion to leaving fields blank when no data is available, preferring to clutter the page with zeroes, “n/a” and the like. We don’t. We want to make our database easy on the eyes.
In this database we strive to present information on each marker in as close to magazine article layout form as possible by reporting the data in grammatically correct sentences, by using typesetters’ punctuation and dingbats (special characters), by inserting more leading between lines of text to make it easier to read, and by using contrasting fonts for headlines and photo captions. We don’t always do it perfectly, but this is our goal.
Most of this is done automatically, but occasionally text entries may need a bit of manual assistance. If you would like to help us, read on.
This website renders its pages using the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). HTML is transmitted to your browser and your browser sets the type and composes the page. HTML uses markup tags contained in angle brackets, i.e. <tag>, interspersed in the text for formatting and composing. A very small subset of HTML tags (just five pairs) are available to you to alter the format text entered into the database. All other tags are actively disallowed to protect the integrity of the rendered page. Tags that are used will “disappear” as they do their job. Disallowed tags will remain visible in the text to give you the chance to remove them.
In the following list of allowed tags, notice that they are paired as opening and closing tags. Failure to include the closing tag may cause the rest of the page to be formatted incorrectly.
- Bold Text. <b>The bold tag pair</b> formats the text between the two tags in bold type.
- Italics. <i>The italics tag pair</i> formats the text between the two tags in italics or oblique type.
- Bold Italics. You can use both together for <i><b>italicized bold type</b></i>.
- Underlined Text. <u>The underline tag pair</u> underlines the text between the two tags. However, the editor will probably change this to italics, which is the traditional typesetting method used to show emphasized text.
- Centered Text. To center text, place the text to be centered between <center> and </center> tags. Use one set of tags for multiple lines of text. Centered text is harder to read and, when used on a lot of text, makes for a messy-looking page. Don’t be surprised if an editor gets rid of your centering tags.
- Small Text. Text between these tags will be <small>formatted smaller</small>.
Other examples: If a word is broken with a hyphen at the end of a line, you should put it back together in your transcription. If a marker's text is in all upper case letters, you should transcribe it standard lower case text.
Paragraphing. To create a new paragraph, press Enter twice. Certain fields—like the marker inscription text field, and the photo caption field—do not translate the Enter into a break to discourage arbritary line breaks (see sidebar) and to accommodate the pasting of text from other sources. To insert a paragraph break in these fields, insert a pair of line break tags, like this: <br><br>
Hyphenation. HTML browsers do not support the automatic breaking of words at the end of the lines. Please do not use hyphens to break words yourself. It may look great on your browser, but someone else’s browser may put more or fewer words on each line. If you paste in text copied from elsewhere that was hyphenated, please take the time to remove the hyphens.
Spacing. You may have noticed that HTML ignores multiple spaces between words, reducing them to one space. It also removes any leading spaces in a line. Multiple entries of the “non-breaking space” special character sequence can be used to force more than one space between words. But pay attention to the warning in the next paragraph and intersperse them with regular spaces.
Very Long Words. Browsers typically cannot properly handle very long “words” of text, such as long website addresses (URLs) placed in the text, or words glued together with non-breaking spaces. The width of the area they are in will be stretched to accommodate the oversize “word,” spoiling the structure of the page. Should this occur, you must break the oversize “word” manually by inserting standard spaces or hyphens here and there. By the way, URLs in text are frowned upon in this database. Instead, add a link to the page and refer to the link in your text.
All Capitals. Text set in all capital letters is a no-no. They are hard to read, appear to be shouting to the reader, and spoil the visual fidelity of the page. If you are using them for emphasis, try bold type instead. If the text has a lot of acronyms, enclose them in Small Text tag pairs. (The acronym HTML repeatedly used on this page has been tamed with the <small> tag.) If you are copying from a source that is in all capital letters (such as many marker inscriptions), you will have to manually transcribe the text in standard (lower) case. Sorry.
Special Character Escape Sequences
The “non-breaking space” is one of hundreds of special characters. Special character escape sequences begin with an ampersand and end with a semicolon. For example, to show a left-pointing arrow in your text, enter ← and you’ll get this: ←
The list at the bottom of this page shows the more popular special characters. I’ve yet to find the complete list online. Visibone.com will sell you a very nice laminated card with one of the most complete lists around. Surprisingly, HTML does not support “f” ligatures.
Since this database runs on a Microsoft server, you can also use Microsoft Windows special and foreign language characters in your text. If it displays correctly on your Microsoft-based computer application, it should arrive at the database correctly. If it arrives at the database correctly, then it will display correctly on anyone’s browser, regardless of operating system. So when typing directly into this database’s forms using a Windows-based browser, feel free to use the Alt-key-numeric-pad method for special characters in place of HTML special character codes. And feel equally free to copy and paste from other programs and browser pages. If it looks correct on your Windows screen, it should copy correctly into the database.
|To show this
|Hold down the Alt key
this sequence of digits
on the numeric keypad*
|or||Type in this
exactly as shown
|’||(also used for apostrophe) 0146||’|
|Θπλ||The upper- and lower-case Greek alphabet is also available. Spell out the name of the letter between the ampersand and the semicolon. Capitalize the first letter of the name for upper-case. Sample to the left: Θπλ|