One step back

Well, not me taking one step back but fanfiction.net. They added new formatting tools to the user profiles and forum posting windows–including a “source code” button, but removed that one function from the actual document manager. (On the doc manager it was labeled “HTML”.) Do they really think we’re going to want the HTML versions of our forum posts? What were we going to do, post them at live journal? At WordPress? Facebook? Twitter? I can see the possibilities for the profiles; a user could conceivably make their profile standard across boards and archives they frequent. But not the forum posts.

Unfortunately for me, that “source code/HTML” function in the doc manager was one I used a lot.  It made posting my stories in other places (including here) so much easier! I’m not saying that posting here is now totally impossible; I’ve found a HTML converter which works from my Dropbox account. Converting ten files at a time doesn’t take very long. Neither does cleaning up the superfluous code when I use my free HTML editor (from CoffeeCup software–consider this a plug for them). The editor allows for find/replace through all open files, a time-saver to be sure.

Still, the HTML generator at fanfiction.net was easier still. Just export a chapter, toggle the generator, select all, copy, paste into an open Notebook file, and then save. Even with the neat features of my HTML editor, stripping the coding down to the bare formatting essentials still takes time I could use doing other things–like proofing said chapters for undetected SPaG issues. (That’s spelling, punctuation, and grammar, for the uninitiated).

Yeah, I realize Xing and company probably don’t want to facilitate an author’s move to another archive, nor do they have any obligation to offer such a function to the disaffected  (or to those who just want to spread their stories around, like I do).  But they have bigger issues to deal with if they want to keep their unsatisfied clientele–such as deleting plagiarized or copyright infringing stories. Better they focus on those than tweaking a relatively minor section of the entire site.  (I wouldn’t mind them reinstating the source code function for the document manager, either. In for a penny, in for a pound, as it were.)

Article by Tikatu

Tikatu is the long-time alter-ego of L.D. Bennett. She enjoys cat naps, head bumps, and regaling the world with the further adventures of International Rescue.