Cites & Insights 7:6 available

Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large v.7 issue 6 (June 2007) is now available for downloading.

The 26-page issue (PDF as usual, but HTML separates for each essay are available from the home page)

  • Bibs & Blather – On Being Wrong (and more)
  • Making it Work – library resources, innovation, futures and more
  • Trends & Quick Takes – three essays and six quicker takes
  • Net Media Perspective: Civility and Codes: A Blogging Morality Play

Given how much I’ve heard OpenOffice 2 touted as a much better way to produce good HTML than nasty ol’ Microsoft Word, I’ve included an experiment on the home page:

The hyperlinks are, as usual, to Word 2000 “filtered HTML” files. But there’s another set of hyperlinks below, to OpenOffice 2 HTML files generated from the same Word file.

It’s not really a fair comparison–after all, Word 2000 is two generations and five years out of date, where OpenOffice 2 is the absolutely newest version as of mid-April–but I’d be interested in the comments of HTML gurus (send ’em to There will probably be a Walt at Random post later…

10 Responses to “Cites & Insights 7:6 available”

  1. John Dupuis says:

    Hi Walt, thanks for the mention of the My Job in 10 Years series. Since December 2006 I’ve added one more episode on Instruction (in March) with two more to go, one on Physical & Virtual Spaces, I hope in the next little while, and an Earth Shattering Conclusion soon after that. Both are about 50% complete at this point.

    I did update and regenerate the pdf in March using the Garamond font, so I’m hoping people will find that easier on the eyes. It’s here. Fwiw, I used the Open Office word processing module to generate the pdf and it works great.

    As for my prognostications, I’m back and forth on them all the time. Sometimes when I reread them while preparing a new installment I find that I can’t quite believe that I actually said what I said. Sort of like a Homer Simpson moment. Unfortunately, I’ll only be turning 53 in 2015…

  2. walt says:

    John, Sorry I used an earlier version… When you finish the series, I’ll probably do an update. Good stuff. Yes, the Garamond version is (to me at least) much easier on the eyes. Garamond is a good classic text face, and an excellent choice.

    I didn’t try OpenOffice’s PDF output because an earlier test using a complete C&I showed OpenOffice not spacing as effectively/efficiently as Word–adding a page to an issue. At the time at least, I didn’t want to mess with that. For HTML, that doesn’t much matter.

  3. *boggles*

    How’d you get OpenOffice to produce that? It’s awful.

  4. walt says:


    1. Opened the exact same Word document that I use to produce the Word HTML — that is, the C&I issue with the banner deleted, the ToC deleted, the YPB logo deleted, a new “Excerpted from” banner added, layout converted to one column, hyphenation turned off, and my “web” template swapped in for my “Cites” template.

    2. As in Word, deleted all but one story each time, then saved as HTML. Then reopen the document and repeat for the next story.

    Hey, it’s a whole lot better than OpenOffice 1.5 did–now that was atrocious.

    My uneducated guess: OpenOffice doesn’t really grok Word templates, so instead of creating and using a proper stylesheet it applies styles by direct HTML on a para-by-para basis. I’m guessing that, if I created an OO template from scratch, it would do a better job–but then, that’s not really being Word-compatible. I shouldn’t have to redo all that work.

    One of these days when I have oodles of time, I’ll study OpenOffice’s “regular” output compared to Word’s a little more carefully, to see why it uses more space for exactly the same material… but of course, I’ll probably upgrade to Word 2007 before I have that time, so the comparison will change. (Heck, and Word 2007’s native format is a bundled XML variant.)

  5. Hi Walt,

    I thought this issue was particularly outstanding. I wish there was a way to get all politicians and members of mainstream media to actually read and reflect on your “being wrong” story. For the media folks it wouldn’t just about admitting when they’re wrong, but to stop confusing admission of mistakes as weakness.

    Part of why I think our leaders are so bad at admitting mistakes is because they fear being ridiculed as weak. Better to be ridiculed as stubborn or “in a bubble” than to be *gasp* weak.

    I also found the “morality play” section to be a helpful overview of the whole code controversy. Thanks for another great summary in the style of your earlier work on the broadcast flag. I think you’re a great synthesier.

    People who’ve read me anywhere know that I’m a civility nut. But I’m with the people who say “We don’t need no stinking badges!” Coercion isn’t going to produce change of heart.

  6. walt says:


    What a nice comment! This was a tricky issue, particularly those two pieces. So positive feedback is particularly appreciated.

    I’d like to think I’m fairly strong on civility as well, but it has to come from the heart, not from badges.

  7. Erm. Not to rain on the parade here, but some extremely basic forms of civility don’t have to come from the heart as long as they’re properly observed.

    Avoiding gratuitously sexual talk where it is wholly inappropriate, and refraining from threats, are two such forms. For you two gentlemen, of course these things come “from the heart.” For Internet cretins — I don’t care *where* it comes from as long as the misbehavior stops.

    What’s bugged me about the whole badges thing is that it’s children of privilege pontificating to and for each other YET AGAIN. Nobody asked women, or people of color, or LGBT folk, what THEY want to see happen.

    And why not? Because deep in our wizened little hearts, we children of privilege know that the easy answers are the wrong ones.

  8. walt says:

    Dorothea, I hear what you’re saying–and I agree: Keeping your uncivil thoughts to yourself is preferable to expressing them. As long as, of course, it doesn’t mean that predators continue to be predators but keep quiet about it so there’s no warning…

    The key point here, I believe, is that a from-the-top-down Code saying “you’re expected to be civil as We, the Big People, define civility” serves little good end. Particularly when the code is as egregious as this one was: It went WAY beyond saying “keep your nasty thoughts to yourself.”

    Also hard to disagree with the rest of your message…but admittedly I view it from a fairly absolutist free-speech perspective. I still believe the answer to “bad” speech is good speech, not attempting to suppress bad speech by other than moral suasion.

  9. Well, I can’t go along with that. I’ve been in too many environments where if not suppressed, the bad speech simply takes over. That, if you like, is speech suppression — of those who are intimidated by or disgusted with the bad speech!

    I’m with the Nielsen-Haydens on the need for (and right to) moderate owned comment/discussion spaces.

  10. walt says:

    Different issue. It’s entirely appropriate for anybody (outside of the government!) to say “here’s the rules for this space, and they will be enforced.” I do that, at least informally. My belief in free speech isn’t that absolute. And it’s also appropriate for someone who has reason to be a participant in an environment to object to the lack of standards for appropriate speech in that environment.

    But on a general basis, I have to believe that the consequences of generally suppressing “bad speech” outweigh the virtues, with certain very narrow exceptions mostly of the “direct attempt to incite bad action” variety.

    There are going to be environments where you, or I, just won’t feel comfortable because of the speech. If they’re environments where we must be to be effective, we can and should work to make the environments better. Otherwise, well, we go elsewhere. It’s that annoying old First Amendment thing, and I think it does a whole lot more good than harm.