Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Left Behind - Word Processors

Commentary By Ron Beasley

I'm 66 and still remember pre WYSIWYG word processors. The first one I used was called Manuscript.  To do italics or bold you did an alt something or other and you couldn't see if it worked until you printed it.  The purpose of the word processor was to make a printed document.  At Salon Tom Scossa points out what all of those who do cyber documents knew - word processors suck. 

For most people now, though, publishing means putting things on the Web. Desktop publishing has given way to laptop or smartphone publishing. And Microsoft Word is an atrocious tool for Web writing. Its document-formatting mission means that every piece of text it creates is thickly wrapped in metadata, layer on layer of invisible, unnecessary instructions about how the words should look on paper. I just went into Word and created a file that read, to the naked eye, as follows:

the Word

Then I copy-pasted that text into a website that revealed the hidden code my document was carrying. Here's a snippet:

<!�[if gte mso 9]><xml>

And it goes on:

<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="22" SemiHidden="false"
   UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Strong"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="20" SemiHidden="false"
   UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Emphasis"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="59" SemiHidden="false"
   UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Table Grid"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Placeholder Text"/>

And on:

<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false"
   UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false"
  UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false"
   UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 5"/>
<w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false"
   UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 5"/>

The whole sprawling thing runs to 16,224 characters. When I dumped it back into Word, it was an eight-page document.

When you copy and paste a Word document into a blog post all of this HTML like code raises hell.  As site administrator of Newshoggers I have cleaned up several blog posts before I was finally sucessful in convincing my fellow bloggers not to do that anymore. I use Open Office but it's not much better than word.  If I'm doing a long post I will use open office but when I'm finished I copy it into a text editor to eliminate formating code and then copy that into my blog editor and do the HTML formating there,

Not unlike newspapers word processors like Word have not kept up with the real world.


  1. Or you could try to save the document as HTML...

  2. I save as .txt to scrape off the formatting. I haven't done a lot of checking, but haven't had any problems.

  3. Brucie
    The HTML created by Word is still incompatible with blogging platforms.