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Old 02-12-2009, 07:43 AM
Chris G
 
Default Good tools for creating tables, including CSS setup, recommendations?

On Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 05:14:25PM -0600, Tommy Trussell wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 4:48 PM, Chris G <cl@isbd.net> wrote:
> > I want to be able to create tables for displaying information on web
> > pages and I'm looking for tools to help me do this.
>
> here's an article that compares Screem, Bluefish and Quanta (none of
> which you mentioned as having tried).
>
> http://www.linux.com/feature/130601
>
I did mention Bluefish, it does absolutely nothing useful with tables,
all it can do is create a trivially simple table as a template to
start from. I did also look at Screem though I didn't mention it in
my posting.

None of the above programs addresses my requirements, all they do is
make it a bit easier to format and enter raw HTML, possibly with the
addition of adding an ending tag when you enter a starting one. A
(moderately) complex table with, say, twenty or thirty rows, three or
four columns and a number of row spans and column spans will still be
difficult to manage with any of them.

The issue is that tables in particular are *much* easier to visualise,
manage and modify *as a table* than as the complicated mess that HTML
represents them as. I'm looking for some sort of tool that will allow
me to see the form of the table as I create and modify it. It doesn't
necessarily have to be WYSIWYG, some of the markup languages (as used
in Wikis among other things) have reasonable ways of representing
tables which are then translated to HTML. For example reStructuredText
has two ways of creating a table the simpler of which is:-

======== ===========
Header A Header B
======== ===========
Data Data
More More Data
======== ===========

This will (if run through rst2html) create a neat table in HTML but
the format doesn't allow much flexibility with row and column spans
etc. The more complex reStructuredText table format is more flexible
but is hard work to edit, though still a lot easier to 'see' than raw
HTML. One needs to add CSS to get borders as required but I could
live with that if I could find an elegant mark up language for
creating tables.

A WYSIWYG table creator would be even better but I'm pretty sure there
is no such beast.

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Old 02-12-2009, 11:53 AM
Florian Diesch
 
Default Good tools for creating tables, including CSS setup, recommendations?

Chris G <cl@isbd.net> wrote:

> I want to be able to create tables for displaying information on web
> pages and I'm looking for tools to help me do this. Most HTML I
> either write directly with a text editor or is generated from
> reStructuredText but either of these gets very laborious for tables.
>
> What I need to be able to do is:-
>
> Create and modify tables, add and delete rows and columns easily.
>
> Change the borders for the whole table consistently and easily,
> specifically I want completely plain (no shadowing) borders in a
> pale colour so they they are not too distracting.
>
> Make row spans and column spans easily.
>
> Enter text into the cells.

Emacs has support for editing tables, see
<http://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/manual/html_node/emacs/Text-Based-Tables.html>


Florian
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Old 02-12-2009, 12:18 PM
Chris G
 
Default Good tools for creating tables, including CSS setup, recommendations?

On Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 01:51:10AM -0800, Andrew Kane wrote:
> Is this a static or dynamically-created table?
>
Static.

> I wonder if it would be worthwhile to code it up in php or perl and,
> if it's a static table, just copy & paste the output where you need
> it.
>
> Not exactly easy I suppose, but at least it could save you some typing.
>
But I need to be able to add to and change the table easily. I want a
sort of 'word processor' approach to the table as it's something I
want to change as things in the outside world (which affect the
contents of the table) change.

But see a later comment re Kompozer.

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Old 02-12-2009, 12:25 PM
Chris G
 
Default Good tools for creating tables, including CSS setup, recommendations?

On Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 07:32:53AM -0500, Alex Katebi wrote:
> Hi Chris,
> It seems that you want a tool that does your programming for you. I
> have not seen such a tool yet. If you find it let me know because I want
> to run it at my work to do my job .
>
But HTML *isn't* a program. I am a programmer, I've been programming
in C, C++, Java and sundry other things as my job since around 1970
(OK, it wasn't C way back then).

I just want to be able to draw a table and have it appear on my screen
so I can refer to its contents. It's very much *not* a programming
problem. You can do it by hand on a sheet of paper, there are no
algorithms or methods involved, no sequence of operations.

Word processors do the job moderately well but, as I discovered,
they're not very good at writing the output in HTML. If it was easy
and fairly transparent to display word processor documents on a web
page that would be my answer.

> Take a look at SQLite, it might be what you are looking for.
>
What?! You haven't understood what I'm after if you think that's the
answer. I'm not talking about a table as in a database, it's a table
as in a series of boxes joined together and displayed. I know there
is a connection in that one very often displays the contents of a
database table in a 'visible' table but it's the details of the
appearance of the boxes etc. that I am having trouble with.


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Old 02-12-2009, 12:34 PM
Chris G
 
Default Good tools for creating tables, including CSS setup, recommendations?

On Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 01:53:58PM +0100, Florian Diesch wrote:
> Chris G <cl@isbd.net> wrote:
>
> > I want to be able to create tables for displaying information on web
> > pages and I'm looking for tools to help me do this. Most HTML I
> > either write directly with a text editor or is generated from
> > reStructuredText but either of these gets very laborious for tables.
> >
> > What I need to be able to do is:-
> >
> > Create and modify tables, add and delete rows and columns easily.
> >
> > Change the borders for the whole table consistently and easily,
> > specifically I want completely plain (no shadowing) borders in a
> > pale colour so they they are not too distracting.
> >
> > Make row spans and column spans easily.
> >
> > Enter text into the cells.
>
> Emacs has support for editing tables, see
> <http://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/manual/html_node/emacs/Text-Based-Tables.html>
>
That might be the only answer, the EMACS table support actually works
rather well with reStructuredText. The example table shown in the
above link is exactly what reStructuredText expects as it's more
complete table syntax.

However I *think* I have found an alternative that works for me,
there's an alpha version of Kompozer available which has fixed the
crashing inherent in version 0.7.10 (due to an incompatibility with
GTK 2.14), if anyone is interested it's here:-

http://downloads.sourceforge.net/kompozer/kompozer-20090206.tar.gz

You just unpack it and run it so it doesn't mess up anything up too much.

I'm running it at present and, while it has a few oddities, it doesn't
crash and it edits tables quite nicely. It has a built in CSS editor
so makes it fairly easy to set the borders as I want them.

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Old 02-12-2009, 12:38 PM
Chris G
 
Default Good tools for creating tables, including CSS setup, recommendations?

On Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 01:34:40PM +0000, Chris G wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 01:53:58PM +0100, Florian Diesch wrote:
> > Chris G <cl@isbd.net> wrote:
> >
> > > I want to be able to create tables for displaying information on web
> > > pages and I'm looking for tools to help me do this. Most HTML I
> > > either write directly with a text editor or is generated from
> > > reStructuredText but either of these gets very laborious for tables.
> > >
> > > What I need to be able to do is:-
> > >
> > > Create and modify tables, add and delete rows and columns easily.
> > >
> > > Change the borders for the whole table consistently and easily,
> > > specifically I want completely plain (no shadowing) borders in a
> > > pale colour so they they are not too distracting.
> > >
> > > Make row spans and column spans easily.
> > >
> > > Enter text into the cells.
> >
> > Emacs has support for editing tables, see
> > <http://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/manual/html_node/emacs/Text-Based-Tables.html>
> >
> That might be the only answer, the EMACS table support actually works
> rather well with reStructuredText. The example table shown in the
> above link is exactly what reStructuredText expects as it's more

Oops, "its".

> complete table syntax.
>
> However I *think* I have found an alternative that works for me,
> there's an alpha version of Kompozer available which has fixed the
> crashing inherent in version 0.7.10 (due to an incompatibility with
> GTK 2.14), if anyone is interested it's here:-
>
> http://downloads.sourceforge.net/kompozer/kompozer-20090206.tar.gz
>
> You just unpack it and run it so it doesn't mess up anything up too much.
>
> I'm running it at present and, while it has a few oddities, it doesn't
> crash and it edits tables quite nicely. It has a built in CSS editor
> so makes it fairly easy to set the borders as I want them.
>
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>
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>

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Old 02-12-2009, 12:43 PM
Bart Silverstrim
 
Default Good tools for creating tables, including CSS setup, recommendations?

Chris G wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 07:32:53AM -0500, Alex Katebi wrote:
>> Hi Chris,
>> It seems that you want a tool that does your programming for you. I
>> have not seen such a tool yet. If you find it let me know because I want
>> to run it at my work to do my job .
>>
> But HTML *isn't* a program. I am a programmer, I've been programming
> in C, C++, Java and sundry other things as my job since around 1970
> (OK, it wasn't C way back then).

B?


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Old 02-12-2009, 12:45 PM
Bart Silverstrim
 
Default Good tools for creating tables, including CSS setup, recommendations?

Chris G wrote:
> Word processors do the job moderately well but, as I discovered,
> they're not very good at writing the output in HTML. If it was easy
> and fairly transparent to display word processor documents on a web
> page that would be my answer.

Sorry just jumping in here, but since you said that about word
processors, you already tested openoffice's translation of HTML/ODT? I
didn't see what tools you've already tried and/or why they aren't
displaying properly or working right for display in a web browser.

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Old 02-12-2009, 02:49 PM
Chris G
 
Default Good tools for creating tables, including CSS setup, recommendations?

On Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 08:43:07AM -0500, Bart Silverstrim wrote:
> Chris G wrote:
> > On Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 07:32:53AM -0500, Alex Katebi wrote:
> >> Hi Chris,
> >> It seems that you want a tool that does your programming for you. I
> >> have not seen such a tool yet. If you find it let me know because I want
> >> to run it at my work to do my job .
> >>
> > But HTML *isn't* a program. I am a programmer, I've been programming
> > in C, C++, Java and sundry other things as my job since around 1970
> > (OK, it wasn't C way back then).
>
> B?
>
:-) I think there was actually a B. However in the 1970s I started
programming in Fortran and Basic but moved on to assembler on the
PDP-12 (a sort of bastardised PDP-8 derivative with extra bits). Then
at the end of the 70s I started writing in assembler for the 8080.

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Old 02-12-2009, 02:54 PM
Chris G
 
Default Good tools for creating tables, including CSS setup, recommendations?

On Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 08:45:59AM -0500, Bart Silverstrim wrote:
> Chris G wrote:
> > Word processors do the job moderately well but, as I discovered,
> > they're not very good at writing the output in HTML. If it was easy
> > and fairly transparent to display word processor documents on a web
> > page that would be my answer.
>
> Sorry just jumping in here, but since you said that about word
> processors, you already tested openoffice's translation of HTML/ODT? I
> didn't see what tools you've already tried and/or why they aren't
> displaying properly or working right for display in a web browser.
>
Yes, I almost thought I was there using OpenOffice and its HTML
Export, it did manage quite well but there were some oddities in its
handling of border styles. Since I specifically wanted good control
over border styles I decided to have another look around.

It's also a bit clumsy having to use Export all the time to save the
file, there's no way of getting it back directly and it didn't seem
possible to save as a Writer file as well so that was a bit of a
problem too.

However the alpha version of kompozer 0.80 seems to be doing what I
want, I haven't managed to break it or crash it yet. :-)

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