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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    How to Display Form Data?

    This is going to sound silly, but how do I display my Form Data after a User submits the Form??

    I have a Q&A Form with this format...

    Change Profile Answers

    1.) Why did you decide to start your own business?
    <answer here>

    2.) What advice would you share with others on what NOT to do?
    <answer here>

    3.) What advice would you share with others on what TO do?
    <answer here>

    4.) How do you compete against large corporations?
    <answer here>

    5.) What Business Structure do you have?
    <answer here>

    After a User completes the Form, I want to display the Questions and Answers in the same format in the User's Profile. However, I don't want the User or anyone viewing the User's Profile to be able to edit things! (Any changes need to be made in the "change_answers.php" script/form.)

    Do I display the information using a Form but change something so it is read-only?

    Or do I display the data using things like <p>, <div>, etc??

    Hope that makes sense?!

    Thanks,


    Debbie

  2. #2
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
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    Presumably the info will all be saved to a database, so I would suggest you "display the data using things like <p>, <div>, etc".

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    Presumably the info will all be saved to a database, so I would suggest you "display the data using things like <p>, <div>, etc".
    So in other words I hear you saying, "Ditch using a Form for display purposes, and just use HTML elements that you would normally use if the data was pure text."

    Sound about right?

    Thanks,


    Debbie

  4. #4
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    ralph.m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    So in other words I hear you saying, "Ditch using a Form for display purposes, and just use HTML elements that you would normally use if the data was pure text."

    Sound about right?
    Absolutely. Let's see what others say, but using a form for this purpose sounds totally wrong to me. Could have all kinds of consequences, including confusing users.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    Presumably the info will all be saved to a database, so I would suggest you "display the data using things like <p>, <div>, etc".
    ditto
    The only code I hate more than my own is everyone else's.

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    I wouldn't even bother with P, you have a list of questions and their responses -- those are LI inside a OL, WITHOUT anything more complex than line-breaks inside them.

    The question mark and normal text is all the semantics you need apart from that, unless you feel the need to style the answer different from the question, and that's not semantics, that's presentation, so that's SPAN's job.

    Unless of course the answer is actually more than a paragraph, but since that's user input that's nitpicking; normally I rag on double breaks, but in this case I'd be tempted to say "Oh well"

    Remember, semantics is NOT about slapping P around anything that happens to be text....slapping definition lists on anything that happens to be multi-column, or making sure every little bit of text has that 'perfect' tag around it.

    Another concept lost on the "let's have a tag for EVERYTHING" folks... to the point where by the time of HTML 7 we'll literally end up with one tag per word of CDATA with five attributes on it.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deathshadow60 View Post
    I wouldn't even bother with P, you have a list of questions and their responses -- those are LI inside a OL, WITHOUT anything more complex than line-breaks inside them.
    You lost me.

    Are you saying...
    Code:
    <li>1.) Why did you decide to start your own business?</li>
    
    <li>Because I wanted to be my own boss!!</li>

    Or do you mean...
    Code:
    <li>1.) Why did you decide to start your own business?<br />
    
    Because I wanted to be my own boss!!</li>

    Or something else...


    Quote Originally Posted by deathshadow60 View Post
    The question mark and normal text is all the semantics you need apart from that, unless you feel the need to style the answer different from the question, and that's not semantics, that's presentation, so that's SPAN's job.

    Unless of course the answer is actually more than a paragraph, but since that's user input that's nitpicking; normally I rag on double breaks, but in this case I'd be tempted to say "Oh well"
    Interesting point.

    What do I need to do in my Form on the front end and on the display on the rear-end so a User can type an Answer like this and it is output as such...
    Astronomers have found four nearby white dwarf stars surrounded by disks of material that could be the remains of rocky planets much like Earth and one star in particular appears to be in the act of swallowing up what’s left of an Earthlike planet’s core.

    The research, announced on Thursday by the Royal Astronomical Society, gives a chilling look at the eventual fate that may await our own planet. Astronomers from the University of Warwick used Hubble to identify the composition of four white dwarfs’ atmospheres, found during a survey of more than 80 such stars located within 100 light-years of the sun. What they found was a majority of the material was composed of elements found in our own solar system: oxygen, magnesium, silicon and iron. Together these elements make up 93 percent of our planet.

    In addition, a curiously low ratio of carbon was identified, indicating that rocky planets were at one time in orbit around the stars.

    Since white dwarfs are the leftover cores of stellar-mass stars that have burnt through all their fuel, the material in their atmosphere is likely the leftover bits of planets. These worlds may have once been held in safe, stable orbits. But when their stars neared the ends of their lives, the stars may have expanded, possibly engulfing the innermost planets and disrupting the orbits of others. This could have triggering a runaway collision effect that eventually shattered all the planets, forming an orbiting cloud of debris.

    Quote Originally Posted by deathshadow60 View Post
    Remember, semantics is NOT about slapping P around anything that happens to be text....slapping definition lists on anything that happens to be multi-column, or making sure every little bit of text has that 'perfect' tag around it.

    Another concept lost on the "let's have a tag for EVERYTHING" folks... to the point where by the time of HTML 7 we'll literally end up with one tag per word of CDATA with five attributes on it.
    All very good reminders, DeathShadow. Thanks!!


    Debbie

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    Or do you mean...
    Code:
    <li>1.) Why did you decide to start your own business?<br />
    
    Because I wanted to be my own boss!!</li>
    That one. Though I'd probably have the block level tags on their own lines making it easier to read and let the OL do the work of numbering them
    Code:
    <li>
      Why did you decide to start your own business?<br />
      Because I wanted to be my own boss!!!
    </li>
    It is slightly conceivable I'd consider putting the answer in a shortquote (Q) tag.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crusty
    I wouldn't even bother with P, you have a list of questions and their responses -- those are LI inside a OL, WITHOUT anything more complex than line-breaks inside them.
    ha ha, I use definition lists.
    http://stommepoes.nl/Scooterverzeker...resultaat.html (there's an error message but only there for the backender... and yes, it's not friendly!)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    ha ha, I use definition lists.
    Since yours are fields and data, NOT questions and answers, that makes a bit more sense.

    For me that distinction would hinge on the data; though really in your case a table may in fact have been the more semantic answer; those are not terms or definitions, they are fieldnames and values; TH scope="row" and TD.

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    I agree with Mallory, dl's are a good choice for you. I wouldn't use ol/ul because a li question next to a li answer means nothing to their relation, and a question and an answer together in a li makes no sense at all.

    No more than a question paragraph next to an answer paragraph. A belletristic dialog is fundamentally different from a Q&A. Fundamentally different.

    A few lines of dialog one after another, in prose, can implicate persons who aren't even talking one with another, from different discussions, from different groups, and it doesn't have to involve any questioning and answering.

    But a Q&A is always binary in nature: a question with its answer, even if, by absurd, the protagonists are different for each pair. Semantically, you need to reflect that.

    <hr>

    One thing is for sure: I don't see a numbered list here at all. There is no reason a question should take precedence before another, like here, for example:
    4.) How do you compete against large corporations?
    <answer here>

    5.) What Business Structure do you have?
    <answer here>
    An ordered list means absolute precedence based on some progression rules. I don't see any here. Just a random rule for author's counting.

    <hr>

    My first choice is the use of headings, because of their natural semantic sectioning, and my newest choice is the use of sections together with headings, under certain conditions, of course: I have to have complex enough content with my Q&As. Otherwise, dl's are fine.

    I made a little graphics. It's pretty self explanatory, but feel free to ask questions: http://i1054.photobucket.com/albums/...tmitica-qa.png

  12. #12
    Mazel tov! bronze trophy kohoutek's Avatar
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    I agree with Mitica. The above is simple heading and paragraph text for me, not a list, particularly not an ordered list, and I'm not sure I'd use a definition list either, thought it's probably more suited than an <ol>.
    Maleika E. A. | Rockatee | Twitter | Dribbble



  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Okay, I'm back! (Sorry I disappeared from this thread for a while...)

    Here is my take on things...


    Point #1:
    Because the purpose of this section of my website is to really elicit people's deep, inner feelings on things, I expect people to type long responses. And, therefore, there needs to be a way to capture and display Answers in separate paragraphs as I mentioned in Post #7 above.


    Point #2:
    Last Fall I created a "Small-Business Facts" section on my Home Page. After some debate similar to here, the recommendation was to use Headers and Paragraphs in tandem like this...
    HTML Code:
    	<div id="boxFacts">
    		<h2>Small-Business Facts<br />
    			<small>Some things to know about Small-Business...</small>
    		</h2>
    
    		<!-- Fact #1 -->
    		<h3><span>Fact #01:</span>Small-Businesses represent 99.7% of all employer firms.</h3>
    		<p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.
    			Mauris quam nisi, egestas mattis commodo a, adipiscing eget erat.
    			Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices
    			posuere cubilia Curae; Fusce ultrices lacus nec leo mattisvestibulum.
    			Donec pharetra luctus nisl et sollicitudin. Aliquam
    			faucibus tellus at orci pretium faucibus. Duis malesuada, enim ac
    			luctus auctor, metus libero dictum nunc, vitae imperdiet est
    			massa eget massa.
    		</p>
    
    		<!-- Fact #2 -->
    		<h3><span>Fact #02:</span>Small-Businesses employ half of all private sector employees.</h3>
    		<p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.
    			Mauris quam nisi, egestas mattis commodo a, adipiscing eget erat.
    			Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices
    			posuere cubilia Curae; Fusce ultrices lacus nec leo mattis
    			vestibulum. Donec pharetra luctus nisl et sollicitudin. Aliquam
    			faucibus tellus at orci pretium faucibus. Duis malesuada, enim ac
    			luctus auctor, metus libero dictum nunc, vitae imperdiet est
    			massa eget massa.
    		</p>
    In my opinion, that sure looks a lot like my "Questions & Answers", don't you think?!


    Point #3:
    I don't do HTML5, so that is off the table.


    Point #4:
    As far as Ordered vs Unordered... Questions and Answers are stored in my database. They have no intrinsic "order" other than the order that I impose at any given time...

    Maybe there is some big headline in the news about the Economy, so I change my site's focus and deem that "Why are Small-Businesses important to the U.S. Economy?" is a *key* question that I want people talking about this week.

    In that case, QuestionID=3492 just got promoted from QuestionNo=9 to QuestionNo=1 if you follow me?!

    How that relates to HTML, I don't know.


    Point #5:
    Questions and Answers need to remain *tightly-knit*.

    If someone blabs on-and-on (think Stomme poes after too many lattes...), then my markup needs to make it abundantly clear than the 5 paragraphs the User just typed all pertain to the question, "Why are Small-Businesses the back-bone of America?"


    --------------
    In closing, I think what I am doing for my "Facts" would apply to my "Q&A", except that I want to be sure multi-paragraphs would still fit into that approach.

    What do you think, HTML Gods?!

    Thanks,


    Debbie

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitică
    I honestly don't see terms and conditions as lists.
    Why do you think they're all prefaced with numbers for? :) Maybe decoration though. Lawyerly pretties.

    http://stommepoes.nl/Jeansselling/je...orwaarden.html

    http://stommepoes.nl/Scooterverzeker...orwaarden.html

    listie mclists!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitică
    I believe the section element is really what you're looking for for that.
    Man, I can't wait til user agents actually add meaning to those.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    Why do you think they're all prefaced with numbers for? Maybe decoration though. Lawyerly pretties.
    listie mclists!
    Well, when you put it like this... then no.

    Chapters in a book have numbers before them, but you don't put them contents in lists, when going from PDF to HTML, do you?! Just because you can get an automatic numbering out of it, it doesn't mean that listie mclists is your best friend.

    A li has an item in it. Now, I know women, when they say 'I want me this dress' or 'I want me this deux-piece', they really mean to say 'Get me the whole dressing store'. But the fact is that the dress is certainly an item, and so is the deux-piece, while the whole dressing store is a wee bit big to call it that.

    EDIT: It just occurred to me. I'm not suggesting to use a section element for each number...

    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    Man, I can't wait til user agents actually add meaning to those.
    A few of them have. For the others, <div> was a bad solution, anyway. I'm better off with sections, anonymous or specific.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by itmitică View Post
    EDIT: It just occurred to me. I'm not suggesting to use a section element for each number...
    Thank God. I'd consider it since each of them is a subsection, but I'd never use the SECTION element in the first place since it's either redundant to DIV, or redundant to the markup inside it like say... lists, paragraphs, heading tags and horizontal rules.

    I think some of what's going on in this thread can be boiled down to a tendency I see amongst developers to want to find one answer and then use it for EVERYTHING. We saw this in the old days where table was the answer to EVERY layout question -- today when it comes to semantics a lot of people go "DL for two columns" or "DL for pairs" without thinking about what the content actually is; The same can be said for lists; you have a menu, a list of short choices -- that's a list. Simple. Often lists lack punctuation to make it clear what's going on, so semantic tags like LI to separate the choices make sense.

    But on the flip side of things you have -- and itmitica is right on this to an extent -- a tendency to start wrapping everything in lists just because it's a list; that's when it falls into the same trap as Tables for layout; eventually you're throwing it at everything. Take a look at a vBull forum skin for an example of that type of asshattery in action.

    The examples I made here so far don't fall into that, but people are reading it as such. Let me explain -- when you have single line short questions and answers, numbered and ordered; REGARDLESS of how they are stored on the server and are simply numbering them for ease of use on the page, then a OL/LI and maybe a few BR should be all that's needed.

    But that is not, nor did I mean it as the be-all end-all answer, because CONTENT SHOULD DICTATE THE MARKUP, not the other way around. If those questions end up two or three sentences or worse, the answers drag on into multiple paragraphs, I'd put the question in a heading tag and the answer in paragraphs; in that case, there would be no reason to have any other markup except as semantically neutral styling hooks (div). The moment you have numbered heading tags you shouldn't NEED any extra idiocy like SECTION, or LISTS, or ARTICLE, or TABLE, or any other tag except as styling hooks... and if all it's there for is as styling hooks, that's DIV and SPAN's job!

    That of course is my problem with SECTION -- if you're bothering to have numbered headings and/or horizontal rules to indicate beginning/end of sections, what in blazes purpose does it serve other than to justify adding a unnecessary wrapper around tags that already deliver the meaning JUST FINE!!!!! After all, that's the entire point of numbered heading tags, to mark the start of of a new sub-section of the higher order heading preceding it... just as a horizontal rules job is to mark the start of a new subsection unrelated to the headings preceding it. (except of course the H1, under which ALL content on the page is supposed to be a subsection, which is why using H1 for the topic of the content column is usually WRONG!)

    Naturally the "content should dictate the markup" is part of what makes answering questions like the one in this thread difficult; People usually post incomplete information or not the true data being marked up, leaving you to guess wildly as to what the HTML should be since you're guessing wildly as to what the content is. Then you get the people quoting you out of context because you said to do it differently, on an entirely different type of data, as if there's magically one answer to all types of content.

    There isn't.

  17. #17
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Well, here is some content to go off of...

    1.) Why did you decide to start your own business?
    I decided to start my own business because I want to be my own boss!

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Quisque volutpat congue urna, a semper est sollicitudin eget. In quam nulla, porttitor sit amet convallis vitae, faucibus et sapien. Aenean tortor ante, elementum nec volutpat a, pretium ullamcorper lorem.

    Cras varius ante quis mauris posuere cursus at vitae nulla. Etiam elementum, urna vel volutpat gravida, metus ipsum gravida augue, et semper sapien erat quis sapien. Etiam vel ante mauris, ut adipiscing orci. Sed pellentesque volutpat nisl. Donec sed nisl quam, a ornare quam. Praesent vel laoreet lectus.


    2.) What advice would you share with others on what NOT to do?
    Curabitur porta aliquam libero, vitae adipiscing risus molestie ac. Fusce luctus magna diam, et posuere risus. Donec et nisi erat, sit amet mattis dolor. Praesent mattis erat a orci euismod in venenatis nibh lobortis.

    Vestibulum sed suscipit ligula. Praesent neque leo, elementum non luctus eget, consequat id urna. Ut pulvinar imperdiet sem, ac bibendum nulla blandit at. Cras aliquam tortor et ligula pretium fermentum. Quisque bibendum libero lorem. Aliquam gravida, tortor at sollicitudin mollis, nibh massa pharetra metus, eget iaculis ante ipsum sed dolor.

    Suspendisse cursus bibendum viverra. Sed turpis sapien, placerat at iaculis non, tincidunt posuere enim. Quisque faucibus imperdiet ante eu blandit. Donec quis bibendum ante. Donec posuere volutpat lacus, non commodo turpis venenatis.
    And I decided to stick with the basics, and use the following mark-up...
    HTML Code:
    <div id='thoughts'>
    <h4>1.) Why did you decide to start your own business?</h4>
    <p>I decided to start my own business because I want to be my own boss!</p>
    <p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Quisque volutpat congue urna, a semper est sollicitudin eget. In quam nulla, porttitor sit amet convallis vitae, faucibus et sapien. Aenean tortor ante, elementum nec volutpat a, pretium ullamcorper lorem. </p>
    <p>Cras varius ante quis mauris posuere cursus at vitae nulla. Etiam elementum, urna vel volutpat gravida, metus ipsum gravida augue, et semper sapien erat quis sapien. Etiam vel ante mauris, ut adipiscing orci. Sed pellentesque volutpat nisl. Donec sed nisl quam, a ornare quam. Praesent vel laoreet lectus.</p>
    
    <h4>2.) What advice would you share with others on what NOT to do?</h4>
    <p>Curabitur porta aliquam libero, vitae adipiscing risus molestie ac. Fusce luctus magna diam, et posuere risus. Donec et nisi erat, sit amet mattis dolor. Praesent mattis erat a orci euismod in venenatis nibh lobortis.</p>
    <p>Vestibulum sed suscipit ligula. Praesent neque leo, elementum non luctus eget, consequat id urna. Ut pulvinar imperdiet sem, ac bibendum nulla blandit at. Cras aliquam tortor et ligula pretium fermentum. Quisque bibendum libero lorem. Aliquam gravida, tortor at sollicitudin mollis, nibh massa pharetra metus, eget iaculis ante ipsum sed dolor.</p>
    <p>Suspendisse cursus bibendum viverra. Sed turpis sapien, placerat at iaculis non, tincidunt posuere enim. Quisque faucibus imperdiet ante eu blandit. Donec quis bibendum ante. Donec posuere volutpat lacus, non commodo turpis venenatis.</p>
    Sincerely,


    Debbie

  18. #18
    Mazel tov! bronze trophy kohoutek's Avatar
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    We need a section list element!
    Maleika E. A. | Rockatee | Twitter | Dribbble



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    My only question on that wouldn't be the choice of tag type -- it's what are you doing that got it all the way down to a h4?

  20. #20
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deathshadow60 View Post
    My only question on that wouldn't be the choice of tag type -- it's what are you doing that got it all the way down to a h4?
    I just KNEW you'd ask that!!!!

    Okay, let the knives start flying...

    <h1> Company Name in header (DeathShadow co-created and approved, so leave it alone!!!)

    <h2> DoubleDee's Profile (again, DeathShadow recommended here)
    ---> child to Company/Website

    <h3> Contact, My Friends (top), My Visitors (in the left column)
    ---> children to DoubleDee's Profile

    <h3> About Me, My Thoughts, My Friends (all)(tabs in center of Member Profile page)
    ---> children to DoubleDee's Profile

    <h4> My Thoughts Questions
    ---> children to DoubleDee's Thoughts
    Sincerely,


    Debbie

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    2.) should be 2. or 2) not with both '.' and ')'.

    I know you're DoubleDee but still...

  22. #22
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Off Topic:

    Quote Originally Posted by itmitică View Post
    2.) should be 2. or 2) not with both '.' and ')'.

    I know you're DoubleDee but still...
    That's a cultural/country thing...

    In the U.S., what I have is the *right* way to do it...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    In the U.S., what I have is the *right* way to do it...
    It's all a matter of preference and/or convention. My only reference for the U.S. is the Chicago Manual of Style, and that uses either a period or a right parenthesis (with a preference for the period), but not both together. It's overkill, really.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    Off Topic:



    That's a cultural/country thing...

    In the U.S., what I have is the *right* way to do it...
    I've yet to encounter this type of marker: 2.) for numbering in any word processor or in CSS specs. That's why I assume it's a personal choice, not a standard one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by itmitică View Post
    I've yet to encounter this type of marker: 2.) for numbering in any word processor or in CSS specs. That's why I assume it's a personal choice, not a standard one.
    Regardless, let's not highjack the thread...


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