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Re: [NH] Open a Folder of PDF files

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  • Ray Shapp
    I need to get to sleep soon, but I want to make a quick reply to all who answered my question. Mick said, I know of no way that you can extract individual
    Message 1 of 13 , Jun 2, 2009
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      I need to get to sleep soon, but I want to make a quick reply to all who
      answered my question.

      Mick said, "I know of no way that you can extract individual pages from a
      parent PDF file for download" I was looking at it the other way around. IOW
      one HTML or other type of file which would allow the reader to check off some
      or all the articles of interest which would then result in a single entity
      he/she could read without making further selections.



      Marcelo said, "it's probably possible to write some Javascript that will take
      that single click and spawn a dozen downloads from it. Of course, that means
      your page won't work as planned if the visitor has Javascript turned off." We
      have about 200 people in the club, and a good many of them are real computer
      novices. My guess is that half of them would be intimidated by the simple
      question, "Is Java enabled?". I'm sure many members do not have Java enabled.
      They and others would resist making any changes.


      Marcelo also said, "I would prefer doing an online version in HTML and, from
      that, generate a downloadable full version in PDF. Online PDF is... well,
      dreadful." I don't understand how one would generate a PDF file from an HTML
      document. I currently compose the newsletter in MS Word and "print" it to PDF.
      I also don't know why you say online PDF is dreadful. The versions of the
      Adobe Reader from number 7 onward have much improved text and graphics copying
      capability and they also run faster than the older versions. After I spend
      hours precisely formatting tables and mathematical equations, I appreciate the
      fact that the reader can't destroy my work.


      Alec said, "Their is (IMO) a perfect solution for those who use (or can be
      persuaded to use) Firefox. Addon: DownThemAll has an option that allows you to
      select any block of an HTML page...". I use DownThemAll, but I doubt more than
      a dozen or so of my readers could be persuaded to follow your suggestion.
      Also, asking people to change their browser is almost like asking them to
      change their religion.


      Michael Rawley said, "To download a folder of PDF files have you tried making
      the folder a zip file and downloading that." Even if I make the zip file a
      self-extracting archive, every user would need to download the entire month's
      content. I want to accommodate the members who want to read maybe the lead
      article plus one or two other items. Think of the way you read the daily
      newspaper if you are rushed. You might scan the headlines on the first page
      then flip to the business section or the sports pages or the comics.


      Axel said, "You could make a purely HTML form, tick all those PDFs you want
      and submit that. BUT you will need a program, possibly PHP, running on the
      server side to evaluate that form." That's an interesting idea. I have written
      a browse/search form processor using Perl script to serve as an online catalog
      for our library. Maybe I can develop something similar in this instance. That
      would take a LOT of work because I haven't touched Perl for over five years.


      Axel also said, "How big are your PDFs? Is it really worth the effort ...".
      Most articles are only 2 or 3 pages with graphics, however, some go to ten
      pages. Some of our "departments" are a single page. The typical issue
      generally contains no more than about 20 pages total. This whole question
      arose because of the effort involved now in formatting all the contributed
      articles into a single integrated document that emulates the paper version of
      a newsletter. IOW, it has consecutively numbered pages, and all major articles
      begin at the top of a page, and every page is "full" -- i. e., no page has
      any big blank white space. I have been urged to merely pump out all the parts
      that are now integrated as a group of stand-alone files. I am resisting that
      because a significant number of our readers do want to read every word
      starting on page one and continuing without interruption to the final page.
      Some of these readers will open the single PDF I am now producing and merely
      send it to their computer's printer. They can then carry the paper version
      away from the PC. If I adopt the "stand-alone" procedure without an easy way
      to download all or selective parts, the extra interaction at the keyboard will
      interfere with the page turner and with the print-grab-and-go guy.


      Now 8:15am EDT, and I haven't been to sleep yet. I'll see you all later.

      Many thanks for your suggestions.

      Ray Shapp
    • Marcelo Bastos
      ... Javascript, not Java. Javascript is a built-in feature of the browser, while Java is (in most cases) an external plugin. They have little in common besides
      Message 2 of 13 , Jun 2, 2009
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        Interviewed by CNN on 2/6/2009 09:25, Ray Shapp told the world:
        > Marcelo said, "it's probably possible to write some Javascript that will take
        > that single click and spawn a dozen downloads from it. Of course, that means
        > your page won't work as planned if the visitor has Javascript turned off." We
        > have about 200 people in the club, and a good many of them are real computer
        > novices. My guess is that half of them would be intimidated by the simple
        > question, "Is Java enabled?". I'm sure many members do not have Java enabled.
        > They and others would resist making any changes.
        >
        >
        Javascript, not Java. Javascript is a built-in feature of the browser,
        while Java is (in most cases) an external plugin. They have little in
        common besides the name.

        The default state is for Javascript to be enabled. However, many people
        disable it to avoid annoying ads, or because of security concerns. Some
        will use some sort of tool to enable/disable it in a site-by-site basis.
        Those are not your problem, though; they usually can figure it by
        themselves, with a bit of warning from you (in the form of warnings,
        particularly using the <noscript> element).
        No, the REAL problem is that newbie who disabled Javascript because his
        almost-as-newbie second cousin told him it was "a bad thing." They won't
        be able to download the things, and will blame you. Best thing in this
        case would be figure out some sort of alternate download page that will
        be shown if people have Javascript disabled.
        > Marcelo also said, "I would prefer doing an online version in HTML and, from
        > that, generate a downloadable full version in PDF. Online PDF is... well,
        > dreadful." I don't understand how one would generate a PDF file from an HTML
        > document. I currently compose the newsletter in MS Word and "print" it to PDF.
        > I also don't know why you say online PDF is dreadful. The versions of the
        > Adobe Reader from number 7 onward have much improved text and graphics copying
        > capability and they also run faster than the older versions. After I spend
        > hours precisely formatting tables and mathematical equations, I appreciate the
        > fact that the reader can't destroy my work.
        >
        >
        Well, you could just as well open the HTML in your browser and "print"
        it to PDF, the same way you do with Word. It would take some
        experimenting, sure, but it can be done.
        When I call online PDF "dreadful", I refer not to the presentation, but
        to the experience: pages take a long time to load, they don't behave
        like other web pages, don't adjust to the size of the browser window,
        are generally slow...
        But in fact you apparently have one good reason to stay with PDF: math
        equations. These are hard to do well in HTML -- there is a standard for
        it (MathML) but it's poorly supported, so not a solution for you. No, to
        bring your equations to HTML you would have to first convert them to
        images, which is an extra step. So, I think in your particular case, you
        are better off with PDF, despite its shortcomings.


        Marcelo
        -=-=-
        When you learn to distinguish between the container and the contents,
        you will have attained wisdom. - Idries Shah
        * TagZilla 0.066 on Seamonkey 1.1.16
      • Ray Shapp
        Hi Marcelo, Yes, that was a slip of the (figurative) tongue.
        Message 3 of 13 , Jun 2, 2009
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          Hi Marcelo,

          <<Javascript, not Java.>>

          Yes, that was a slip of the (figurative) tongue.


          <<When I call online PDF "dreadful", I refer not to the presentation, but to
          the experience:>>

          Valid points.

          Thanks for the replies.

          Ray Shapp
        • Axel Berger
          ... May I offer the following rule of thumb: If the document is meant to be loaded down, archived and read at another time at the reader s discretion, go for
          Message 4 of 13 , Jun 2, 2009
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            Marcelo Bastos wrote:
            > When I call online PDF "dreadful", I refer not to the
            > presentation, but to the experience:

            May I offer the following rule of thumb:
            If the document is meant to be loaded down, archived and read at
            another time at the reader's discretion, go for PDF.
            If you expect the reader to just read it online, scan it (in the
            human, not the technical sense), and continue browsing, probably
            along links provided in the text, then go for HTML every time.
            For that reason I offer lists of literature used and cited in both
            formats, which is easy as both are generated automatically out of a
            database application.

            Axel
          • Ray Shapp
            Hi Axel, Thanks for your valuable rule of thumb. You make a good point about the disparate ways in which my users interact with the newsletter. If I can t find
            Message 5 of 13 , Jun 3, 2009
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              Hi Axel,

              Thanks for your valuable rule of thumb.

              You make a good point about the disparate ways in which my users interact with
              the newsletter. If I can't find a way to store only one copy of the content
              each month and if I can't find a less labor-intensive way of editing the
              product, I will probably drop this question and continue with the methods with
              which I am familiar and with which my readers are comfortable.

              Also, I may need to stick with the current method because I don't see any
              solution to the problems with citations if the articles are not presented in a
              traditional newsletter format. Currently one can refer to a graph or a passage
              or any other part of an article by citing only the issue date and page number.
              If the articles are in separate files (of whatever format), they will not have
              consecutive pagination from one article to the next. It will then be necessary
              to cite title along with issue date plus the page number within that document.
              The alternative would be to begin the pagination of each article after the
              first one with a page number that is one greater than the final page number of
              the preceding article.

              This discussion is drifting off topic for an HTML group.

              Ray Shapp


              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Axel Berger" <Axel-Berger@...>
              To: <ntb-html@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 1:20 PM
              Subject: Re: [NH] Open a Folder of PDF files


              > Marcelo Bastos wrote:
              >> When I call online PDF "dreadful", I refer not to the
              >> presentation, but to the experience:
              >
              > May I offer the following rule of thumb:
              > If the document is meant to be loaded down, archived and read at
              > another time at the reader's discretion, go for PDF.
              > If you expect the reader to just read it online, scan it (in the
              > human, not the technical sense), and continue browsing, probably
              > along links provided in the text, then go for HTML every time.
              > For that reason I offer lists of literature used and cited in both
              > formats, which is easy as both are generated automatically out of a
              > database application.
              >
              > Axel
              >
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