In short, send me a spreadsheet!
If you wish to send results to the webmaster of the TSAA website (or any other webmaster, for that
matter), there are good formats and not so good.
Explanation: When posting documents on the internet there are a number of types of document formats possible. Most all of them have some limitation that excludes users of incompatible technologies. What you see is not always what others will see, in other words. If I post a WordPerfect document to the website, for example, the viewer has to have a special program installed in his/her browser in order to see it, and even then it may not display as it was designed. Without the "plugin", they will see nothing. That's right, In some cases, they don't see anything! This makes it difficult for you to get your message across to others.
The "best" or most universally acceptable format is the "html" format. HTML is HyperText Markup Language, and in a nutshell is a graphical language for the internet, and all current browsers will support html. The same CANNOT be said for any other format, such as Office docs, Microsoft WORD docs, Wordperfect docs, spreadsheets, or even acrobat docs. (although acrobat is close to a universal platform-friendly standard, it requires more overhead and so people with slow connections or no plugin will suffer). Fonts will be absent or ill-controlled in size and structure, columns will zigzag without reason, or the page may appear completely blank.
Quite simply it is preferable to post html documents where possible on the website simply to insure that anyone using any browser to view our site will be able to go anywhere on it and enjoy what it has to offer. It maximizes our message!
When you send in tournament results to be posted I therefore attempt to convert whatever format you send into html documents containing the data in tables. For non-columnar submissions more flexibility is possible.
Spreadsheets: FIVE STARS!
For the most desirable and webmaster-friendly format AND fastest posting, send your tournament reports in SPREADSHEET FORMAT.
Conversion of a spreadsheet to html table(s) is a relatively painless process that is quickly and accurately accomplished. Since I don't usually have to manipulate anything there is little chance for me to introduce errors, which is good. Whether you use Excel, Quattro Pro, Lotus, or any other spreadsheet, the data is segregated into clearly defined cells and therefore can be converted accurately and quickly into HTML tables.
MS Document: 2 to 3 STARS (depending)!
For MS word/Office docs, a lot depends on how the user created the columns for the scores and archers. If the columns were created in a consistent manner it is only slightly more difficult to "tableize" the document, but when there is a mix of spacebars and tabs, the results often require extensive re-editing in order to get the data into the right columns. Where a spreadsheet might take one minute to get converted properly, an MS DOC type document will take 10 minutes under good conditions. Mix in some tabs, though, and I'm tied down for 30 minutes or so per document, with no guarantee that some mistakes might not creep in undetected.
WordPerfect: 1 bomb!
For the worst conversion (none), send your document in WordPerfect format. They have tried to define their own set of standards for the web, and unlike MS, they have pretty much made a mess of it. Converting WP to html is a royal pain - using WP, and saving as "html", causes very unpredictable format changes in my experience. I've essentially given up trying to convert large WordPerfect documents to html, although converting bodies of unorganized text is not so difficult. So send me WordPerfect only if you don't really want it published. WordPerfect is dead, long live WordPerfect.
Plain Text files: 1 STAR!
If you want to go to the trouble of saving columns of data into a text file, please choose RICH TEXT FILE (RTF) - a plain MS DOS text will be devoid of any information about columns, and it guarantees that I won't be able to post tournament results without first going through and marking each data value with a comma throughout the entire document. But at least it isn't WordPerfect.
And don't even get started with WordStar, folks - my favorite word processor of the early 80s is dead, dead, dead. :)
If the story does not have to be laid out carefully with regard to the information contained, a MS Word Doc or RTF or even plain text file is fine. Run it through a spell checker first, of course. I'll do it as well, and I might choose the wrong word (chose instead of choose, for example). If you have pictures to go with it, I can insert them easily if you attach them to the email submission. Tell me where you want them if it's important to you by leaving a "PICTURE HERE" note in the text. If you embed them in the Word Doc, I can handle those as well.
Use JPG ("jay-pegg") as the picture format, and each pic file should take no more than around 200K TOPS. A size of 75K to 100K is adequate for displaying on website pages. Larger pictures will simply bloat the page and make the dialup user have to wait for loading...so you may wish to use a program like PaintShop Pro to reduce the image size to say, 800x600 or so...
If you have a document that needs or is likely to be, printed then send the document as an MS WORD doc with all the formatting exactly as you want it. I will convert it to an Adobe Acrobat document. The Acrobat format requires a READER utility/plugin in order for it to be viewed, but there are versions available for DOS, Windows, Mac OS (Apple), and Unix, and they are all free for the download. Acrobat files have an extension of PDF, and they render documents exactly the same on all platforms and just about all printers. They also support color, another plus. The single biggest drawback is that where an html document might take 3 seconds to display, the same doc as a PDF could take minutes. A good example of a document needing the acrobat format is Rick Stonebraker's Tune for Ten guide, which has a lot of drawings that must be coordinated with the text.
If you are submitting a For Sale ad (NO CHARGE!), please include a good, close-up picture of the item if at all possible, and as many ways to be contacted as possible. Mailing address, phone numbers, and email addresses are all good ideas for an advertisement. And don't forget to let the webmaster know when your item sells so that the ad can be removed.
Once a document is converted and posted, the submitter will be notified FIRST so that s/he can verify the results and report any problems or mistakes/corrections to the webmaster. NO changes will be made to the document's contents unless the tournament director orders the change. Any mistakes will be corrected ASAP but must go through the submitter. You can email both the submitter and the webmaster simultaneously, and if necessary request the document to be removed until the error can be cleared up.
As always, please feel free to submit articles relating to archery, and also to contact the webmaster with any questions or suggestions you might have.
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