Tolkien Quote of the Day

…Suddenly another voice spoke, low and melodious, its very sound an enchantment. Those who listened unwarily to that voice could seldom report the words that they heard; and if they did, they wondered, for little power remained in them. Mostly they remembered only that it was a delight to hear the voice speaking, all that it said seemed wise and reasonable, and desire awoke in them by swift agreement to seem wise themselves. When others spoke they seemed harsh and uncouth by contrast; and if they gainsaid the voice, anger was kindled in the hearts of those under the spell. For some the spell lasted only while the voice spoke to them, and when it spoke to another they smiled, as mend do who see through a juggler’s trick while others gape at it. For many the sound of the voice alone was enough to hold them enthralled; but for those whom it conquered the spell endured when they were far away, and ever they heard that soft voice whispering and urging them. But none were unmoved; none rejected its pleas and its commands without an effort of mind and will, so long as its master had control of it.

The Two Towers
Book III Chapter 10
The Voice of Saruman Now I’m going to go OT on my own post.

RedState inexplicably, has a preview for comments, but not for diary entries. As it stands now, I have to publish my diary to see what it will look like with all formatting in place, which means that I’m publishing a rough-draft of my diary “live” and have to go back and edit it (perhaps several times) after it’s been published.

To make things worse, it appears that RedState does some server-side caching of it’s web pages, so even though I make changes to my diary and click “save,” those changes aren’t actually published for at least a couple of minutes (okay, it could be less, but it seems like forever).

This brings me to the reason that I feel so often feel the need to preview and edit my diaries, esp. this one.

I (usually) put a lot of thought into my entries so that they will read professional and clear. By the same token, I like them to look professional and clear. In this entry I posted a long quote and wanted to properly note the source at the bottom of the quote. The way I wanted the citation to look was:

italics for the name of the book[carriage return]the book and chapter number in regular text[carriage return]italics for the name of the chapter

…and have it all appear in the same block quote as the quote.

Try as I might, I couldn’t make it work. Of course I had to wait a couple of minutes between edits to see what it actually looked like, each time posting the newly messed up entry to the RedState servers.

All of this to say, what is up with the formatting notation for RedState? What’s wrong with beginning and ending tags, they are very clear, easy to parse and just make sense?

Why one asterisk for italics and two for bold? Have you ever tried to put several italics inside a bold? Whatever parser is used here messes up at this point and you wind up with an asterisk at the beginning of your passage, some italics (or bold, or both) mixed up in the middle and another asterisk at the end.

Maybe I need to put a space between asterisks? I don’t know, I try experimenting with the formatting notations to get the right look, but (as noted above) every time I make a change I am reposting my diary and having to wait a couple of minutes to see what happened, by that time, quite often, I don’t even remember the formatting changes that I made. Anyway, if there needs to be a space, why doesn’t the editor put it there for me?

I’m not trying to be a jerk here (sometimes I just can’t help it), I’m just trying to express my frustration with this issue. I wouldn’t even raise it except that I know that it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, I’ve never posted at a site that has these particular problems.

It keeps me from being able to express myself clearly and can be so frustrating that it often keeps me from posting at all.

Update: I suck.
I’ll be using HTML from now on (yeah!).
Preview would still be nice though.