On Posts

Folks, please check your posts after you have submitted them and they are displayed.

On EP is XHTML/HTML corrector software to try to fix bad tags, wrong errors but it can't fix anything.

On EP you have a lot of freedom on what XHTML you can use but with that you can screw up the layout of the site with incorrectly used XHTML/HTML tags.

Please check your post after publishing and make sure it doesn't screw up the layout on the site.

If you look at the site after you have published and the columns are pushed down or the main colors are different, your links don't work....that means you have errors.

An error in a post can screw up the layout of the site.

If you use the rich text editor for images you cannot go wrong and in the user guide are the correct syntax for most formatting issues one would need to format a blog post.


Total Blog Directory
Economics Blog Directory

Subject Meta: 

Forum Categories: 

Admin - new posters read this

All blog posts should be majority original material. Do not in essence repost articles and put a few comments around someone else's writing. If you want to do that, use the forums. They go to the Instapopulist as well as the main RSS feed but please do not post these as blogs for blogs are on the front page.

Please only quote small sections of other's writings to comply with copyrights on material.

Format your posts! Raw links not only look bad, they do not format correctly in RSS feeds. Do NOT post unformatted raw links (URLs)!

Quality blog posts are one of the reasons more people are coming to the site.

Please review the user guide for details on how to format your post.

Finally check your spelling and grammar! I am seeing major spelling and grammar mistakes in posts. Folks you are citizen journalists and this site allows you to have a front page voice. Please write quality posts in response.

This site has a rating system, by users and I will start to enforce removing such blogs off the front page through the rating system if we continue to get these kind of blog posts. It reduces the quality of the site and if you want to be heard....you must write quality, in depth, correct spelling, grammar and correctly formatted writings.

Firefox has a spelling checker build in and IE7 has an add on to check your spelling. The WYSIWYG editor also has a spell checker for IE7.

on comments

Folks, please post comments that are appropriate to the actual blog or forum post.

Comments are threaded, which means they are hierarchical, one can track your comments with replies in your account.

When you just post some comment "somewhere" that has nothing to do with the topic, the organization of the site turns into a mess.

Help make it easier for others to follow by hitting the reply when replying and try to post your comment that is relative to the forum or blog post.

All comments are attached to either a forum or blog post where comments on that particular post correspond to.

So, when you just post a comment "somewhere" the conversation will eventually be lost because the comment isn't relevant to the actual topic presented in the original post.

Below is a thread on the "preview" features of EP

Below is the thread on the "preview" features of EP.

Again, the arrow boxes is the content promotion/demotion system and I'm now looking into how to change this.

Aha, I thought that was an editing tool ....

... since it shows up in the editor ... I must have been trying to push down the section break, but it didn't work so I put it in by hand.

it does?

which editor? Can you give me your entire configuration? That would be Operating system, browser, version of browser and any add ons you are using. Also precisely how are you editing your blog posts on EP? Which theme are you using on EP, the default (tapestry, various beige/yellows/orange-reds/green offsets) or the blue (Amadou, various blue-ivory with shades of white-pinkish)?

The reason I need this is the promotion/demotion system shouldn't be showing up in any edit body anywhere so this is a bug.

BTW: I am aware of the comment issues and I have another bug issue.

The online editor, when it shows a preview ...

... shows the up and down arrows at the bottom of the intro preview. To someone unused to those arrows as rec up and rec down buttons (eg, moi-même), it looks for all the world like a tool to change the breakpoint for the preview and full post.


no, the preview is static, how it will finally look, so what happens is everything is loaded and I cannot easily create a separate "profile" in the database as well as if you have something overlapping the links/tags that accompany each post, if I remove that from preview, you won't realize the layout needs some help.

Its hard enough for a pre-Web 1.0 email discussion list ...

... person to get used to all this rating in the first place, let alone mystery arrows, but I'm sure the Web 2.0 people find the arrows clear enough. What's the alt-text for the arrow image, for people accessing by screen reader ... that normally shows up as hint text.


Well, I do have it but the system is also AJAX so the alt-text says "promote this post" and "demote this post" but the actual arrow if displayed will immediately override alt-text.

Anyway, I tried to put in the user guide the most confusing things I see people do on blogs and then also put things in the admin forum and if all of that doesn't cut it, they can email too.

I had the same misconception

When I first started- in the "preview" editor it appears in a position that makes it appear to adjust the page break between preview and full article.

Maximum jobs, not maximum profits.


shows the teaser and then the full article, both are preview with the edit body below those as finally displayed. If you notice the teaser on the front page has the arrows box. So, I suspect the issue is not understanding there is a preview and within that preview it shows both the teaser or what would be displayed on the front page and then what would also be displaced if one hit "read more".

Yes, that's right

That's where the misunderstanding comes from.

I can think of two possible solutions to this:

1. Move the control in the preview so that it is after the full article rather than being *between* the article and the teaser. This would indicate that the control is for something other than moving the break between teaser and full article, which is what the position suggests it is for.

2. Do Bruce Peren's solution on the now defunct Technocrat- and simply provide separate editing boxes for the teaser and the full article to begin with (he even, at one point, put out a style guide for blog posts which indicated that the links should be in the full article and not in the teaser- because his RSS feed included the teaser but not the full article, and this would force the user to click through the site to get to the links).

Just a thought- given that two people at least have been confused by this. I suspect the first solution would be easier to code.

Maximum jobs, not maximum profits.

it s after the full also

I'll see what I can do but I find Soapblox (which is what you are talking about and that's a paid for blogging package) or Scoop, which the divides in the boxes to be irritating. If one wants to move the break on Drupal, you just need to change one line of code versus when the boxes are like that, you must cut and paste.

Also, the Promote/Demote box is on both previews and what is missing are the other links, icons that will be with the final post so I am wrong on this in that preview shows exactly what it will look like, not quite, but the preview is still better that dailykos/Soapblox because there you can preview something, especially dailykos and when you hit submit, it will be rejected with all sorts of errors.

He doesn't have the full error check in the drafts, it's in the submit. Also, all of those sites limit what kind of XHTML you can use....extensively.

the only issue here is that your errors might not be caught by the auto-correction script and interact with the front page but it's a little closer.

If people want some feature, or are confused, post in the admin forum. I'm going to cut this thread and move it there.

No, its not understanding that the ...

... arrows are part of the prologue ... for people used to Soapblox / dKos style blogs, the post recommend is a button with "Recommend" on it and is only visible in the full post, so its a mode-shift to have the recommend be graphic and have it visible above the fold. And since what you are thinking when looking at the preview is, "does the fold lie in the right place?", thinking that the arrow is an editing tool is kind of a natural mistake ... its pretty much like what a fold moving tool would look like, and pretty much where it would be found.

Indeed, before this discussion, I never knew there was a recommend function, because it is not there in the mode that I would have been looking for it.

Hey man, we're not DK!

Trust me, I'm working on this. I took a look myself and I'm working on it but if you saw the source code on this site, folks might realize what a pain it is to find these issues and modify the core code. So give me some times.

This is a little offtopic I try to make sure it's easy to cross post but please change post titles and first paragraphs because straight cross posting punishes some sites with lower ranking in aggregators. I cannot do anything about other sites limiting XHTML tags or how they are set up. But if you use just what is listed in the user guide, it should all cross post no problem. Even more on EP, if one switches to the rich text editor, one can just do "copy and paste" while in that mode. You don't have to reformat at all.

Secondly, the base of this site is Drupal, which is buggy as hell and has a lot of problems and why it is not so common.

Soapblox gives no admin control, you must pay for their servers and cannot make custom modifications or host the site yourself. I devote my time on this but I'm unwilling to pay someone else money to do a blog, especially since I'm an engineer. I also do not like the idea of not having control over the source code and the server itself.

Scoop on the other hand, requires a dedicated server and that is expensive. If one notices the few sites in Scoop are using paid sys. admins and paid web developers.

Thirdly, for me to add features on EP, I must modify the code.

Finally we don't have the same system as those other sites. The reason for the Promotion/demotion system is multi-fold on EP. Number #1 is it gives all registered users control on what is on the front page and what is not. If you notice on the other sites a few "chosen ones"
only have access to the front page. It doesn't matter if better expertise, better writers, better information is in other posts....only the "select few" get access to the front page and that is only unless the site owner "decides" to manually put someone else's post on their front page.

That's not what EP is about. The idea here is to give anyone who writes good, sane, based in economic reality, the ability to get on the front page, thus more visibility and the site is much more Democratic, community based.

the second reason is...because it's set up for anyone to post on the front page, well, there are armies and legions of spammers out there. Hundreds of thousands and they will try to write posts promoting their "product" as well as to destroy the site and this ability to move content around the site on EP gives all registered users the ability to remove those posts of the spammers by voting content down.

I have other things on the site to combat the spammers and believe me they attack this site, as they attack every site, about every minute at least.

Only on EP can registered users literally move content around the site. Other sites do not have that feature. Only an admin can move content around a site on other blogs.

So, while you guys are getting obsessed on the arrow box may I point out you have the ability to move any Instapopulist to the front page and you also have the ability to move posts off of the front page AND have the ability to unpublish posts so they go to the trash can of cyberspace. It requires consensus to do this, one person alone cannot but I spent a hell of a lot of time getting this system to even work and it was all about trying to give everyone a say is what posts/writers are on the front page versus having it "dedicated on high" from one or two people.

No dramas, mode-shift confusions are ...

... like the famous "failure to communicate" ... its not a matter of fault, its just something that will happen when people shift between different paradigms.

Since I both write and comment at Docudharma, ProgressiveBlue and MLW, I'm unlikely to shed Soapblox habits of thought. It took me long enough to get into the habit of using rec buttons, after more than a decade on mailing lists where there is no such thing.

Shift that paradigm baby!

I'm all for cross posting but please do change the title slightly and it really helps to give a cross link to EP (mentioned in the user guide) so more people who are economics people learn about the site and then change a few, even just the first sentence of the post.

All of this is due to Google and other aggregators punishing sites for duplicate content. The reason they punish sites is because there are out there on the Internets, evil doers just lift (steal) content and repost it to get traffic and generate ad revenue. They have the reposts sometimes on automatic and have like 100 blogs, each earning a buck a day or whatever.

On Soapblox, DK (Scoop) everything you post there should (if you switch to the rich text editor, literally you can copy and paste and it will retain the formatting of your displayed post) work great over here.

The only issue is their two box system but you shouldn't see the underlying code that makes it different, esp. if you cut and paste the actual HTML. I think this is true for pure copy and paste of the displayed post too.

EP allows way more formatting options. If you can create it and it's valid XHTML, it will work here. I have some certain secret things that are changed for security purposes but styles, all of that good stuff, you can do it on EP.

So anybody writing on other blogs, including Wordpress, should be able to use EP without a lot of hassle.

Although on EP, for media, I do have custom players on the site and a couple of areas still lacking are statistics, tables, graphs, and LaTex. Nobody is even using the image zoom so I'm kind of like, "oh well" and if I need it, I'll add it for me.

Tables though are a real hassle and bummer, any site and I'm looking around for ways to allow people to have an easier time creating tables generally.

Whew! Now bear in mind everyone I have to do a complete upgrade and this is going to be a real big huge workload bitch for me. I have hacked Drupal to death and have code changes throughout.

I like self-formatting table ...

... where in the table line, you specify the table cell separator, so if it works for you context, you can use ",", but if there are "$1,899" in the table, you can use ";", or "/", or "|", or "\" or "~" ... auto-trim whitespace before and after the separator, make each line a <tr><td> ... </td></tr> and replace each separator with </td><td> and as long as the page break auto-format turns off for the extent of the table, you're there ...

Series ~ Oct ~ Nov ~ Dec


Where is this from? Is this from some bulletin board using their own tag parsing system? Just give me a couple of links. Sites like DU (Democratic Underground) and so on, have specialized parsing functions which then translate to XHTML and are limited. I don't want to go to specialized parsing functions that are not standards compliant. that's a problem esp to take a database and move it to another architecture as well as for writers, all of your formatting isn't portable.

For standard compliance, the HTML/XHTML ...

... should be the source.

That's an old Unix approach, its designed to be easily programmed as a sed script. I don't have the sed scripts anymore, that was more than a decade ago I was using tools like that.

The ideal table approach is its own text box which creates the table code to be pasted into the main page, then the source is portable to anyplace that permits raw html.

See new admin topic

and since you mention sed, I'll assume you are not someone who just knows how to use "email". ;)

also, everything is LAMP+.

On the title ...

... I'll try to remember to prefix the title of Midnight Oil crossposts with the Midnight Oil category ... Living Energy Independence, the Next American Revolution, the Arc of the Sun, etc. That'll distinguish the title, Knock Wood.

Its a lot easier than crossposting a blogger post to a BBcode discussion forum, that's for sure.

Just as long as it's unique

Definitely change the title and if you add

cross posted on The Economic Populist

in the first line or change the first paragraph or just a few things, that helps.

I'm still trying to figure out how to "fake out" the aggregators (this is all SEO) because it's obvious to me we're getting punished for cross posts. How I know this is my posts get the most reads and I do not cross post and that's the difference.

OK, I'll try to come up with a boilerplate for ...

... EP crossposts. Then I can just load the boilerplate from a text file, then copy the text from the Midnight Oil after the boilerplate, and it will be guaranteed to be a unique combination of text.

The Promote/Demote Widget from Preview is Gone - Got that bugger

The promote/demote widget (the thing with the arrows on the bottom left of posts) should now not be displayed at all in preview mode.

So, it shouldn't have been displayed on preview and I added a function so now it won't!

So, all this debate about arrow confusion should now cease.


(you people are picks! Happy blogging!)

more site details:

For all folks, again the promote/demote voting system on this site is extremely powerful. It gives you all the ability to remove other people's posts as well as put content onto the front page.

I think most of us could care less about "ratings" or "TR status" etc. but this is a way to control what is displayed on the site and if move people use it, I can write up more features for it. Right now it's your "troll control" and when I say troll, I mean true blue economic fiction, spammer, advertiser versus someone wrote something you disagree with.

the comment ratings also can "hide" troll level comments but we've had almost nil troll comments on EP because one must be a registered user, I have so many other things to stop the spammers and I think those focused on statistics, economics well, it doesn't lend itself to your more typical psycho troll.

On the promote/demote system, it's truly hacked together from a non-functioning Drupal module that truly, truly was buggy as hell and when it comes to moving content around in a database through AJAX, well, I had to rewrite and add to it from scratch.

So, things like preview mode bugs I didn't check those and now it has a function to check for the mode of a node
(which is not ala mode). I'll shut up now. I'm sure everyone here cares about geek chat.

Welcome To EP Anonymous Drive-bys!

If you want to stay around and chat, contribute to the site, get all geeky on all things economic, on the upper right corner is a place to register. All sorts of features become available, like bypassing the CAPTCHA, being able to write your own posts (please read the rules, user guide first) or just track your conversations in the comments.

In each account is a comment tracker so you can reply more easily and maintain individual conversations.

If not, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. We're all thrilled people are reading our writings and mumblings, rants, graphs and stats!

New pointer: Instapopulists.

If you can't post Instapopulists and you are behind a corporate firewall, try saving the post for later when you're not behind the corporate firewall.

Maximum jobs, not maximum profits.


But that's really strange on other hand because technically speaking, both content forms are almost identical in structure...so why would a corporate firewall block one and not the other? The only thing is the Instapopulist has more database fields because it's not only putting it into a main database but also an additional forum type database.


At least it works now!

images in posts, many of you are formatting it wrong

When you see your layout of a post going over the column, you can set the width match the blog post width.

Also, many of you are not formatting the image link correctly.

See the user guide for the right formatting.

Also, tables are a bitch and one mistake will hose your entire table. The correct format for tables is also in the user guide.

Preview all posts, including comments

Folks, there is a lot of freedom to post almost anything you want on EP but because of that you MUST PREVIEW and check your posts afterward for layout errors.

If you are embedding video, you MUST make sure there are NO SPACES in the copy and paste of the code.

If you don't, it will hose the entire site layout.

I do have auto correcting algorithms on the site but things like embedded media, you really need to check your code for they cannot fix those errors.


share buttons on posts

I have a request that people use the share buttons on the bottom of posts and submit them to the large aggregator, ratings sites.

There is a lot of incredible writing on EP and one, New Deal Democrat, is writing for an economics literate audience.

So, getting these great analysis posts more readers, awareness they exist, I hope you all will help out.

Those are the little buttons at the bottom of each post.

completely off topic but gotta say something

Has anyone else noticed when someone dies of the Swine flu the top headline is "underlying condition"? Magically all have underlying conditions and that is why they died?

I hate media manipulation and to me, that's what this is...they do not want to close the border, do not want to stop commerce at all costs and so instead, to stop a panic we get these sorts of reports.

No magic involved

During the 1918 epidemic, the worst flu in world history, only 1.5% of patients died. Almost every single one of them had some other condition that had pre-weakened the immune system in some way.

The same is true for the thousands of patients who die from the normal influenza virus every year.

Why would the swine flu be any different?

Having said that, I have a tendency to agree. If the communicability is truly that bad (and it can't be- we're talking, at present, about a 1:10,000 chance even if you've traveled to Mexico recently) then the obvious thing to do would be to close the borders and stop international commerce until summer.

Executive compensation is inversely proportional to morality and ethics.

Maximum jobs, not maximum profits.

topic request: Anyone expert in cap & trade?

Just a blog/forum post topic request. Anyone an expert, following this entire cap & trade agenda, environment/pollution system and how it will relate to overall costs and it's affects in the global marketplace?

A good overview on the issues, the legislation, complete with graphs, statistics and projections, including overall manufacturing costs (or not) would be great.

We're ignoring this and I haven't tracked on this in the least to write something intelligently.

Of if you know of an expert, go ahead and invite them to cross post (please no philosophy, just the numbers!).

please do not delete your posts

Folks, you can unpublish your posts but please do not delete them.

We had someone (who will remain nameless) go through all of their posts and delete them.

Look, just because others disagree with you or whatever that's pretty asinine to try to "take all of your toys and go home" after using EP to publish your blog.

It breaks links all over the place.

I'm still leaving the ability to delete your own blog, but for emergencies, not to flip out on one issue as if this site is one person's view or facts exclusively (it is not!).

I'm glad to see this

Even though the only blog I ever deleted was because I couldn't get the numbers to match my theory :-) And I believe I deleted it while it was still marked private.

Maximum jobs, not maximum profits.

Maximum jobs, not maximum profits.


If it's something that just isn't adding up and the user wants to delete it because it isn't up to snuff or whatever, that's one thing but to just go and delete all of their posts, which have been published for a long time....because they got all huffy on some issue or some whatever...

that's just juvenile.

blog posts now show date, time, author profile

I had some disgruntled reader want to see the publication date of blog posts and I had to agree, that drives me nuts when you are reading old information.

So now you see the date, time as well as the author's profile on each blog post. Should help direct contacts to each person's own blog more too instead of the site wide administration contact.

Any problems, leave a comment.


I find scrbd to add yet another layer of irritation to viewing online documents.

I don't know about you but it puts the pdf in a window which makes it harder to read and to download from scribd they want you to logon.

EP has a file attachment feature, so you can upload pdfs directly to EP as well as link to the resulting document.

Someone tell me the advantages to scribd over just uploading pdfs and using existing pdf plug ins on web browsers.

Formatting and FU's

Folks, I notice we're getting increasing formatting problems. Remember, there are all sorts of tools, including an image zoom, to help format your posts.

The biggest mistake I see is with images. They are not formatted correctly and override the width of the blog column, which is about 530px.

Then, people are posting a lot of FU's type of things in their headers and comments.

It's getting a little excessive ya all, so how about channeling that anger and rage into something more specific.

I know it's tough when one is so pissed off they are about to stroke out, but give it a whirl.

The entire country is mad as hell but few really know how to change anything.

folks leave a comment

EP is for participation, so I hope people start commenting more. We have some great posts up recently but few are discussing them. Don't forget to rate up, with the arrow next to the post, things you want on the front page.