[bksvol-discuss] Re: feedback on how to protect headings such as chapter titles and short story titles

Dear Kellie, Lori, E. and Booksharian Friends,

Kellie, you are so right. As long as we are lucky enough to get new volunteers, 
and until the thing is dismantled, the question about what is a stripper and 
how can we outsmart it will be asked. But, E, with all of your success and vast 
experience as a validator, I can't figure out why this issue upsets you.

Protecting chapter numbers and names is easy. Jamie, Gerald, and others have 
explained it and we'll keep explaining it whenever it's a new volunteer's turn 
to learn it. Lori, you'll be relieved at how easy it is to make sure your 
chapter names stay put and its so easy it's no trouble at all and takes mere 
seconds per chapter.

here is the formula

page break
blank line
page number
blank line
chapter name
blank line
Text.

When I started out, volunteers taught me this simple sequence, and I've enjoyed 
becoming expert enough to pass it on now and then as new volunteers subscribe 
to our list. 

When I read E was going to stop validating rather than risk her chapter names 
disappearing, I decided I must be misunderstanding her or she was having a bad 
day, as we all have bad days now and then including me. 

I haven't worried about the stripper for a year and a half except to think what 
a funny name it has when I feel like letting my thoughts stray on the raunchy 
side. 

I've been wanting to come clean about something for several months. and now is 
a good time to do it. Since it protects chapter names to put page numbers at 
the tops of the pages where they are, I decided about 50 books ago to move all 
of the page numbers in the books I validate to the top of the pages so the 
numbers will be in a consistent location. I don't play fast and loose with the 
book format. I'm doing this for good reasons. Having all of the page numbers at 
the top of the pages is so helpful to people reading with braille displays and 
it doesn't confuse listeners or print readers either.

When a sighted person glances at a page, they can see the page number before 
they begin reading no matter where it is located because their eye takes in all 
of the page in the fraction of a second. I think a braille reader shouldn't 
have to wait until the end of a page to know what page they are reading. 

When we search a page, like page 87, we shouldn't land at the end of the page 
we want but at its start. Page numbers at the bottoms of pages are especially 
confusing to more than half of the young children reading braille books. If the 
teacher says to start on page 45, if the number is at the bottom, the child 
finds page 45, then has to tediously check backwards, up, to find where the 
page starts. Telling kids that when they want page 45 they should look for page 
44 is terribly confusing and more confusing when the teacher says, "but 
sometimes you should look for 45 when you want 45. It depends on the book.

I feel proud that all of the books I've validated in the past several months 
are standardized with all page numbers at the tops of the pages and I don't 
mind the extra time it has taken for me to move them there. 

Anyway, I did something that to me is extremely boring to make sure my advice 
about protecting chapter names is sound. I downloaded 7 of my own validations 
to my flash card and checked them on my braille note. When I validate, I read 
every word of the book making corrections as I go. Then I do a spell check, 
because by then I know which words may be spelled oddly because of dialect and 
ignore them when the computer says they are wrong when I know they are right. 
Last I go through and check that all page numbers are present. I should stop 
being astonished that on occasion I've found that I actually skipped a page 
number or repeated it. Shoo. Then I'm glad I took time to double check. 

Honestly, I never give chapter names or the stripper a single thought. I 
systematically do the blank, number, blank, chapter name, blank, text, thing or 
on regular pages blank, page number, blank, text, and leave a blank line at the 
bottom of every single page between the last line of text and the page break. I 
trust that all will be fine and it is!

Anyway, after all of that care, by the time I upload a book after validating it 
I'm tired of it and don't want to read it again and I don't want to see where I 
may have overlooked a boo boo so I rarely download my own work.

As I said, tonight was the exception. I downloaded the following books which 
I've validated. 

Barry Trotter and the Unauthorized Sequel
Green Lake
The Black Cauldron
Marvin Redpost Why Pick On Me
The Prince in the Heather
Terror On Tuesday
Why Cats Do That

All of the chapter heads were there! I thought they would be, but to be sure, 
I've been heating up my braille note checking and checking and checking. In one 
book the chapters were just indicated by roman numerals. All of them were where 
they belonged. In a couple other they were Arabic numerals. In one or two 
others they were numbers spelled out. In one they were words, like, "Why Do 
Cats Scratch The Furniture?" Not a single chapter number or name was missing. 

Don't sweat the stripper. Don't sweat the small stuff. 

Oh, and don't worry about putting in tons of extra consecutive blank lines like 
7 in a row because a chapter starts in the middle of a page. Having that blank 
space doesn't change the meaning of the content of the text. It slows down 
braille readers and bookshare tools eliminate big white spaces. A single blank 
line above and below the page number makes everything clear and readable. 

Get back to work, E. That stripper can't get the best of us. including you. In 
fact, the poor stripper is just a flop, a white elephant which we've outsmarted 
almost from the day it tried and failed to do its job. The engineers are so 
busy making improvements to the site, the silly white elephant stripping is in 
some dusty electronic corner being ignored. 'We have bigger, more important 
fish for the staff to fry, don't we?

Oh, and, Lucy and Charlie, I validated Why do Cats Do That from an Excellent 
scan from Jamie Yates just for you. Would you please write me off list and let 
me know if the cat loving author knows what she's talking about? I loved the 
book. It has 40 short, light hearted, but factual chapters about the ways of 
cats, but since I've only had one cat in my lifetime, I would love to have your 
expert opinions. Did you laugh, scoff, agree or file a suit against the author 
for misrepresenting cats? 

Always with love,

Lissi
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Kellie Hartmann 
  To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
  Sent: Friday, August 17, 2007 10:42 AM
  Subject: [bksvol-discuss] Re: feedback on how to protect headings such as 
chapter titles and short story titles


  Hi Lori,
  Please don't feel bad about asking--it's not new volunteers who are causing 
my frustration. The easiest way to protect chapter headers is to put the page 
number above them. The stripper will recognize and incorporate the number and 
leave the chapter header in peace.
  Hope this helps,
  Kellie

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