How to print a list of what’s in a Windows folder

How to print a list of what’s in a Windows folder. No need to wrestle with the Command prompt or Outlook. It can be done with most Web browsers…

1. Open a Web browser (not Internet Explorer). Highlight your folder, and drag it to the browser’s Address Bar (not onto the page itself).

2. The folder structure will then display as a Web page. Copy and paste to the clipboard.

3. If, for some reason, you can copy everything except the actual file-names, then simply print the page to a PDF. Copy-paste them from the PDF.

There is also a Windows freeware option called DirPrintOK. This looks fiendishly complex when you open it up. But it’s actually just working much like any normal Windows Explorer replacement, except it has a handy export option up in its top left corner…

This can save the list of a folder/directory’s files out to a .CSV file, as well as to plain text. Thus, this is the option to choose when you have a huge folder, and you want to separate the file-names from the datestamps and file-size information.

I’m worried about Google Search…

Google has announced a new anxiety stress-test. No, it’s not one of their infernal ‘captchas’ on Google Search, guaranteed to send stress levels through the roof. This is a post-lockdown “seven-question survey” about one’s personal anxiety, developed with the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The Googlebots will keep the results private and locked down forever, or so they promise. But I’d be a little worried about that.

Verizon OneSearch

Verizon OneSearch, a new Google competitor which appears to have been launched in February. Initially reported as being Bing-powered.

I had strange results. When first used it, it showed stuff I know Bing doesn’t index. I know what Bing (and by extension, DuckDuckGo) looks like for certain searches, and the OneSearch results were nothing like what I saw. I saw the exact results I’d expect from Google Search.

But on a second try with the same search 30 minutes later, the same search results reverted to looking exactly like the mediocre Bing / DuckDuckGo. Very curious.

Anyway, also of note is its Image search, with Google Images-like filters for size and CC licence…

The big drawback to everyday use is its curious 30 seconds of complete unresponsiveness, which seems to kick in every few minutes. When it’s actually responding, it’s fast.

The Brazilian SciELO is updating its criteria

The Brazilian SciELO is updating its inclusion criteria. There are of course half a dozen other SciELO aggregators around South and Central America, but Brazil’s is the biggest.

According to the English-language summary, to stay in after 2020 the indexed journal must…

* accept for consideration articles “that are posted in a preprint server”

* be “citing and referencing all data, software codes and other content underlying the article’s texts”

* have in place “options for opening peer review”

No. 1 sounds good, and might be usefully extended to blog posts that included part of what later became an article.

No. 2 may be a bit problematic for those who rely on big closed computer-models, but I guess that simply “citing” that the model (presumably) exists may be deemed good enough. But it would be nice if SciELO required that the link should always lead to the full public data or model.

No. 3 appears to leave “opening” curiously unspecified. What options are acceptable, and by what criteria will a journal be judged to have engaged “opening” its peer review? And how will this impact perfectly valid small single-editor journals in the arts and humanities? In which, for instance, the editor is the world-expert on the niche topic and single-handedly does a ‘light-touch’ peer-review on the year’s articles? Will they be forced to take on a new Peer Review Board, and then run and chase it, or else leave the Brazilian SciELO?

WordPress2Doc – a free ebook converter for free WordPress.com blogs

Hurrah, there is freeware to get a free WordPress site to Word as a .DOCX file, and thence to an ebook. Only the one, and hardly known to search-engines, but it’s for Windows and it works. WordPress2Doc comes from Germany and was last updated by the author, Raffael Herrmann, in December 2017. The source code for WordPress2Doc is on Github.

It has some nice features…

* Select only certain posts from your exported .XML feed.

* There’s a post preview, over in a side-panel.

* Images are called and embedded (so long as the source WordPress blog is public, presumably).

* Images are correctly sized for the page (if you just copy-paste straight into Word from your blog post, they’re not).

* The blog’s pages are also exported and can be selected, as well as the posts.

* You can also save straight to a PDF, as well as Word.

* Can save each post as named Word .DOCX file.

There’s a PDF Help guide in the download, but there’s also a good Help video at YouTube. But it’s very simple and easy to use. Once you have your Word file, it’s then relatively easy to save to an ebook.

If you’re still using the old WordPress UI, then you may want my guide to how to export your site as an .XML export. Because using the old interface won’t get you a viable export. Incidentally, it seems WordPress are now chunking the .XML export of large blogs. I had two .XMLs in the backup .ZIP, for my medium-sized test blog.

The only bother for an ebook maker will be re-ordering into themed sections or chapters without a whole lot of tedious select-copy-paste, and WordPress2Doc can’t help even partly with that as it lacks tag-support and list re-ordering before saving the .DOCX file. The best way to tackle the problem is probably to export in themed batches, one per intended chapter or section, though that would entail making ten passes of what might be 4,000 posts. Which is not ideal. But it looks to me like WordPress2Doc works best with smaller blogs anyway.

But note that WordPress can export posts to .XML by category, at least. Also, WordPress2Doc can save multiple selected posts as ‘one file per-post’. You could then sort into chapter folders by dragging and dropping, and then use a Word joiner to join them together.


Update: I don’t like the over-compression of images with this method, and some of the text formatting is also lost. I’m coming to the conclusion that one would ideally tag posts with the category “ebook-ch1”, “ebook-ch2” etc in the blog itself, then view that category, then copy-paste the page(s) into Libre Office Writer. Unlike Word, this retains formatting, including italics and indented quotes, and also retains picture quality. In almost all cases the pictures are scaled to the page. This assumes, however, that you have a live blog with its CSS, and not just the .XML files.

CSS and desist

Ever wonder what a Web page would look like if just the plain HTML were shown, as if it were 1996 again? Ah, but which HTML? There are actually two forms of HTML that reach your browser, and there can be quite a disparity between these two types.

The first is what you see after the raw HTML has been pummelled about by CSS and javascript and the browser’s interpretation. This is often referred to as the ‘DOM’ HTML. This code is what you see and navigate through if you ‘Inspect element’ in your browser, or if you block an element with uBlock’s Element Picker tool.

The second type is the HTML code that gets sent to the browser in the first place, and that original is kept pristine and effectively ‘under’ the Web page. It can be seen via: right-click on page / ‘View source’. This source can then be selected and copied with a Ctrl + A / Ctrl + C keyboard command. Or it can be saved out when you ‘Save page as…’ / ‘Save as HTML only’, and from there you can re-open the saved page in the browser. Some remote CSS, javascript and images may still be called, even then.

A quicker way to ‘see’ this original without its CSS and other ‘remote-code’ flibbertigibbets is to install the add-on disable-HTML in your browser…

The addon is quite simple to use, and though old still works fine. It was somewhat mis-named, as it can robustly block everything except the HTML of the actual ‘page source’. With CSS and javascript blocked, it appears to be blocking the DOM version of the HTML from emerging from the page source. So what you see displayed, on page re-load, is effectively the page source. As such it can be quite handy for the removal of some types of especially tough and obstreperous CSS-and-javascript -driven overlays, in a situation where you don’t much care about the fancy wrapping and just want the words in a readable and/or copy-able form.

AnswerThePublic.com

AnswerThePublic.com is an interesting new search tool. Instead of searching for answers, it tries to pick up the questions being asked about products. It promises “a direct line to your customers’ thoughts”, or at least those customer-users who are savvy enough and non-expert enough to pose a well-formed question in the right place.

The searcher seems to be limited to three searches per day, after which your time is up and you’re shown this slice of cheese…

The results format is quite elegantly graphical and useful, though I can’t screenshot and discuss these here because… I’ve had my three searches. There was some kind of linkback to Google Search on some of the results tabs, which seemed to make it even more useful.