Wednesday, 4 July 2012

The Glossariser 1.0 is here

A while ago, I made a molecular evolution glossary page in case it was of use to anyone. Being a geek and a programmer, rather than actually making the webpage myself, I made a program to make the webpage for me. From a plain text set of terms and definitions, this program will construct a formatted web page, including hyperlinks between terms (if so desired).

As I now need to make another glossary for MapTime, I thought I would throw together a quick cgi script to make the code available online, and the Glossariser was born.



It's rather crude at present and, in particular, contains no documentation - trial and error only, I'm afraid! Input is, again, raw text with a number of delimiter options. (It only splits on the first occurrence of the chosen delimiter, so periods can be used quite happily.) There are currently a limited selection of output styles available. Unless "tabs" is chosen, terms will be split up according to their first letter and output alphabetically:



The "Header" or "bold" style refers to the formatting for the letters A-Z. The "table" output is similar but has each letter in a row of a table. The tabs style was a bit experimental and doesn't really work that well, so I won't bother to explain it here. (Feel free to try it!)

If you just want a standalone HTML page, you can (hopefully) just save the output directly. Otherwise, you will either want to copy and paste the text into a Word document or, to use in Blogger or other existing framework, just "view source" and copy the bits you need. (That's how I made the molecular evolution glossary.)

I have some plans for improvements - there are a few bugs to iron out and I would like to add URLs etc. - but, as with most things, they will probably wait until I, or someone else, really wants them in place. So, if it is useful but doesn't quite do what you want, let me know and I might be able to update it. There's also no reason that its use should be limited to a glossary. Any list of names/keywords and associated short paragraphs will do - perhaps I should make the alphabetical arrangement optional in this case?

The Glossariser is available at: http://bioware.soton.ac.uk/glossariser.html.

(If it ever saves you an evening of writing HTML and you want to say thanks, buy The Cabbages of Doom for just 99p! ☺ (You can't blame a guy for trying!))

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