Tools for Authors and Translators under development

So a few days ago I made a post about why-background-and-text-color-choices-matter/ and some people had some comments about how it was “misleading title” and how I “didn’t tell them how to pick good colors”. Which I guess are accurate in the broadest sense, but I really just wanted to raise awareness about the issue. I am -not- a graphic designer, nor do I claim to be one. I actually don’t care about fonts or colors or designs most of the time (unless they are so bad they detract from the experience of the site). Therefore, I consider my goal accomplished simply because the site I found had changed its text color within an hour of my post. ;)

Though… Not being able to give constructive guidance after raising a criticism… I want to avoid that…

So… despite -not- being a designer, I -am- a programmer. So I decided to write some tools to help the lives of authors and translators.

Namely, I realized how much of a pain-in-the-butt it is to make ‘Page'(s) and have them have ‘Previous’, ‘Index’, ‘Next’ links at the top and bottom of each chapter.

Here is the code that I have copy/pasted into the top of -each- chapter of PMA (Programming Magic Ambassador) (The NSFW Urban Fantasy story I wrote/am writing.(Nothing shown in this post is NSFW))

code for nav links

As you can see.. there is 2x <hr />, 3x Links, and some formatting (to center the text). This results in the navigation links shown below.


This works ‘fine’ when you have a free wordpress like I do right now, (More on that in a minute) but this is tedious and error prone. Therefore I ended up ‘pre-making’ batches of a dozen or so chapter pages before I needed them each time. This resulted in a combined total time of a few hours. This obviously does not scale nor does it feel like it is ‘really’ worth it from the author’s perspective.

However, I think the time/effort -is- worth it from an overall site usability viewpoint. Therefore, I wrote a widget for wordpress that would automatically create a the page-nav-links like I had above, but this time, it would be completely customizable. Below is the widget’s settings that I have right now.


EDIT: The last setting with “Padding Characters” is actually “last chapter” (I didn’t realize the labeling was wrong until now)

And these settings result in a widget that automatically produces the following two pages (notice that ‘Previous’ has a Strike-through effect on page ‘1’)

Chapter 1potential-widget-chapter-1

Chapter 2

Now… None of this is ‘as’ useful, unless you can easily create (in bulk) pages for stories. Therefore, I have written a plugin to assist in bulk page creation. It has the following two Modes/Styles in it:

  1. Chapters, Chapter titles go from 1->999, etc.
  2. Volumes, Chapter titles are in ‘volumes’ so ‘Volume 1 – Chapter 2’, etc.

Here is the settings I have right now for page generation with ‘Chapter(s)’ mode.


Notice: [First Chapter]->[Last Chapter]

Here is the settings I have right now for page generation with ‘Volume(s)’ mode.


Notice: [Volume]:[First Chapter]->[Last Chapter]

Now… Obviously to use the widget or the plugin you need to have non-free wordpress hosting. I am not ready to publish either of these tools right now(Mainly because I have yet to ‘harden’ the code, such as: validate input, etc.) but I thought I’d publish them and get people’s opinions and suggestions.



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Explaining why Font and Background color choices matter

I just wrote a write-up because I found a -horrible- site that is basically unreadable, and needs improvement.

IBM Japan announces Sword Art Online VR Project

This won’t end well…

From the: ‘If you understand all the context in this story, you realize the insane levels of irony’ Dept…

Apparently IBM Japan is trying to make a VR game for a series of light novels, manga, anime, and video games… based on VR Game that disables the logout functionality in-game, trapping 10,000 people. But that isn’t the real ‘kicker’, the real ‘oh shit’ moment is when the creator of the game tells people that if they try to log out from the outside, or if they die in the game… then their VR headset will kill them (Via the linking mechanism they use to directly connect the brain and the VR Headset)…

Source (in English):

P.S. Honestly, I think its fine, and that the game will suck until they can improve neural input(s) into the game. Otherwise, you’ll just be holding a controller(be it a specially shaped one like sword or not) and moving your head/body to make the movements in the game.

P.P.S. The more-direct link between control and your brain is what will make this better/scarier.