About FictionPress: Peer Help for New Users
Stuff I learned and may be useful to you. This is an unofficial forum. I have no other way to contact the admins besides the same Help link in the corner. In fact, the absence of any response from the admin is what prompted me to create this forum.
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Okay, you've probably figured out by now that FictionPress is having some major issues. The short form is that we have to use HTML until they get us migrated to the same programming that FanFiction.net is using. The long form is that, to post anything longer than a single-paragraph story, you're going to have to jump through some extra hoops, detailed below:

1. Go to the home page for the 'SeaMonkey Internet Suite'. It's at http : //www.seamonkey-project . org/

2. (Of course) Download and install it.

3. (Optional, but recommended) Uncheck the box that asks 'Make Seamonkey the Default'. That's just obnoxious.

4. It looks like a regular browser, but File | New | Composer Page will bring up a saner editor.

5. First thing first - make sure SeaMonkey generates <p/> tags and not <br/> tags. FP doesn't like <br/> tags. Edit | Preferences | Composer | Return in a paragraph always generates a new paragraph.

6. It has four tabs on the bottom. Write in the 'Normal' tab.

7. Or, if you're editing an existing chapter, go to the '< HTML > Source' tab and delete all the existing text (SeaMonkey will put it back, but that's fine, FP ignores it.) Copy your existing chapter or story out of the horrible sliver of a window, then paste it into the '<HTML> Source' Tab.

8. In the Normal tab, edit to your heart's content, but try to keep the formatting simple. I suspect FP will not barf on any of the fancy stuff (such as font size, color, indenting and all) but it won't show up - they have some pretty uptight filters on what they store vs. what you enter into the compose window.

9. When you're done editing, go back to the '<HTML> Source' Tab.

10. If you're using any special HTML characters, specifically '<', '>', and '&', you will need to search-and-replace for '&' and replace it it with '&amp;'. Yes, this makes no sense - we're already using HTML, why should we escape escaped sequences? I have't the foggiest, but that's what's needed if you use those characters.

Best bet? Don't use them if you don't have to.

11. Select everything, copy it and paste it over the stuff you have in the tiny compose window FP gives you. Yes, it includes a bunch of other HTML, such as <head/>, <body/>and all the other tags that make up a fully functioning HTML page. You can ignore them, FP will.


We need to jump through these hoops for stories and forum posts. Fortunately, we don't have to do this for Private Messages (PM). Per the front page, we should only have to bear with this for another week or two, but one of the constant truisms about software projects is that thye never come in on time. Here's hoping we don't have to do this for long.

2/28/2010 #1

SeaMonkey is pretty heavyweight. It was about 6MB when I posted the above, but it's now 21MB. Much of that is stuff other than just creating HTML - it's trying to be an "authoring suite" and that's more than we need.

kompozer . net is just 6MB, so it's my current recomendation.

It only had three tabs on the bottom: Design, Split, and Source.

1. Compose your story in your program of choice (MS Word, OpenOffice Write, Vim, whatever.) Or you can write your story in the 'Design' window and skip the next step.

2. Copy and paste your story into the 'Design' window.

3. Click on the 'Source' window.

4. Copy and paste that gobbledygook into the FP editing window.

5. Hit 'Preview'.

1/4/2012 #2
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