Figures 10 and 11 (1963 and 1964 respectively) are notable because the type is featured on graphic design journals of that time, suggesting that the design community had accepted the single-space as a standard.
In the instructions for the Child Theme Starter Template, Thesis mentions ‘classes’. When you know a little bit of CSS, you are probably familiar with the CSS id and class selectors.
Very well written, Sean.
As a website non-developer person who has been trying to learn Thesis, CSS and HTML in my spare time, I think Thesis 2.0 is great. It makes the trial and error process less scary. Before, I would see a site feature I liked and then go try to figure out how to get it with a widget or using some code I did not really understand. Although Thesis 1.0 had lots of reference info about using hooks, etc. it was/is still confusing to me. I know nothing about PHP. And I’m always afraid I’ll make some error that blows up my site and not know how to fix it. With 2.0 I feel I can at least look at the classic theme template boxes and packages and learn from what’s there.
I think the market is huge for the in between user that wants to design and control the look and feel of their site and content, and know how to easily create new content, marketing pages, landing pages, etc. without paying a designer. Maybe I’m overestimating that, because more people really just want a WP blog site built on a free/cheap theme that does everything for them. I want to understand how it works. It seems Thesis 2.0 has created a huge opportunity for the developer/consultant that wants to teach the basics of starting a website, so the user can get started and build from there. And that means creating step by step training materials and process documents that document repeatable steps with words and pictures and everything. I agree with your comments that people need to teach themselves the basics before declaring that a product is flawed.
MLA actually doesn’t come down on either side with a hard decision – simply a recommendation! As long as the spacing is consistent, it seems to be a personal choice. “Because it is increasingly common for papers and manuscripts to be prepared with a single space after all punctuation marks, this spacing is shown in the examples in the MLA Handbook and the MLA Style Manual. As a practical matter, however, there is nothing wrong with using two spaces after concluding punctuation marks unless an instructor or editor requests that you do otherwise.” ()
people do what they will. Why regress to broken typography from centuries before with rivers of white space, not an added design feature when a period signifies the end of a sentence. Anybody ever hear of Jan Tschichold, or the fine press movement, fine typography? examples
I’m really hoping things get better soon. I’ve been looking forward to 2.0 to work on new site ideas but every day I’m waiting is another day I just might plop the money down for Genesis, which I hear is truly intuitive for the non-developer.
Oh yeah, the whole documentation thing is just ridiculous and I cannot believe that it was not available 2 days MAX after the release of Thesis 2.0.
You are not the only one who is disappointed with Thesis 2.0. I purchase this theme for $197 on the premises that a newbie can design their site (or any part of their site) without touching any coding just with drag and drop feature. Surprise, surprise you are made fooled.
I’ll point out that your informal survey captures one change (dropping the second space at the end of a sentence) but not the first. If you look back to early literature, you’ll find that the first printed texts used no space at all; commas and periods were simply set loosely, and the beginning of the following word was about as close to the end of the preceding word as if no punctuation had been added. I have the vague impression that spaces after punctuation were standardized by Robert Granjon (printer & type designer in17th century France), but would need to do some research to confirm that. What’s unclear to me is when it became standard to use more space after sentences than between words. I’d always heard it was a Victorian convention, but your samples prove otherwise.
Have worked in many composing rooms in factories, Colleges and Universities and practices vary considerably depending on a myriad of reasons. Ignorance, staff competence, pricing and costs, and skills, experience and knowledge of style. Some houses demand that staff stick rigidly to “House Style”, some do not know what a style is! Graphic Designers in my experience these days dictate their own style! Terms such as ranged left setting, justified setting or centred setting all seem to be closely related to Set Width as the main determinant of setting criteria. There are also cases of letterform widths determining style. I have also heard a lot about reading speeds being dually related to even the character stroke thickness and counter size. Many printers use as much spacing as they can to make more pages never mind saving paper! Last point, and I have many, later typewriters gave variable spacing and virtually was as good as phototypesetting! In all your discussions, please remember that this typography was carried with METAL TYPE !! The compositors in those days were magicians?
It was taught in school, but the convention was quickly abandoned by most of us who are also familiar with standard typesetting especially in books. I learned it and never used it because it made me look like I was still writing a paper for my teacher instead of a professional product.
Rarely mentioned in all the discussion over the technological reasons for the shift from double to single spacing is the role that the extra space plays in establishing the status of the sentence. It is a spatial signal to the readers’s brain that a new thought, not merely a new word, is about to be presented. It is ironic to me that the same guides that rail against the extra space between sentences advocate for an extra line between paragraphs.
Thank-you! I thoroughly enjoyed this. I don’t have time to read the comments, so please forgive me if I’m repeating something that has already been said. I am a double spacer, but then I still capitalize the names of the seasons and the compass points. I see no reason to undo my education in a world where “between you and I” is heard regularly. Interesting idea about paper saving scheme! I agree with your conclusion that technology did in the emspace. At the same time the printing technologies were eliminating many characters, computer tech was also hating on two stroke space typing. On a computer, each character has a discrete code and meaning, and there is only a single blank space in ASCII. Typing two spaces would alter the meaning of many columnar codes, and in many early programming languages would throw off the data. Fifty years later, we account for that disparity of one or more blanks in markup (HTML), by automatically reducing all strings of blanks and carriage returns to one space. Multiple spaces may be there in the transmission, but they are not displayed. This makes spacing in the code to be more readable, and allows typists of all stripes to easily use the same system. The good news for the dinosaurs is that double striking the space bar at the end of a sentence on an iPhone/iPad will cause it to put the period in. New tricks for old dinosaurs!