Zenyatta Lands—In HTML

Before mikemariano dot com breaks for the summer, let me hand in my latest assignment: Zenyatta Piñata.

It’s here, folks. A ten-minute play that combines spousal abuse with a joyous party game to comic effect.

I’ve done something different this time around. Instead providing Zenyatta in both a PDF and TXT format, I have hand-coded an HTML version of the play that serves as the primary download. This was done quickly, but it seems easy enough to read. Let me know if it doesn’t work.

It was a real problem getting this far: there are no good HTML plays on the Internet. Believe me, I’ve looked:

  • The W3C recommended definition lists are awful, taking into account only a speaker and his speech, not any stage directions that may come into play.
  • Our fellow playwright/blogger Dan Trujillo seems to leave the heavy lifting up to Microsoft Word. His play samples look fine—until you press Open Apple-U. There’s no way I could carry around that kind of code cruft for something like a full-length play.
  • Cruft? That goes for you, too, Mr. OpenOffice.org. Your HTML is hideous—even ripping out your content.xml shows dozens of styles in a document that uses only two.

What I want is a Shakespeare Markup Language revival. I want a play format in the spirit of Jon Bosak-approved Shakespeare XML. These examples from years past aren’t perfect—Bosak doesn’t escape Shakespeare’s ampersands, for example—but an XML representation of my plays, transformed through style sheets for your web viewing pleasure, may be the most painless way to present my work on the Internet.

But first I may have to mark it all up by hand. That’s not painless.

PS: The Zenyatta page also features a new design which may spread to the rest of the site. Seeing it in action, though, makes me dislike it already.

I’m seriously horrified by my current HTML and CSS skills. I was never good, but now it’s like Flowers for Algernon. If anyone wants to help me overhaul the site, let me know.

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One Response to Zenyatta Lands—In HTML

  1. dan says:

    Sometime this summer I’m switching over to PDF format, but only because I have access to Acrobat through school.

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