No new text boxes for plain <p>

I begin with yet another long prefatory comment. As I have mentioned many times, my website is excessively large with 1805 pages (so far), so it puts a big strain on Sparkle. I hasten to add that I am not suggesting that Sparkle should in any way cater to my needs; good software design requires a program to be optimized for the median user, and I’d guess that Sparkle’s median website has less than 100 pages. My website has perhaps a dozen or two text blocks per page. The last page in Sparkle’s left-side list is Text Block 36428. Yes, that’s 36 THOUSAND text blocks! I hope that Sparkle uses something bigger than a 16-bit word for indexing text blocks; I might someday breach that limit.

It would be better, of course, to have fewer text blocks. The Sparkle-imported website has many cases of long sequences of text blocks, all identically formatted. I poked around a bit and I’m guessing that Sparkle creates a new text block whenever it encounters an HTML <. p. > marker. I’m further guessing that this is done in anticipation of new formatting specifications associated with that <. p. >. However, the vast majority of my < p. > markers have no changes in the formatting; they’re just plain, boring old <. p. >'s, for which there is no need for special treatment.

In other words, when importing a website, Sparkle could simply insert a CR/LF character whenever it encounters a naked <. p. > marker and then continue, resulting in fewer text blocks and less work when revising the file. Did I mention that some edits that involve changing all pages can take up to about two minutes on my 6-core iMac?

I wish that there were a clean way to merge lots of contiguous text boxes, but I doubt that such a feature would be useful for more than a few users. So I’ll be doing a LOT of cutting and pasting text over the next month.

Again, I emphasize that I am not suggesting an ex post facto change to Sparkle; this suggestion would be of small value to most users, but there might be a significant minority that would benefit substantially from it. If your experience suggests that this minority contains exactly one user (me), then the obvious and appropriate response to this suggestion is “Forget it!”