What is this? [o:p][/o:p][/span]

I have no idea what those strings of HTML code do or mean (and I substituted [ for <), but they messed up my feed for the past couple days.

They got into my feed because I cut and pasted some text from microsoft entourage.

When I decided to figure out what was wrong with my feed, the clue was "did you edit your posts in MS Word?"

I learned a long time ago not to do that.

Now I know to avoid all Microsoft software when it comes to publishing on the web.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. RC

    “…when it comes to publishing on the web?”How about ditching Microsoft products all together?!?

    1. Karen E

      We all wish we could. Easy to do at home, not so easy at work. I’m guessing you don’t work for a big company, RC!

  2. jeremystein

    you dont need to abandon msft word for blog posting!word 2007 will allow you to post directly to typepad. file –> publish –> blog. it should send it in the proper format.the new extension .docx is xhtml friendly

    1. Nate

      Even if MSFT swore up and down that their products “got” HTML I wouldn’t believe them. At my last big corporate job in 2006 they used VisualStudio.NET, and even *MSFT software for building web apps* BOTCHED the HTML. The best thing to do is write your posts in a plain text (or any editor that doesn’t do a bunch of OLE crap) then paste into your blog.Ever notice how all non-MSFT web publishing software has a “clean up Word HTML” feature? That’s not by accident.

      1. jeremystein

        The new format is actually pretty nice.I worked with visual studio this past semester and I can see how that happened. The software uses masterpages as a template for the site. I’ve seen the template render wrong after compiling.

      2. andrewbadera

        1. Visual Studio.NET sucks on many levels — 2003 almost as bad as 2002. Visual Studio 2005 was the first respectable IDE from Microsoft in several versions.2. Despite the “Visual” aspect of the name, the product is NOT strongly focused on visual development of web applications. It IS, however, a world-class integrated development environment that allows you to build large, complex desktop, web and service-oriented applications. I’ve worked with Visual Studio since version 5. I’ve done a lot of development — ASP, VBScript, Java, Python, PHP, even some C# — in raw text editors or extremely simple IDEs. I also use and love Eclipse on both Windows and Linux. All that said, Visual Studio is still my favorite.You build software with Visual Studio. You paint pretty pictures with other tools.

    2. jeffreypriebe

      That works relatively well. I’ve also been floored by the quality of the free Windows Live Writer (writer.live.com) for blog posts. (Note: floored by what came out of free.)I had written my own Greasemonkey script to tidy up Blogger’s crappy editor output – but Live Writer is easier and better.

  3. Offbeatmammal

    Looks like Entourage is using the same HTML markup as Word (wonder if they’re sharing an engine) :(One solution (if you’re using Entourage to create the posts) would be to post via BlogMailr (http://www.blogmailr.com/De… which does tidy up HTML automagically (but it’s not as easy to embed pictures and stuff)I cheat and run Windows Live Writer under Parallels to post – the HTML in that seems pretty good but if you want to stay on OSX with a native app check out Ekco (http://infinite-sushi.com/s… if you’ve not already done so (afaik it corrects/validates your HTML so you can’t get cruft in there)Might be worth leaving some feedback at http://www.officeformac.com… as well

  4. gregg dourgarian

    You can tell the guys that don’t use Microsoft Word to post – their formatting sucks, they have typos all over, and they go around confusing “its” and “it’s” all the time (sorry, Fred…had to get that in).Word2007 beats any posting utility out there. Can we get beyond this Microsoft evil incarnate thing?

    1. andrewbadera

      I haven’t used 2007 to post HTML yet, but past versions blew goats, no question.That said I’d like to second the motion to quit burning the Microsoft witch.

  5. RacerRick

    Ever tried to convert a simple excel spreadsheet into a html table?Nightmare!

    1. greggdourgarian

      Ever tried to convert a simple excel spreadsheet into a html table?Umm…1. select cells2. format as table3. file->save as htmlthere are better ways I’m sure but I’m a klutz with Excel and that just took me 15 seconds.

    2. andrewbadera

      Sure, it takes about 5 lines of code.

  6. greggdourgarian

    Ever tried to convert a simple excel spreadsheet into a html table?Ok, here’s a better 5 second version (from Excel to nicely formatted blog post table):1. select cells2. format as table3. paste special into Livewriter (keep formatting)4. click publish

  7. simondodson

    the dreaded M$ft markup

  8. jedc_mercury

    I wrote a post in Word that I then put up on my WordPress blog… never again!Not only did spam sneak into my post, but also into my blog’s theme, in three different files. Google ended up labelling me as “badware” for a week until I could find it all. NOT a fun experience.I use MarsEdit exclusively for blog posting now, and am very happy with it.

  9. Philippe Bradley

    I feel like a Nazi revisionist for backing a Microsoft product, but I have yet to find a better alternative to what seems to be a little-known microsoft program called Windows Live Writer – it’s made specifically for blog posting and I can’t recommend it highly enough; give it a try, Fred

    1. Philippe Bradley

      I’m stupid. He’s using Entourage, must be on a Mac. Despite several ringing endorsements for WLW in this thread, it just ain’t the tool for this particular job.

  10. just sayin'

    MS Word is one of the most successful, profitable, widely used apps in the history of software. It’s hard to believe now, but Word 2.0 was a truly elegant, well-designed product that rightly crushed WordPerfect in the marketplace. What’s really interesting is that Word 1.0 had just been the biggest disaster MS ever had (before MSN came along) — almost five years late and basically unusable.The o:p tag and the infamous MS curly quotes are perfect examples of how badly Word has adapted to the web world. The IE team was very standards-based, and did an excellent job, while the office team basically kept their old way of thinking and wrapped it in pseudo-html. The result has been lots and lots of non-standard HTML coming from Office, which IE and other browsers quite properly barf up as undigestable.The big question is whether MS will get it right again, like they did with Word 2.0. Personally, I switched to Open Office about five years ago and have never looked back. But I wouldn’t count them out. They are persistent folk up there in Redmond

  11. andyruff

    Hey Fred, Andy Ruff–Lead PM for Entourage. I’d love to find out how what exactly the repro steps of how you got this to happen. I’m a stickler for web standards myself and it’d be good to find where we’re generating funky HTML and clean it up.

    1. fredwilson

      I’ll do that. Can you send me an email? My address is on the left rail (scroll a ways down)Happy to helpFred

  12. Mac

    The “o” tag is a namespace schema prefix. There isn’t anything non-standard about it. It’s unfortunate that the W3C has mangled the once-simple concept of HTML into the “design by committee” mess that it is today — the rules are well-defined but WHAT they’re defining is about as clear as mud. The blame-game should start with W3C, although Microsoft deserves some dings for their handling of this, too. On the other hand, using Word to create HTML is like hiring Oliver Stone to film your kid’s birthday party: it’ll work but it’s really the wrong tool for the job.

    1. fredwilson

      Totally agreeI cut and pasted from an email in entourageWon’t do that again!

    2. Dick Costolo

      it’s not, practically speaking, an html problem, it’s an rss/atom problem. The “o” tag invalidates the feed, and xml parsers are far less tolerant of invalid markup than html parsers, which just ignore the tag….thus, the posts look fine on the site, but the feed never updates because it’s invalid.

      1. Dick Costolo

        clarifying my text, i mean “it CAUSES a problem for rss/atom feeds”.

  13. jaymeydad

    Windows Live Writer is actually an excellent desktop blogging software. I have tested several for PC and Mac and could not find one that is as intuitive and feature rich as this one.But hey, it is branded Windows and not Microsoft…

  14. georgezhao

    something similar in word converted html as well…

  15. B

    choose what to dutch and what to use

  16. Timothy (TRiG)

    I found this while Googling in an attempt to discover what the o:p tag is supposed to do.Span is a valid HTML tag. It’s useful for applying a certain style to a portion of text. You mark the span as belonging to a specific style, and then style it in your CSS,Tags with colons in them usually belong to a special domain which has been added to the main markup language. For examle, in an RSS feed, you can add xmlns:itunes=”http://www.itunes.com/dtds/…” into the opening RSS tag, and then you can use tags like itunes:category within the content.I imagine that Microsoft Office products add an xmlns:o attribute to the opening HTML tag, and then merrily use various o:tags throught the piece. I don’t know why, and I don’t know what an o:p tag may be for,Your last line is apt.TRiG.

  17. Erwin

    I neither kwon

  18. CompareMovieOptions.com

    This definitely comes from pasting information from a Microsoft® Office document.To avoid this:Using Save As select Web, Filtered as the file type. Open the file with Notepad and see what a difference it makes. If you still find offending code (like class=MsoNormal), then Copy it(Ctrl-C) and do a Replace (Ctrl-H) with the bad code in the Rind and absoluteley nothing (text or spaces) in the Replace field.