One of the advantages of using a tool such as Movable Type, is the ability to create code modules one can plug-in to perform a variety of tasks. One task is converting data in one format, and displaying it in another. This happens quite often in the world of church web sites as quite a bit of information, such as calendars, bulletins and flyers are often generated using office tools such as Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint.
Rather than have someone in the church office try to learn how to convert a MS Word Document to HTML and FTP it to the web site, what I’ve doing is creating some simple plug-ins in which the church secretary can copy and paste data from a document into the entry box, select the type of formating they want from a pull-down menu, hit the save button, and voila. For example, the plug-in below was created so a member of the church staff could copy and paste data directly from an MS Excel spreadsheet into a new entry form, select “Tab2Table” formatting, and voila. Their tab delimited data is converted into an HTML table that suits the website’s formatting and dimensions.
Within the next day or two, I’ll have another leg of the site visible for your constructive criticisms and idea offerings. And yes friends, I will document this at some point when I’m all done.