Re: HTML Versions Are *Not* Worthless!
- From: "David Reed" <davidr@[redacted]>
- Subject: Re: HTML Versions Are *Not* Worthless!
- Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 13:07:03 -0000
>I doubt that a serious percentage of book
files on the Net have a serious percentage of Greek in them, or a
seriously large user base that can read Greek, if it were there.
We are degenerating into a discussion about the elite users of an
elite class. . .we should be preparing our Etexts for the world--
at large--not just those who want to read Greek in the original.
I agree with Michael Hart in the most part but i think that its important to
remember that we do all this work because we like to read and we like to
share our discoveries with others. We are elite users ourselves as are
those who read our etexts. The vast majority of people in the world don't
even bother to read our work.
I see no reason why the text specialists can't have the specialist
collections and the general people (like myself) have the general
collections. There is room enough on the web for all of us. The real enemy
are those who want to lock up all the books in the world. The real enemy
are those who don't read a single book. The real enemies are greed,
ignorance, and apathy.
So far I don't see anything that is a perfect solution to our goal of
putting electronic texts as close to what we see when we open a printed
book. Perhaps there never be a perfect solution.
I am 45 years old and I have even less of the "less greek" of Shakespeare.
I enjoy reading the sprinkling of the "learned languages" that I come across
in reading the various books from past centuries. But I will always vote to
have 99% of the text rather than none of the text because you can't express
greek, italics or bold in ascii. One simply has to do and accept the best
that can be done at the moment. As for HTML is nice and so is TEX and all
This shouldn't be a point of contention. The point of contention is that
you guys need to be releasing more books on the web. The fomat is not
particularly important. The content is. And keeping that content available
on the web.
I dream of the day when we have 50,000 and 100,000 etext libraries on the
web. Where there are 100 new etexts being released a week or every couple
of days. When I can't keep up with reading every etext that pops up on the
Online Book Page or that Project Gutenberg releases. . I appreciate all
the work that you are all doing. I love reading the work that you are all
One final comment, I am getting really tired of Balzac. Are we almost
finished with him at Project Gutenberg?
[Moderator: I suspect by now most of the main points in the
'which-format-is-best' question have been made, so I'll be starting
to moderate that more tightly. If anyone has anything significant
to add on that question that hasn't already been said, though,
I'll still pass that through. - JMO]