Book People Archive

Re: "Scan This Book!"

Bowerbird@[redacted] wrote:

> >    If it was a good idea, somebody would have copied the e-texts
> >    from Project Gutenberg and started to cross-link them.
> well, i did do that, several years ago, and found that many e-texts
> were formatted in a manner that was so irregular and inconsistent
> that it was exceedingly difficult to canvas their content successfully.

Did you have a problem that PG e-texts were too irregular in 
formatting?  I find that hard to believe.  Most of them are plain 
vanilla ASCII as far as I can see.  In the choice between scanning 
(and proofing) them anew or using the readily available e-texts 
from PG, the latter has obvious advantages.  Just like Kevin 
Kelly's claim that we need all books online before we can start to 
cross-link them, I think your claim that formatting is 
insufficiently regular, is nothing but an excuse for not getting 
started.  Will the world ever be perfect enough for the two of 
you?  Isn't it rather that you're just as clueless as anybody else 
about how to get the job done?

> at some point in time, yes, i will mount a version of the p.g. 
> library that has been "regularized" with consistent formatting, 
> and i'll also demonstrate the benefits that accrue from having a 
> "master version" in a low-cost, low-maintenance plain-text 
> zen-markup format.

I think this is something you can do one title at a time, so you 
don't need thousands of e-books from day one.  You don't need 
everybody to be on the same bandwaggon.  Give it a try!  Take the 
lead, and you will get followers.

But I don't see how it would achieve the kind of cross-linking 
that Kelly was talking about.  Perhaps you can show me?

  Lars Aronsson (lars@[redacted]
  Project Runeberg - free Nordic literature -

[Moderator: This post, and a previous post by Bowerbird in another thread,
 have a certain amount of I-can-see-inside-your-head argument, where one
 goes beyond arguing against another person's points, and goes on to
 make claims about what the other person really thinks but hasn't stated.

 I generally don't find that style of argument either helpful or necessary,
 and it not uncommonly leads to noise and distractions.  Future posts that
 employ that style of argument may be bounced without further advance warning,
 even if they contain other more on-point arguments. - JMO]