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: Todd, who is always good for some quick NYCB material, comments on used books:

i was very, very well read in my youth, before i forgot everything. all of that reading did not prevent me from trading 10 or so ratty paperback editions for one fine hardbound, sewn-in-signatures, best translation/commentary extant version of a personal favorite, over and over again. i was ruthless and systematic.

the result is that i have a personal library reflecting well below 10% of the harder books i've read, mostly in immaculate editions that quite naturally show no sign of use. the ones i chose to get the immortal versions of tended to be the ones that spoke most to me at the time. i wish i had the scribbled-up profusion around to remind me of important things from time to time, now that i'm older.

I'm noticing the same sort of thing, except that I buy good copies of things, new or used, at random intervals, and the rest of my library is distilled at intervals from a large number of cheap paperbacks to a smaller number of different but equally cheap paperbacks. Most of the stuff I want to keep is well-known and public domain, hence already on the web, and I'm not sentimental about paper, so it can go. Exceptions for particular authors I'm collecting, like Chesterton, and my awesome hardcover copy of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, which is available Gutenberg-style but which I hang on to with the slim justification that there are woodcuts not reproduced in the ASCII edition.

Second, Todd on links with multiple targets:

there is a specification called xlink that matches your description for links across xml-based documents, including xhtml (1.1 and later) potentially: http://www.w3.org/TR/xlink/ . like most xml fabulousness, the existence of some how-to documentation, schema etc., does not imply the existence, much less wide deployment of software designed to support said fabulousness. mozilla does support some xlinkish stuff - not sure whether the bits you describe: http://www.mozilla.org/newlayout/xml/#linking . in the meantime, there's javascript. <shudder/>

I've barely played with Mozilla's XLink support, preferring to waste this evening writing a syndication feed file writer for NewsBruiser, but the functionality covered by Mozilla's single test case didn't fill me with confidence. Here's an article on XLink which I find only slightly opaque. Perhaps there's hope for me yet; it took me years to comprehend XML, but once I finally figured out the left angle bracket, the right angle bracket was easy.

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