(urth) Lexicon Urthus

Maru Dubshinki marudubshinki at gmail.com
Fri Jul 22 20:40:12 PDT 2005

On 7/22/05, Chris <rasputin_ at hotmail.com> wrote:
> This is indeed good news, although I am more interested in the long term
> (expanded, corrected version) than in the short term (I am not *quite*
> fanatical enough to spend $30 on spiralbound photocopies just to have it
> right this second).
> Someone mentioned Doctorow, and there's certainly something to be said for
> that kind of publishing in principle, but to throw in my two cents: just
> because it works for one person (and in one genre) doesn't mean it will for
> another. Doctorow's expected audience is not the same as that of LU, even if
> there is some overlap. One has to respect the author's knowledge of his
> field and his audience; if he doesn't want to distribute on the same model
> as Doctorow it is because his *professional* opinion that it isn't for the
> best.
> That said, I think the *availability* of an electronic format opens up
> enticing possibilities when it comes to Wolfe's work and the related
> materials. The ability to make citations and to look up vaguely-remembered
> counterpoints makes a huge difference in the kind of arguments we have here.
> Actually even though I love paper books and insist on having physical copies
> of the books I love, a serious argument could be made that the lasting
> *value* I'd get out of an electronic version would be at least as much, or
> more, than I'd get out of the paper version.

Amen! This is the sort of thing I was trying to say, but I was afraid
would come out sounding all wrong.  But Doctorow shows that it works
sometimes; we don't know for sure whether a reference would work- but
has anyone tried?  Nor can I say for sure that making LU electronic
would boost sales (Wikipedia is an obvious reference example, but it
is explicitly nonprofit, so not useful. But it certainly illustrates
that communities can grow up around reference works, and that
volunteers will give their time to improving a common reference.), but
I can definitely assert that a LU online would be far superior to any
POD edition, just on the amount of people who would be able to access
it, to say nothing of further improvements  such as being able to link
entries, it being much more current, error fixes a lot faster, and if
in a wiki, community-improvable.


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