The Project Gutenberg Weekly Newsletter 12th November 2003 eBooks Readable By Both Humans and Computers For

Since 1971 Part 2 In this week's Project Gutenberg Weekly Newsletter: 1) Editorial 2) News Distributed Proofreaders Update 3) Notes and Queries, Reviews and Features 4) Mailing list information Editorial Hello, Maths. Not a subject you might expect from a newsletter concerned with literature I suppose, well, Gali takes a look at both maths and poetry this week. I am planning an article on some of the mathematical texts we have here at Project Gutenberg in the near future. A useful website also comes out of the shadows this week at authorama. Talking of websites, moves are afoot with the main Project Gutenberg website. Expect to find yourself quoting the super snappy at people very soon. What! I hear you cry, but that was the old address where you couldn't get any up to date information. Well, ladies and gentlemen while you have been distracted by the perfectly fomed vision of the newsletter these last few weeks, many of our hard working troops have been out the back, dragging in the scenery and some of the more useful props to improve your website reading pleasure. I can't name them all as I don't know them all, and some of them wouldn't want to be mentioned anyway - but if you would please, a round of applause for the new website. Happy reading, Alice send email to the newsletter editor at: Founding editor: Michael Hart Newsletter editor: Alice Wood Project Gutenberg CEO: Greg Newby Project Gutenberg website: Project Gutenberg Newsletter website: Radio Gutenberg: Distributed Proofreaders: Newsletter and mailing list subscriptions: ---------------------------------------------------------------------============= [ SUBMIT A NEW EBOOK FOR COPYRIGHT CLEARANCE ]============== If you have a book you would like to confirm is in the public domain in the US, and therefore suitable for Project Gutenberg, please do the following:

1. Check whether we have the eBook already. Look in which is updated weekly. (The searchable catalog at lags behind by several months) 2. Check the "in progress" list to see whether someone is already working on the eBook. Sometimes, books are listed as in progress for years - if so, email David Price (his address is on the list) to ask for contact information for the person working on the book. The "in progress" list: 3. If the book seems to be a good candidate (pre-1923 publication date, or 1923-1988 published in the US without a copyright notice), submit scans of the title page and verso page (even if the verso is blank) to: You'll hear back within a few days. ---------------------------------------------------------------------2) News and Comment UPI Article United Press International is this week running a two part story on the future of etexts and online reference looking at most of the major players in the field including Project Gutenberg. You can find out more at Part 2 of the article is at Look out for an article on Project Gutenberg shortly too. You can find out much more about digital content at Many thanks to Sam Vaknin. ------------------Authorama Public Domain Books I would like to let you know about my site, Authorama Public Domain Books: The idea of this site is to bring the "Plain Vanilla ASCII" etexts from Project Gutenberg into easily readable and searchable (X)HTML. So I spend quite an amount of my spare-time to do the conversions, and I've written server-side software to split up the larger HTMLs into sub-chapters. One of my main aims is to make the site accessible to the visitor, as

well as tools like search-engines. In fact I get 1,000s of visitors per day coming from Google! They look for different words, and find my site. I didn't know that would happen but that alone is a reward! When a Google-user arrives on my Authorama-site, I also try to highlight the keywords dynamically. Also, I then provide another book-restricted search-facility, by utilizing the Google Web API (a SOAP/ Web Service kinda thingie). I then also try to merge it with the Amazon Services to display related books. Finally, I still keep a plain-HTML-one-page version of every book on my page, so that when people want to download or print it, they have something to go along with. As a technical detail I deliver the documents as HTML, not XML, because that causes some browser-problems. I then add CSS to do the styling, and otherwise separate layout from content. That should do best on a variety of exotic devices I believe. Philipp Lenssen ------------------Other news items this week Newsletter website Every single newsletter we could find is now available should you wish to catch up on any history. ---------------------------PG/DP Shop That's all I'm saying, watch this space for more details and start saving those monetary units. ------------------Distributed Proofreaders Update Traditionally with creative projects development tends to slow down as the year draws to a close. This year at PG/DP just the opposite seems to be true. As we enter the final fifty days of 2003 we can look around us and see vibrant activity in just about every sector of production. This is not simply busy work, but solid, quantifiable output and significant innovation. At DP attendance remains steady, while the pages proofed continue to follow their upward trend of previous weeks and months. One of the recent innovations to the proofing process is the implementation of theme based releases. This is an initiative which began with the commemoration of authors' birthdays. The idea proved so popular that with broad support an organized system is coming together that will help DP plan and prepare well in advance for significant international events and holidays.

The first significant test of this new release method was yesterday. In honor of Armistice, Remembrance and Veterans' Day, DP ceased the normal release of projects and turned primary proofing attention to works associated with the First World War. While the services and ceremonies of November 11th have expanded over the decades to recognize participants in other conflicts, the origin of this memorial day are bound to the ceasing of hostilities in 1918 of the initial World War. Some forty books were provided for proofing yesterday and released in a manner that would allow for a world spanning participation across all time zones. This extended time of recognition will be continued for future days of significance. The support for yesterday's day of observance was far beyond anyone's expectations. With no special advance notice beyond a one day headline in the DP site news, and no stated rally in the forums, yesterday finished proofing as the third most productive day in DP's history. That follows only the original Slashdot wave of 2002, and the 'Big Climb' of October 31st. At days end, over 13,000 pages had been completed. If you were not able to participate yesterday, but would still like to offer your own gesture, there are several titles remaining to be proofed. You will find these indicated with red backgrounds to symbolize the poppy which has long been associated with Armistice Day. These projects will remain distinctive in the rounds until they complete proofing. There are several other events and holidays which will be recognized between now and the end of the year. These include the a wide range of faith based days, beginning this week and stretching all the way into the new year. Also this month are extended recognitions of Native American history and culture and Childrens' literature. The latter begins with National Children's Book Week, which is November 17-23 in the US and November 20, which is Universal Children's Day. We may also look forward to several more author birthdays this month. If you have ideas for theme based days, would like to provide content or find some way to participate, go to the Content Providers forum at DP. You will see several threads established for collaboration. In past weeks we have talked about picking up the ongoing exploration through the various production phases of DP. The pace and import of recent newsworthy events have kept us off the path of our course, although we have never strayed too far. While this week's news is also abundant we will try to take a closer look at the next stage in our journey, that will, time-willing, resume fully next week. A while back we took an peek into the Post-production process, and will work our way back in the DP family tree to the Pre-production process. For those readers just tuning into the column, or new to DP, there is a decent amount of work involved in getting projects fully prepared for the proofreading rounds. When a text appears in the first round of proofing it has already been advanced through several steps in the development process of being available on Project Gutenberg. To reach the stage of proofing readiness a text must first be located in a condition that would still be readable off-line. The body of the book could be in horrible shape, the cover could be long gone, but the pages need to be intact and all present. Most importantly, before any

other step, it must be ascertained that the book is in fact within the public domain. This requires that the title page, preferably with an edition number, is scannable accompanied by the verso page, which should, but does not always, contain the publishing date and/or copyright statement(s). Once a content provider has viewable images of these two pages, the book must be given 'OK' approval for contribution to Project Gutenberg. This process does not concern itself with the merit of a book's value, only with verifying that the text is legally within the public domain by United States laws. There is a form submission tool provided by PG which makes the clearance process easy enough for first time users. It is located at the following address: There is further information about providing content at the top of this week's newsletter. Depending upon the number of submissions a clearance should take no more than a fewdays to be processed. Before submitting, it is a sound practice to check that a book is not already within PG or presently under development. The best place to do this is the wondrous golden book of PG known affectionately as 'David's List.' This is a regularly updated labor of dedication maintained by David Price and is the first place to check before submitting a book for clearance. It lives at this address on the 'Net: If a submission proves to be legal to reproduce, there should be no trouble with receiving an 'OK' to proceed. Once a provider has a clearance for a book, the real fun begins. In order to generate the text required for proofing, a book must first be scanned and the scans must be processed with OCR software which produces the raw, first draft text of an e-book. Once this has been completed, the text and images must be processed and readied for the DP development system. This stage of production has come a long way since DP's first book was produced. Akin to all growth and innovations throughout DP, the advances in pre-production have made content providing easier to approach, swifter to complete and more efficient overall. As with post-production, the contribution which has made a profound difference in the quality and speed of preparation is the set of text checking and modifying tools which have been constructed by members of the DP community. A full history of the evolution of the tools which are involved in the DP process is simply not possible in the space we have. To recognize this contribution to Project Gutenberg and to promote the use of these tools for independent content developers, the newsletter will be adding an evolving feature to the archive. Every week or so there will be a profile of one of the tools and a background with useful suggestions provided by the developers. A full history of the tools of PG/DP will supplement the profiles. It will also be possible to download each tool directly from the newsletter archive. So that's an introduction to the pre-production process which is about what we have time and space for this week. More and more, what you will be seeing is an expansion of topics and features from the DP column covered in-depth on the newsletter's archive site. At present, all previous issues of the PG Newsletter are now available for viewing, going all the way back to 1989. You can also find a distinct

section set aside for all editions of the DP column to date. It's beginning to look like a new on-line destination to me. As always, if you have an idea that seems like it may enrich the newsletter archive or be of interest to the PG community at large, please feel free to suggest it to Alice via the archive site. The same holds for any topics that you would like to see explored in future issues, feel welcome to suggest them. To everyone who participated in yesterday's recognition of Armistice day and particularly to the content providers who worked overtime to prepare texts, a very sincere and earned Thank You! Until next week... Thierry Alberto ------------------Radio Gutenberg Update Two channels of broadcasting are available, but what for the subtle change in the web address, that's org not com. channel 1 - Sherlock Holmes "The Sign of Four" channel 2 - Robert Sheckley's "Bad Medicine" Both are high quality live readings from the collection. Jon and I are working on a new service for Project Gutenberg to create an audio book on demand from any of the 10,000+ books in the collection. This service will be available at shortly. Anyone needing an audio book of a gutenberg book will be able to create it for themselves on the web, right when they have the need for it. We may ask for testers sometime in November. Mike E ---------------------------------------------------------------------Improved Service In a bid to make the newsletter more helpful to readers who may be using screen reading software. We are able to offer the booklisting in a different format to make your life a little easier. If you would like a weekly version of this list please email, and state which version you require. ----------------------------------------------------------------------

QUICK WAYS TO MAKE A DONATION TO PROJECT GUTENBERG A. Send a check or money order to: Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation 809 North 1500 West Salt Lake City, UT 84116 B. Donate by credit card online NetworkForGood: or PayPal to "": /xclick/ Project Gutenberg's success is due to the hard work of thousands of volunteers over more than 30 years. Your donations make it possible to support these volunteers, and pay our few employees to continue the creation of free electronic texts. We accept credit cards, checks and money transfers from any country, in any currency. Donations are made to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation (PGLAF). PGLAF is approved as a charitable 501(c)(3) organization by the US Internal Revenue Service, and has the Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) 64-6221541. For more information, including several other ways to donate, go to or email ---------------------------------------------------------------------3) Notes and Queries, Reviews and Features Math and Poetry ? What a theme of plenty it is! A wasteland for aimless wanderings and a huge space for speculation Science of emotions and harmony of numbers, mathematicians that wrote poetry and poets that proved theorems. Besides a few interesting math books were joining their poetic brothers on PG during the past few weeks, and the thesis that math and poetry are at their best when people are young and the their minds are still clean from the dust of unnecessary information? So in order not to play the ambivalent donkey of Buridan, I'll close my eyes and pick up a ticket from an old hat ? Let me see what is written there: The Moving Finger writes, and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it. Ah, Homer K.M as large as life, though. This brilliant combination of inspired mathematician and poetic genius is certainly a good start that serves well the cause. The blur of romance and mystery wraps

round his life in the Near East on the border between 11th and 12th centuries A.D and our knowledge about it is based on the legends and indirect evidence quite similar to the one of the Bard. His date of birth is known precisely from his horoscope, that was deciphered by his Indian admirer Swami Govinda Tirtha in 20th century A.D. The profession of his father supposed to be a tent maker because the literate translation of his name means such. His closest school friends were the two other famous Persians, the politician and reformist Nizam-Al-Mulk and Hassan Sabah the founder of the ill-famous Assassin sect, the grandfather of nowadays terrorists. He is well known now mostly by his amazing four line poems, is an author of fundamental mathematical works most of them we written before he turned even 25, including Problems of Arithmetic and Treatise on Demonstration of Problems of Algebra, the book of math and philosophy, ornamented in words with an oriental splendor - 'By the help of God and with His precious assistance, I say that Algebra is a scientific art'. May we see the times when its red and gold volume will get dusty on the long shelves of PG library! Let me skip the theory that there were two people with the same name living at the same time - one poet and one philosopher and mathematicians, since a) it is highly improbable and b) it is not suitable for the theme of this piece. It is better to open a new browser window and put in the address line, to enjoy the deep philosophical and extremely beautiful verses, born in the mind that could structure the chaos in order to create the harmony. Liben Damen und Herren, welcome great Ghiyath al-Din Abu'l-Fath Umar ibn Ibrahim AlNisaburi al-Khayyami And strange to tell, among that Earthen Lot Some could articulate, while others not: And suddenly one more impatient cried-"Who is the Potter, pray, and who the Pot?" P.S. There is another PG item with the Rubayat , which claimed to be written by Omar Khayyam's son - O.Kh. Junior. You should learn probably the Persian and original Bornese in order to feel the difference in the language, that the translator Wallace Irwin is talking about. Few internet pages for biography and work details or Gali Sirkis -------------------

No quiz this week, so time to do a little revising. ---------------------------------------------------------------------Mailing list information

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