After a considerable delay, I’m now pleased to announce the full release of my HTML Book presentation system, oriented toward the display of very long-form content, including scholarly books, in convenient web format. This system initially contains some 200 million words of mostly copyright-expired books, but I hope to grow it considerably over time. Here’s the link to the main page:
Since all these books are presented in HTML format, copy/pasting portions of the text are extremely easy, and the body of the material should soon become incorporated into Google and the other major search engines. Furthermore, I’ve implemented several powerful software technologies for making such long-form text easier to work with, including Sections and Chapters that open dynamically, and “deep linking” to particular paragraphs or phrases by double-clicking your mouse or highlighting some selected text.
Most recently, I’ve enabled full commenting on these books, using the same powerful technology used elsewhere on this website. However, since books generally represent permanent, serious content material, the standards for displayed comments will be much stricter than applied elsewhere. Comments that are substantive, highly topical, and respectfully written will be displayed by default, while all other comments—including those that crudely trace the boundaries of acceptable taste—are displayed in the adjacent “Total Chatter” tab. So if you want your comments on books to be seen by substantial numbers of readers and not cast uselessly into the ether, focus carefully on your quality and grammar.
Furthermore, the very extensive PDF Print archives have now been fully integrated into the system parts of the system, so that both regular website authors and HTML Books now have the complete archives of the writer in question displayed towards the top of the Sidebar in cloud form, which better allows readers to access the quality and history of that writer.
For example, here’s the page for Albert Jay Nock, an important early libertarian writer, containing two of his HTML Books, the first expounding some of his strong “anti-Statist” views, and the second providing a “Revisionist” treatment of the origins of World War I.
Until about about a dozen years ago, I’d never heard of Nock, or at any rate regarded him as a totally obscure fringe figure of his era, known to Libertarians but almost no one else. Yet his print archives show some 150 of his articles in all the influential opinion publications of the early 20th century, clearly ranking him as one of the leading public intellectuals of that period, which greatly adds to the weight and credibility with which his books and other writings should be regarded.
I’ll probably be soon adding a revolving “Featured Book” on the Sidebar, focusing attention on a particular HTML Book and the system in general.
On a different issue, there have been regular complaints that the “Anonymous” and “Anon” commenter options hinder dialogue and greatly increase confusion by obscuring which anonymous commenter is which. As an attempt to thread the needle of this problem by reducing confusion while maintaining strong anonymity, a three-digit numerical identifier, based on the IP address, will be listed after every “Anonymous.”
Otherwise, please use this comment thread to inform me of any recent problems or make additional suggestions.