Barry SCHWARTZ (Barijo ŜVARC) (chemoelectric) wrote,

Update on e-book projects

I’m hoping to return soon to Paradise Lost but using the Objective Caml code. Ocaml turns out to be more suitable for the job than Unicon; even the little bits of string processing, which is a Unicon-friendly task, have proven simpler using the ocaml regular expressions library. (There is an Icon library for this, but it is not the best approach in Icon/Unicon.) There are a few places where I really missed being able to write something like ‘if a = (!b | c | !d)’ instead of a complicated recursion, but that’s life.

I was getting really unhappy with the original model, which was going to make it very difficult to print, for example, long quotes in tighter line-spacing, so I am going to be changing things, and that accounts for some of the delay. Paradise Lost has the advantage of being simple and not requiring paragraph formatting, at least until I add something like a foreword or whatever, maybe Milton’s 2nd-edition explanations for why he used neither prose nor rhyme, hinted at in Book I. (He could just have written ‘If it was good enough for Shakespeare, it’s good enough for me’, but it was a period of poor taste in English poetry—maybe not quite as poor as our own. :) )

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