Thursday, December 29, 2011

Writing a History Book?

So I have been thinking about writing a book on history, but a different sort of book. The style is slightly inspired from mathematical writing and Herodotus, where each chapter is divided into "chunks".

A "chunk" discusses one subject, which is summarized in a single sentence --- the sentence is highlighted in bold, at the beginning of the chunk.

The idea is that there would be an overview, summarizing the chapter, which consists of just the "summary sentences". This way, the reader can get a cursory understanding of history, while looking for details in the appropriate section.

It would be nice to make it a website in the form of Real World Haskell, The Django Book, or Zend's Comment System. I think the Zend system is freely available via GIT.

Each paragraph ends with its own comments. However, with history, the author must be well prepared to deal with editing obscene comments. History is quite a sensitive subject.

After carefully examining the tools available, ucomment is the best choice.

It allows the author to dynamically update the document, while keeping the comments. Additionally, it uses the Sphinx markup language (which allows output to LaTeX).

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