Giving Something Back

This month marks my third year as a web developer/code monkey/whipping boy.

Every year at this time I feel a week or two of angst, because millions of people are in school and I am not one of them. I was a student for close to twenty years, and therefore September 1 is more meaningful to me as a New Beginning than is January 1.

So every September, in an effort to retain the student mindset, I give myself a Big Reading Project; a book I would not likely read, did I not have a GPA hostage to its completion. Anna Karenina was the first. Then The Brothers Karamazov, which I absolutely did not complete. Then Moby-Dick, which I finished, albeit under peer pressure. One year I actually enrolled in a class and studied the bejeezus out of William James.

Plato. Ken Wilber. Bulgakov. Nabakov. And about once a year I take another crack at Dostoyevsky.

About a year ago Scott and I discovered Project Gutenberg , and the HTML Writer’s Guild effort to mark up all of the Project Gutenberg texts into XML. We put together The Shakespeare Transmogrifier (usable across all modern browsers with nifty extras for IE5+/pc users) as an early XML/XSL experiment.

The intuitive among you may see where this is going.

This year, rather than just read a book, I will (probably) take one of the Project Gutenberg text files and convert it to XML. Then I will mirror the file and provide a stylesheet and XSL file with which to transform it into a readable/printable version.

And what are YOU doing this year?

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