My book database is back online, so those of you who wish to calibrate your tastes against mine can now look over the full list of books I own and my ratings of them. You can also see how scarily many unread books I have, but never mind that.

(Warning: That file is 200K+ in size.)

You might notice that there aren't many awful books on the list, and fewer mediocre ones than you'd expect; this is a direct consequence of my recent purge, wherein I got rid of nearly all the books that I never wanted to see again. I was cautious about it, though, figuring that it's a lot easier to get rid of a book later than to reacquire it later if I find myself missing it, so there are still some not-so-great books left.

As a technical aside, I'll note that my book database is now kept in XML format and transformed to HTML via XSLT. The advantage of this is that the data and the display code are both extremely portable and require minimal server-side setup (which wasn't true of my previous SQL and JSP setup, or the Berkeley DB and Perl CGI I'd done before that, or the SQL Server and ASP.Net version I'd played with briefly).

Right now, I do the XML-to-HTML conversion whenever I update the XML file, but as Web browsers evolve, they should be able to deal properly with the raw XML. In fact, if you've got a modern version of IE (one that comes with MSXML 3.0 or higher; and no, I have no idea how you find that out), you can do this right now. Looking at the XML file will give you the exact same appearance as the HTML file, and only doing a "View Source" will reveal that you're really getting XML.


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