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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I think you might look at how laws are dealt with in a digital world.

    I think they are specified with a fixed font/format/line width.

    While not citation based laws have had to deal with changes in the law and how to track them without the aid of electronic tools (diff/patch/svn/etc).

    Now, is this the best way to handle a pile of bits that can be rendered any possible way? Probably not but you can easily specify a font type, font size and page width with CSS. This should give a repeatable layout that you can th

    • While this might be a way of dealing with it, it seems rather ham-handed. Having all the publishers to agree to this will be just as bad as updating and maintaining any other standard. If one goes out of line and decides to be different, it all goes out the window.

  • The non-digital world has the same problem. The concept of folios, pages, lines, and so on are tied to the particular presentation. Change the form, such as from hardcover to paperback, and the numbers change. That's why citations contain so much information: you have to exactly specify not only the information but the presentation.

    ISBNs don't even solve this problem because different printings of the same material in the same form can be slightly different.

    • Indeed. I think this becomes more pronounced in a digital arena. It becomes even more difficult to pin down what kind of abstraction of the material would facilitate citation.