Re: public/catalog [was: Re: ERB Decisions of March 26th]

Terry Allen writes:

> There should be *no default
> assumed* by publishers.  That's hard to swallow, and most of 
> this group is choking on it; ask yourselves whether you need
> a specified default mechanism to find a copy of Moby Dick;
> ask yourselves whether, had Melville's publisher specified a
> default mechanism (e.g., writing to the publisher's address),
> you should have to follow it today.

When I ask myself the question, this is the answer:

In the example cited ("Moby Dick"), there is a well-proven system in
place, and both publishers and readers/buyers do indeed "follow it today."
It has two essential components: they are called the "title page" and the

The edition of Moby Dick contains a "title page", which contains both an
ISBN number (a unique identifier for the edition) and the bibliographical
information neecssary to uniquely identify the work -- title, author,
publisher, editor, date of publication, place of publication, etc. The
title page is used by authors/editors to construct a bibliography, a
mechanism users can employ to find "Moby Dick" at the library, the
bookstore, or the online bookseller.