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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Mathematics Subject Classification 2000

Over the years I collected a lot of (e-)books on mathematics for which it is my intention to develop a database system made entirely to my requirements and wishes. Key functions of such a system are of course searching and browsing. In order to meaningful browse categories ( and sub-categories ) are required. While thinking about categories for my ebooks database I stumbled upon the Mathematics Subject Classification 2000 ( pdf ). The MSC 2000 is a 69 page pdf document with thousands (!) of categories.

( ( IT ) projects ( which the development of my ebook database in a sense is ) -always- have some sort of problem to solve. I suppose that is why they are called projects. Projects, unlike processes which can be optimized slowly over time, are unique and are done one time only. )

Adopting the MSC 2000 would mean that there would be more categories than books in my system. That wouldn't help browsing a bit. Classifying by the toplevel categories would mean I would have to check the classification in each book and categorize accordingly. Clever programmers would say: "You could write code for that. Yes. But not for all of them. Some books are merely a collection of scan images.

I guess this justifies a list of categories of my own. I could make it in such a way that I could gradually enhance the categories. - ( More thinking to do. )

A manager I once had told me that studying is by definition frustrating. Once you have mastered a subject you discover all you mastered is just a tiny introduction to a bigger ( or deeper ) subject. There is no end to it. - I suppose it's not about understanding everything it is moving to the boundaries of the field so that you understand how the field is developing by reading the journals.

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