28 No. 6
IUPAC book has a nickname, color, author, and now URL that
are the same? The answer is the Gold Book, i.e. the Compendium
of Chemical Terminology.
compendium, first published in 1987, had a gold colored cover,
and the first author/compiler was Victor Gold. Gold deserves
the credit for initiating this project and contributing to
the compilation of terms and their definitions. Unfortunately,
Victor Gold passed away in September 1985, just a few months
before the first edition was finally completed. The work was
later completed by Kurt Loening, Alan McNaught, and Pamil
Sehmi. The compendium was soon popularized as the Gold
Book in recognition of Gold s initial work.
book was a hit as soon as it was published and plans were
made to expand the compendium by including new and revised
definitions recommended by various specialized groups within
IUPAC. In 1998, when the second edition was published, the
book cover was again gold, and Alan McNaught was again one
of the compilers along with Andrew Wilkinson. At this stage,
the compendium included nearly 7000 terms. A couple of years
after the second edition was released, the book was made available
online as a collection of PDF files. Everyone was now just
a few keystroke away from the compendium and all its definitions.
This was quite an achievement at the time, one that was possible
thanks to the help of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
following the continuous growth in web technologies, we can
all look at the Gold Book in a whole new light
version was recently completed a copy
of which is provided on CD with the printed edition
or see http://goldbook.iupac.org
to page 28 [Internet Connection]
for details about this brand new product. The contributions
of Miloslav Nic, Jiri Jirat, and Bedrich Kosata in transforming
the compendium into a contemporary tool are remarkable. This
achievement is clearly deserving of great appreciation from
IUPAC and the chemistry community.
of the most valuable functions of the XML technology is the
easy linkage between definitions and the multitude of indexes.
XML allows for regrouping of entries according to structures,
physical constants, symbols, acronyms, etc all generated
it so happened, the release of version 1.0.0 of the XML Gold
Book was completed on 29 September 2006 the 21st anniversary
of Victor Gold s death. In his lifetime Gold could not
have dreamed of all the improvements now added to the compendium
he initiated, but I suspect that today he would have approved!
last modified 7 November 2006.
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