(tool-bar-mode -1) appears to be the magic incantation to turn off the toolbar in emacs 21. thanks a. p. garcia and Sean Neakums.
so i've been secretly recoding the backend for my community weblog. i wrote the last version a year ago. having spent the last year writing a few hundred lines of perl a day, my skills have improved and it pains me to look at the old code.
one of the features that i've come to rely on heavily is the web-based categorized, hierarchical bookmarks. however, i'm thinking for the new version i'll abandon the inherent problems of categories and hierarchies and switch to keyword tagging. while thinking about it last night, i realized that it's inherently a more powerful system. with categories, i could place a bookmark in "programming/xml/tutorials". with keywords, i can duplicate this just by tagging it with 'programming','xml', and 'tutorials' but still be free to add other keywords like 'functional programming'.
there were ways to essentially do this within a hierarchical structure by either making copies of the bookmark in multiple categories or implementing something like symbolic links. either way, things are ugly and get uglier if your hierarchy isn't well thought-out from the beginning. keywords seem like an elegant way to sidestep these problems.
thinking about this has renewed my interest in filesystems like reiserfs that begin to implement the 'filesystem as a database' idea. must research further. must code more first.