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> Woody, sorry, but the drawings and the conversations
> (though not so much the inane) are a part of what
> makes the Hello! series books.

I think you ought to consider the audience for a book which is introducing the latest changes to the standards. Who would read such a book? It's not a tutorial, or for beginners.

But that's not really the point. What matters is, they take up space which could better be used for more explanation, examples, etc.

Are you a professional Web programmer? Do you learn from cartoons and bogus conversations? Or are you just assuming the rest of us are illiterate half-wits?
I'd like to see a more professional book. That means, lose the little drawings, and the inane conversations. You can better use this space for examples and more details.
I'm not discounting visual methods, but I disagree that advanced topics need to be presented in child-like formats. Some illustrations are certainly useful, but you have to be more selective (see Knuth's TeX books for examples). How well graphics aid learning depends strongly on how good they are.
I want to see the intersection of two surfaces. I can plot them using

splot f1(x,y) with pm3d, f2(x,y) with pm3d

where f1 and f2 have been previously defined.

What I think I am looking for is a way to make the two surfaces different colors (say, red and blue), and partly transparent, so I can see the intersection. Ideally, the colors would be chosen so their intersection would be the "color sum" of them, and a contrasting color.

Any suggestions on how to accomplish this? I am a beginner with gnuplot, but do have your book (which, unfortunately, doesn't have much on 3D plotting).