Archive - August, 2005

If You Can’t Afford a Quarter

…then you ought to give a dime. If everybody gave then we could save the Blue Water Line.

The Kingston Trio wanted to save the home town depot and old engine number nine. I just want to make more books available to Logos Bible Software users.

Our Community Pricing Program is an attempt to let users collectively set the price of a book production project as low as possible. The more people who pre-order, the lower we can make the cost per unit and still cover our production costs.

Community Pricing is an experiment, and it is working. Together you have moved several projects into production and in each case the price per unit has been much lower than it would have been as a traditional Pre-Publication project.

What surprises me, though, is how many orders come in after a project covers its costs in the Community Pricing Program and before we ship it. When a title covers its costs in Community Pricing we move it to the Pre-Publication program and raise the cost. We have been getting as many as 20% more orders after moving a title.

That’s fine with us. The costs are covered, so those orders represent profit for us. But if those orders had been placed in Community Pricing, instead of Pre-Pub, the cost would have been lower for everybody. If you are at all interested in a title in the Community Pricing Program, place a bid now. (Some titles allow bids as low as $2!) If you placed a bid on a title that is hovering around 60%, a small increase by all the bidders can move the book into production right away.

Toggling Zoom with a Custom Toolbar

The Libronix Digital Library System is a very modular framework. The user interface is separate from the system internals. This modularity not only makes for a better application architecture, it allows us to deliver new features and user interface without changing the underlying system. (Below I am going to show you how to add a “Toggle Zoom” feature right now, without downloading anything.)

The Libronix DLS exposes its internal interfaces publicly, allowing external applications to control it. It also allows users to add their own functionality, either with an external programming language or with JavaScript inside custom toolbar commands.

The documentation for the scriptable object model is available as a free Libronix DLS compatible resource. The automation newsgroup is where you can ask questions about automating the Libronix DLS and get help from Logos programmers and other users.

I’m going to show you how to add a custom toolbar with a new command that toggles resource windows between their default zoom and 200% zoom. (This is really useful when you are projecting Logos Bible Software in a classroom, or even just leaning back to read.)

Continue Reading…

Liddell-Scott-Jones (LSJ) as a complement to BDAG

I was all set to start to write a post about how I use LSJ as a complement to BDAG when I’m looking into word meanings in the Greek New Testament.

Then I realized I’d already written such a beast, and it’s been on our web site for awhile now. If you’ve been wondering why a lexicon that covers a large range of classical material (like LSJ) would be useful in studying either LXX or New Testament Greek, then you may want to check out the article.

And, if you’re interested, you can read an overview of how we (Logos) came to the decision to produce LSJ as a Logos book. In the process, you’ll learn a bit about how we take stuff from print to electronic via the Pre-Publication Program.

Mouse Gestures

It is always a pain to switch from keyboard to mouse and back. “Power users” tend to master the keyboard shortcuts of their favorite applications so that they can keep their hands in one place.

The keyboard is not as convenient as the mouse, though, for navigating a page full of hyperlinks. But when you are following lots of links it is a real pain to keep moving your mouse between the list of links and the back button, or moving your hand back to the keyboard to press “Alt-Left”.
Mouse gestures are a powerful shortcut that can cut your mouse travel without touching the keyboard.

In an open resource window, click and hold the right mouse button while dragging it just a short distance to the left and then releasing the button. This “gesture” executes the Go > Back command. (Assuming you have already followed a link or scrolled, so there is somewhere to go back to.) Right-click and drag to the right executes the Go > Forward command. Up moves to the previous article, down to the next. A “C” shape (left, down, right) toggles the contents pane.

I am not sure who invented mouse gestures, but we first saw them in Opera and Mozilla. These browsers support a long list of gestures, but I don’t often make an “M” shape to view the tags for a page, or “S” to view the source. I do use forward and back all the time and can’t imagine working without them.

I call mouse gestures a hidden feature because they don’t have any visible user interface and so most users never find them. But now you know. A complete list of the gestures supported in the Libronix DLS is in the Libronix DLS Help, under Appendixes > Gestures. Give them a try, and let us know if there are any other commands you would like to access through gestures.

Photos from a Logos Fan

Not only do our users send us random shipments of hot sauce from time to time, but sometimes we get photos like these sent from Logos user Michael Sinclair. Click either photo to see a larger version.

Michael is running Logos on Windows XP on this dual-boot Shuttle XPC (a compact PC). Notice the Logos wallpaper layered onto the front of the machine.

The shuttle coexists peacefully alongside a dual processor Mac G4–Michael says he plans to install Logos Bible Software for the Mac on that in December.

Thanks for the pics, Michael! You’ve got a cool setup there…

Opening Two Copies of the Same Book

I received the following comment regarding my post about Logos Workspaces:

I saw your post regarding your workspace in Libronix and I had a question: How do you open the same book twice? You did this for the ESV and I can not figure it out for the life of me. Any help would be wonderful. Thanks

I suppose this really isn’t prominently documented. But in Logos Bible Software, if you hold down the SHIFT key while clicking a link, you open a new version of the target resource.

So if you see a link for a Bible reference and SHIFT+Click the reference, a new version of your preferred Bible will open if you already have a copy open. This is very handy — it means you won’t lose your place in your primary Bible window (and any linked windows) by following bunny trails.

I usually keep a second version of the ESV open, and I also mark it as the Reference Target Window (the little red book icon in the book icon bar that has the arrow pointing to itself). That way, whenever I click a Bible reference, it will jump to that specific window — and not cause any of my other linked windows to jump around.

This SHIFT+Click logic carries to opening books in general. So if you’re in My Library and do the SHIFT+Click book-opening dance, you’ll open a new copy of the book you clicked.

It’s amazing what you learn when you write a blog article. A few folks here at the office read this one and told me I was missing out — that there are all sorts of ways to open another instance of the same resource.

Some of these ways to open another copy of the same book include:

  • Window | New Window will spawn a new instance of the current window.
  • CTRL + SHIFT + N will spawn a new instance of the current window.
  • I’ve been told that in future versions of the LDLS (currently in alpha testing) will support multiple opening in the “Go”/Quick Nav box. So if you type ‘ESV’ and then ENTER, then ENTER again, two instances of the ESV will open.

Story Time!

Speaking of all this Quick Navigate stuff reminds me of a story.

A few years back, when the Libronix DLS was still in its infancy, Rick Brannan decided that he was going to do the Quick Nav bar one better: He downloaded Microsoft’s speech recognition development kit and hacked together a little addin that worked just like the Quick Navigate bar, only it responded to spoken commands. This was never a serious development effort; in those days we spent time now and again just exploring the new LDLS technology, trying to figure out what it could and couldn’t do.

Anyway, Rick could say “Open: New King James,” into his computer microphone and Libronix would comply. It required a multi-megabyte download from Microsoft, and I’m sure Rick wouldn’t want anyone to look at the code, but all things considered, it worked pretty well. You could be typing along in silence and every now and then, you’d hear Rick ordering his computer around.

Now, in those days, all of the text development department worked together in a single open room. (They still do, come to think of it.)

As you might have guessed, Rick’s innovation didn’t last very long: When any of the rest of us noticed Libronix running on his machine, we would yell out across the room: “Open: The Message,” or “Open: N-I-V” just to annoy him. If we were in a particularly impish mood, we would glance over to find out the title of the book he was working on and yell out “Close …”

New International Greek Testament Commentary (NIGTC)

We’ve got a lot going on here at Logos (have you looked at our pre-pub page lately? Zowie!) but the one I’m most excited about is getting ready to ship: The New International Greek Testament Commentary, or NIGTC.

I’ve used Knight’s NIGTC volume on the Pastoral Epistles and it is consistently a great place to go when I’m confused as to what is going on in the Greek text.

One example where NIGTC helped me recently is given below.

I was looking into the creedal/hymn fragment in 1Ti 3.16, particularly the line that the ESV translates “vindicated by the Spirit”. The Greek for that line (NA27) is ????????? ?? ????????. I was wondering about the reason for assuming that ?? ???????? referred to the Holy Spirit as there was no article, which would normally be a clue. I agree with the reading that this refers to the Holy Spirit, but wanted to know the linguistic/grammatic reason.

Continue Reading…

Flipping through Lexicons

Rick wrote earlier about how you can go from a headword in one lexicon to another by right-clicking and executing a keylink from the headword. This is true, and a very useful feature.
But I will show you a still more excellent way …

Once you have a lexicon open to the article you want to read, the quickest way to survey other lexicons and dictionaries in your library is to use the Parallel Resource feature. Whenever you have a resource open, the Libronix DLS does a lot of work behind the scenes to cull through your library to find resources that work in roughly the same way as the one you have open.

The Go | Parallel Resources menu will show you what all these resources are, if you want to choose one randomly from the list. Or you can use the Go | Next/Previous | Resource menu options, which are duplicated on the resource window’s toolbar (big yellow arrows pointing up and down). Usually those arrows advance forward or backward in the current book, but if you hit the little black downward-pointing triangle next to each button, you’ll see a menu of options, one of which is “Resource.”
Continue Reading…

One million pages later…

APT Book Scanner from Kirtas TechnologiesLast year we took delivery of a robotic book scanner and set it to work in a seminary library. Today we have scanned more than one million pages from more than 3,000 titles.

Ultimately we would like to make all of these books available in the Libronix DLS format, but that represents a lot of keyboarding and tagging. (Automated optical character recognition can help, but is not accurate enough.)

So we are preparing a way to present the scanned page images. We are also putting some of them to use as source documents for the Community Pricing Program. The Earlier Epistles of St. Paul and the J. A. Broadus Preaching Collection are both being prepared from scans, and many other candidates are awaiting your bid.

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