About This Resource: Part I

Wendell Stavig* posed some great questions in his comments to one of my earlier posts, and since my computer is bogged down running a conversion script that takes about forty-five minutes to run (top-secret project!) I’ll go ahead and answer them. Out of order, of course.

[C]ould you please explain some of the data in the Help | About This Resource window?

How you use the information under datatypes?

As far as I’m concerned, datatypes and keylinking are the two most important concepts in the Libronix DLS.

A datatype is a type of data.
Seriously. A datatype is simply a way of defining all different kinds of information that are a) self-consistent in their format and b) distinct from other kinds of information. Put another way, an apple is an apple, and an orange is an orange. Apples look like other apples, and oranges look like other oranges. Furthermore, each datatype implies an associated set of features and behaviors, so the Libronix DLS can do different things with data in different datatypes. Oranges get juiced, but apples go in pies. (Mmmmmmm … pie.)

 

A datatype organizes information.
Datatypes are often used as organizational schemes for locating (or citing) information within a resource. The Bible Reference datatype, for example, locates the text of any verse within a book, chapter, and verse framework. Similarly, the Page Number datatype locates text within the (rather curious) organizational framework that results from putting marks on dried sheets of wood pulp. Not all datatypes describe locations: the Currency datatype is used to encode monetary amounts in various units of currency; the Hebrew datatype describes any piece of Hebrew text.

 

A datatype is abstract.
A reference to Jn 3:16 in the Bible datatype points to the conceptual location Jn 3:16 rather than a physical location in a single resource. This way, the Libronix DLS can treat all Jn 3:16s in all Bibles — Greek, English, Spanish, Korean — in the same way. Any resource that is organized by the Bible datatype can be opened to a Bible reference.

 

Datatypes define both locations within resources and references to those locations.

So, “Jn 3:16″ might mark a particular location within a Bible, or it might be used to refer to that location. A single resource can have both locations and references in the same datatype. Think of a dictionary arranged by Strong’s number: Each entry will have its location marked to a particular Strong’s number, but may also contain “see also” references to other Strong’s number entries in the same resource.

When a resource uses a datatype to mark locations, we say that resource is a “keylink target” for that datatype. That means that you can jump into the resource at any random spot that is defined by that datatype. On the other hand, when a resource uses a datatype to mark a reference (either to itself or to another resource), the reference text is usually highlighted, and you can click on it to open the corresponding location. That much is pretty obvious. But you can also search a resource for any of the datatype references it contains.

So, how do you know which datatypes are used in a particular resource? Why, Help | About This Resource, of course. (And you thought I wasn’t going to answer Wendell’s question!)

The following Data Types section is from the Dictionary of Biblical Languages: Hebrew Old Testament resource. I’m running the 2.2 alpha, so it may look slightly different in your version:

From this we can see that DBL marks locations by the following datatypes: 1) Dictionary of Biblical Languages (Hebrew); 2) Hebrew; 3) Hebrew GK Number; 4) Hebrew Strong’s Number; 5) Text; 6) Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. It is searchable by: 1) Bible reference; 2) Hebrew Strong’s Nubmer; 3) Louw-Nida Semantic Domains (see my previous post); and 4) TWOT number.

Each of these datatypes has its own format. Bible references are book, chapter, verse. DBL references are entry number, subentry. Hebrew references are just Hebrew words (the entry headwords, in this case). Hebrew GK and Strong’s Numbers are just numbers that identify a Hebrew word, but with a different number in each (see why we need datatypes?). Louw-Nida references have semantic domain, subdomain. TWOT numbers have root number, derivative letter. Got it?

KeyLink Targets

Since the DBL resource is a keylink target for Hebrew Strong’s Number, you will be able to select that referencing scheme from the Active Index drop-down list and navigate the resource by that datatype. That is, you can see the Strong’s numbers in the reference box as you scroll through the resource, and you can type in an arbitrary Strong’s number to jump right to it:

 

Searchable

Following each datatype name in the About Resource window you will find a list of search aliases for that datatype in brackets. When you want to search for Bible datatype references, you just type Bible. But you don’t want to type Louw-Nida Semantic Domains each time. LN or LouwNida works much better.

Use the Basic Search to search a resource for a particular datatype reference, under Search | Basic Search. To find all references that are exactly equal to what you’re looking for, use the = operator. To find Strong’s Number 1000, you would type HebrewStrongs = 1000.

If you want to find any reference that intersects with your specified reference, use the in operator. If I type LN in "5.18", I’m searching for any reference that intersects with Louw-Nida domain 5.18, which will find references to 5.1-5.22 as well as just 5.18.

Running long … I’ll answer Wendell’s other questions in later posts, but in the meantime there is a sketchy but reasonably comprehensive help article on the subject. You can get to help from the Help menu, or you can open the Libronix Digital Library System Help Manual from My Library like any other Libronix DLS resource.
See Part II >>


* Not that it matters, but I had an art teacher in high school named Stavig. I took “ink drawing and calligraphy” from him. I still calligraph now and then .. anyone know where to get cheap papyrus?