Adding RefTagger to a Simple Machines Forum Site

LogoOver the last couple of months, several people have asked me if it is possible to add RefTagger to a forum site. I’ve set it up on a couple of different test installs, and it works very nicely. Forums are perfect places for RefTagger. If you run a forum site that deals with the Bible—or have plans to start one—I’d encourage you to give RefTagger a try. If you frequent a Christian forum site that has plain old naked Scripture references, why not send the administrators an emails and ask them to look into adding RefTagger?

There are a variety of different forum programs. vBulletin is probably the most popular, but since it’s not free, many use Simple Machines Forum (SMF) or phpBB.

Here’s a quick tutorial for adding RefTagger to your SMF site.

You simply need to add the RefTagger code immediately before the closing </body> tag in the index.template.php file in all of your active themes. (There are three installed by default.) You’ll find the </body> tag in the fourth section of code.

Here are the steps:

  1. Go to your Admin Center (http://yoursitename.com/index.php?action=admin).
  2. In the left sidebar, click on “Themes and Layout” under “Configuration.”
  3. Click “Modify Themes.”
  4. Select a theme, and click “Browse the templates and files in this theme.”
  5. Click on “index.template.php.”
  6. Navigate to the bottom of the fourth section of code and find the </body> tag (or just use Ctrl + F to find it).
  7. Paste in the RefTagger code immediately above the </body> tag.
  8. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and click “Save Changes.”
  9. Repeat steps 3-8 to add the code to your other theme.

I don’t see how to edit the default theme “SMF Default Theme – Core.” There’s probably a way to do it in the Admin Center, but I don’t see how. There are a couple of workarounds. You can switch your default theme to something else and uncheck the box “Allow members to select the ‘Default’ them.” If you like the default theme, you can always Create a copy of it and set the copy as your default.

If you have FTP access to your site’s files, it is fairly easily to add the RefTagger code manually. Just navigate to the Themes/default folder, locate the index.template.php file, and save a local copy (and a backup copy, too, just to be safe). Open the file with Dreamweaver or WordPad (or whatever program you like to use to edit code), locate the </body> tag, and paste in the RefTagger code. Save the file. Upload it to your server, overwriting the original file. You’re all set. RefTagger should now be up and running on your SMF site.

166 Volumes of Greek Goodness!

Jacques Paul Migne’s Patrologia Graeca is a massive series of 166 print volumes of Greek writings from the 1st century through the 15th century. We’ve been asked many times if we’d consider making this indispensable set available, and we’re finally ready to give it a shot.

As you can imagine, digitizing 166 volumes of small Greek and Latin text—each volume ranging anywhere from 500 to 1,500 pages—is no small undertaking. Print sets are next to impossible to obtain. When we last looked into getting one, the price tag was in the $40,000 range!

Instead of trying to Pre-Pub the whole thing at once and putting it out of the range of just about everyone of our users, we’re going to release it in chunks. This will make it more affordable for you, allow you to pick and choose the sections you want, and make it so you don’t have to wait a decade for the completed project!

The first chunk, volumes 1-18 (20 print volumes), covers the pre-Nicaean period and features the writings of Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp, Melito of Sardis, Papias, Justin Martyr, Tatian, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and dozens of others.

Why Would You Want It?

That’s the million dollar question—actually, the $400 question. Allow me to take a stab at some reasons that you should consider placing your pre-order.

Greek Studies

Comparative Grammar

The Greek New Testament is a fairly small corpus of literature. There are hundreds of words, forms, and grammatical structures that occur only once in the whole GNT making it difficult to adequately evaluate them. Being able to compare NT usage—vocabulary, morphology, and syntax—to other Greek writings like the LXX, OT Pseudepigrapha, Josephus, Philo, the Apostolic Fathers, etc. is incredibly valuable. But even these bodies of literature don’t address all of the questions grammarians and exegetes have. Significantly broadening the corpus of Greek texts that can be compared to the Greek NT is a major boon to biblical Greek studies.

Textual Criticism

In many cases the writings of the church fathers shed light on which readings of the biblical texts are earlier and more likely to be original. If you’ve looked at a Greek New Testament apparatus, you’ll see references to the fathers on nearly every page. Being able to look up these references will allow textual critics to get one step closer to the sources—and even make advancements in the field of textual criticism.

Church History

Reading the Original

Have you ever been reading somewhere in Schaff’s ECF and wanted to see the underlying Greek behind the English? I know I have. Have you ever wished you could follow references to the Father’s in footnotes in commentaries and other academic literature? With our digital edition of Patrologia Graeca, this kind of study will finally be easily accessible.

Many people don’t realize that Philip Schaff’s 38-volume Early Church Fathers represents only a fraction of the writings of the church fathers. If you want to read some of the church fathers, reading them in Greek or Latin is the only option. Serious students of the history of the formative years of the church cannot afford to ignore this massive collection of writings.

History of Interpretation

Since Scripture references will be tagged, you’ll be able to evaluate all of the places where a certain passage of Scripture is discussed—a crucial part of in-depth study on difficult passages. Want to find out how the fathers handled baptism for the dead in 1 Cor 15:29? No problem. Add your Patrologia Graeca collection to your Passage Guide, use the Reference Browser, or run a search like bible = "1 Cor 15:29".

Convinced yet? Read more or place your order at the Pre-Pub page.

Where Are the Textual Apparatuses?

Textual apparatuses (a.k.a. critical apparatuses) are essential tools for serious exegesis. They list alternate readings, the texts that contain those readings, and often the level of certainty the editors had in choosing the reading they went with.

Students of the biblical languages will notice, though, that the main editions of the Hebrew OT (Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia) and the Greek NT (NA27 and UBS4) that come with our upper-end base packages lack the corresponding textual apparatuses. Without the apparatuses, you still need to reference your print volumes to check for variant readings. Are you stuck using part digital and part print for your study of the Hebrew and Greek texts?

There are two standard textual critical tools included in the Original Languages Library and Scholar’s Library: Gold.

If you don’t own either of these base packages, you can either upgrade or buy the resources individually.

There are several other critical apparatuses available as add-on resources.

Apparatuses for the Hebrew Old Testament

  • BHS Apparatus Criticus
  • BHQ Apparatus Criticus (partial)

Both of these are included in SESB 2 and not available for individual sale. The BHS apparatus is also included in the Logos edition of SESB 1.

Apparatuses for the Greek New Testament

  • NA27 Apparatus Criticus
  • UBS4 Apparatus (not a separate resource)
  • Majority Text Apparatus (includes the Majority Text GNT)

The NA27 apparatus is part of SESB 2 and the Logos edition of SESB 1. The UBS4 apparatus is available only in SESB 2. The Majority Text apparatus is bundled with the GNT.

It should be clear by now that if you really want to build the critical apparatuses section of your digital library, SESB 2 is a must.

For more on apparatuses and resources relating to textual criticism see the Critical Apparatuses section of the Product Guide for Greek Bible Texts & Tools. You’ll also want to check out the article “Critical Apparatuses: What and Why.”

Changing the Font and Font Size in Notes

A couple of people have inquired recently if there is a way to change the font in their notes. One user asked,

Is there a way to set the default font & font size for Note Files? The default font of 10pt Arial is a tad too small for my eyes, especially when keying in Greek/Hebrew, so I was just curious to know if this is possible.

Thanks!

The quick solution to the size issue may simply be to change the zoom. You can adjust the zoom on notes just like you can with resources and reports. Go to View > Zoom and select the size you’d like.

Here’s a note file with the default font, size, and zoom.

Here’s a note file with the zoom set at 200%.

This nice thing about using the zoom is that it does apply to all of the notes in a note file, so you don’t have to change them one by one. But notice that this also enlarges the buttons (and scroll bar, if applicable), which you may or may not like.

In the current version, there’s no way to globally change the default font size or font face of all note text. But you can easily adjust the font formatting for individual notes by clicking the A button on the toolbar (or by using Ctrl + Shift + F).

Here’s the same note file with 14pt Calibri, which is a little easier on the eyes than the 10pt Arial.

Update: Thanks to a couple of user comments, I have updated the post—with a red face—to reflect the easy way to change the font and font size. :)

Opening Multiple Copies of the Same Resource

Have you ever wondered how to open the same resource in two or more separate windows? This question comes up regularly in the newsgroups and in comments on the blog. Rick addressed this about three years ago, but it’s probably about time to cover it again.

Opening multiple copies of the same resource comes in handy if you want to compare one Bible passage side by side with another passage in the same version. It’s also useful if you want to look up cross references without leaving the passage you’re in. (Make sure to click the “Reference Target” button on the second copy.)

As far as I know, there are four different ways to open an additional copy of a resource.

  1. Window > New Window: With the resource you want to duplicate opened and selected, go under the Window menu and click “New Window.”
  2. Ctrl + Shift + N: Keyboard shortcut lovers will want to use Ctrl + Shift + N instead.
  3. Shift + Left Mouse Click: Hold down Shift when you click on a link to a resource or when you click on a title in My Library. Ctrl also works for links in resources, but not in My Library. (Ctrl and Shift clicking also works in web browsers. Give it a try if you’re not familiar with it.)
  4. Go Box: By default the Go box (a.k.a. Quick Navigation Bar) will open a new instance of a resource. So if you already have one copy opened, simply type the resource identifier (e.g., ESV) into the Go box and hit Enter to open a second copy.

Chili Cook-Off 2008!

Today’s guest blogger is Adam Navarrete, who works in the marketing department here at Logos.

A few weeks ago, I started renting and watching HBO’s John Adams. It has been an interesting and exciting series to watch. I chose the optional facts-popups to display during the episodes in order to learn about the underlying facts that are relevant to the scene, and have to say that I have found a new patriotism welling within me. Not wanting to miss further facts, I went down to my local library and checked out the book John Adams by David McCullough, on which the movie was based, in order to learn more about our founding fathers and what it was like for them to gain the freedom and independence we celebrated this holiday weekend. Before shutting our doors here at Logos in order to celebrate Independence Day, we went out with a bang (of-sorts) of our own—our annual Chili Cook-Off.

Twenty chilies lined the kitchen wall by noon, each with its distinct sign, smell, taste, and toppings. It is rumored that one contestant wanted to see how well an out-of-the-can chili would fare against the homemade chilies and so he heated up canned chili.

One surprising entrant in the cook off was Sarah Knepper, a Logos employee for all of three days! She is a welcomed addition to the graphics/marketing department and is clearly not intimidated around here. Nor is our Bible Study Magazine editor, John Barry. His Mama Victoria’s Turkey Chili took home the win by a landslide. If his chili is in any way a foreshadowing of the magazine, we are in for an amazing treat come September. Bringing in the second place trophy was Jerry Godfrey, manager of customer service and organizer of this year’s event. Third place went to D&E’s Johnny Cisneros.

If recipes become available, we’ll be sure to share them.

Bring on the Commentaries!

NA27 vs. UBS4: What’re the Differences?

Have you ever wondered what the differences are between the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece, 27th ed. (NA27) and the United Bible Societies Greek New Testament, 4th ed. (UBS4) or between the various Greek New Testaments available for Libronix? Wonder no more. Rick Brannan has done extensive comparative analysis between these two popular editions of the Greek New Testament and gives you all of the details in this very informative article “NA27 vs. UBS4 (Greek New Testaments).” He also helpfully compares our various Greek New Testament texts.

I turned to Rick on a question a while back regarding a difference between the NA27 and UBS4 and quickly learned that Rick really knows his stuff on this. I think Rick’s article would make excellent required reading for Greek students (and professors!).

Go give it a read, and be sure to bookmark it for future reference.

Searching Footnotes in the NET Bible

I read a request last week from someone wishing for a way to search the footnotes in the NET Bible. If you’re familiar with the NET Bible, you know how valuable the notes are. While you probably normally want to see notes when you’re looking at a specific passage of Scripture, sometimes you may want to search them for particular words or phrases.

If you own one of our base packages, then it’s very likely that you have the NET Bible with notes. (The Christian Home Library is the only base package that doesn’t include the NET Bible.)

To search just the footnote text, you would want to use a field search. Simply put footnote: before the word or phrase you’d like to search for. Make sure to use the Basic Search rather than the Bible Search (or Bible Speed Search), since the Bible Search by default excludes footnotes (i.e., everything but Bible text). A search like this will return results only in the footnote text and eliminate everything else.

“Be kind to your older folks.”

Last week I got an email with the subject line “Be kind to your older folks.” Good advice, and biblical too (1 Tim 5:1-2; cf. v. 8). Here’s what she had to say:

Would you please be kind to us older folks whose eyes are not as sharp as they used to be? You young programmers love 10 pt. fonts for some reason which I have never understood. Are you conserving space or something? Please make it possible for us older folks to enlarge the font size of static webpage text, especially things like our personal prayer lists. I get eye strain every day just trying to read my own prayer list, and it discourages me from using Logos for that purpose.

Thank you for your consideration and bless you for all the work you do for us.

I understand how frustrating it can be when software doesn’t function the way you think it should. There’s a particular feature in Microsoft Office that drives me crazy every time I use it.

We want to hear from you regarding things you’d like to be able to do and things you wish were different. We can’t always implement them, and often we can’t implement them immediately (though occasionally we can), but we do want to hear them. You can use suggest@logos.com or our suggestion newsgroup to let your voice be heard. We’re listening.

What often happens, though, is that suggestions provide an opportunity to demonstrates features already in the software. Such is the case with this request, at least for the most part. It is possible to change the font size for prayer lists to make them more readable.

Here’s how:

  1. Open your prayer list by going to File > Open and selecting “Prayer Lists” and the particular prayer list you’d like to open.
  2. With the prayer list opened and selected, go to View > Zoom and select something like 150%, or larger if you’d like.

Your prayer list will go from this:

to this:

or even bigger.

If you’d like to make this change globally so that it applies to all of your resources, reports, and other documents, go to Tools > Options > General > Text Display and set your default zoom to whatever size you’d like. Make sure to uncheck the box “Use Default Zoom Only with Resources” if you’d like it to apply to things like your prayer lists.

The zoom allows you to make the font size as big as you’d like in order to make your reading—and praying—more comfortable.