Greek Syntax: What’s in a Name?

One of my favorite features in the upcoming Logos Bible Software 3.0 has to be the Bible Word Study report. And my favorite aspect of the Bible Word Study report has to be the Grammatical Relationships section of the report.

The Bible Word Study report is intended to help explore how a particular word is used in the Bible. English, Hebrew or Greek, just type it in and the Bible Word Study report goes to work. Even better: right-click on a word in an English text or a morphologically tagged Greek or Hebrew text, and it goes to work.

Because the report is intended to gather all sorts of information about word usage, and because we have these oh-so-groovy syntax databases we’ve been working on, it seemed natural to do something to explore word usage by syntax inside of the Bible Word Study report. So that’s what we’ve done. And wow, is it cool!

[Read more...]

Facilitate Serendipitous Discovery

The other day I was in a feature design meeting for one of the new reports in the upcoming 3.0 release of Logos Bible Software, the Bible Word Study report. In attendance were a couple of Logos software developers, a few book designers and information architects, and Bob Pritchett, the president and co-founder of the company. We were going through the Grammatical Relationships section of that report line by line and commenting on the display, the information, the what-have-you.

At one point, I asked a dumb question (as I often do). “Bob,” I asked, “what is this report supposed to do? In a general sense, I mean.” I was getting at the Big Picture issues: Are we trying to find the Single Right Answer to every exegetical question? Are we just listing a bunch of unconnected information? Is this report teaching grammar? Should it?

Bob leaned back and said, “This report is supposed to do what all of our reports do: Facilitate serendipitous discovery.”

[Read more...]

Salsa Cook-Off 2006

We were treated to some excellent salsa from 11 competitors this past Friday. It was tough to vote for just three salsas from all the tasty picos de gallo, tomato salsas, and an avocado concoction…but that’s what some would call a “high class problem.”

The results were announced shortly after the event and one of the Logos bloggers placed…congrats, Eli!

First Place: Guillermo Powell’s Powe – R – Salsa
Second Place: Kim Vail’s Salsa con Aquacate
Third Place: Eli Evans’ Hello Pain-o

Some photos from the event (click for a larger version):
Kim Vail, salsa 2006 coordinator, prepares the salsa buffet.

I entered, missed 3rd by 2 points, but am proud of my sign

Eli (speed eating?)

Jahan, Logos book designer, narrows the field

The happy remains

What…Leftovers?

And the winner is…

Followed by this shocking revelation from the winner, Guillermo Powell
Windows Media (416KB)

The winning recipe:
Powe – R – Salsa
from GuillermoPowell (“actually should be Elsa Powell, my wife”)
1 – Pace Picante sauce (4 lbs) can be purchased at Walmart
1 – cucumber, minced
1 – bundle of fresh cilantro
1 – lemon (squizzed fresh by Guillermo)
1 – onion, medium size, minced
Add salt and tabasco to taste.

Meet the Staff: Rordon Cole

Long-time Logos users probably know Rordon from the newsgroups or from his days in tech support. This video clip will give you a glimpse of what goes into quality assurance (QA) testing Logos Bible Software.

Windows Media (2.4MB) | Quicktime (2.6MB)

Logos Roadshow

The next release of Logos Bible Software is very cool! If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that we’ve been beta testing Libronix DLS version 3.0, and have been spilling the beans about various features here on the blog.

In fact, we are so excited about the next release that we want to come and show it to you personally once it is ready to ship.

What do you think…is this a good idea? Please help us decide by answering our simple Logos Road Show survey.

Your feedback will help us decide to visit your city.

Syntax: What’s New?

There have been a number of changes and improvements to the syntax feature of LDLS 3.0 in the last couple of beta releases. To obtain Beta 7, visit the Logos Beta Download page. You’ll need to install both the LDLS 3.0 Beta 7 download and the 3.0 Beta Resources in order to get all the functionality I describe below.

I’ll start off with what’s new with the Syntax Search dialog, which can be accessed by choosing Search > Syntax Search from the main LDLS menu. The Syntax Search dialog has seen a lot of exciting changes. If you’re interested in syntax at all, I encourage you to use and abuse these new features. If you find any bugs, log onto the beta newsgroup on our news server and let us know.

[Read more...]

Words, Words Everywhere: Episode III

In Episodes I and II, I showed how every word in a Libronix DLS resource is a potential link, whether English or another language. I hope you’ve started going around your digital library double-clicking everywhere.

Here’s one more little tidbit: the “ubiquitous link principle” extends beyond resources. It even works in some reports!

While playing around with the Biblical People report that will ship with Libronix DLS version 3.0 I discovered quite accidentally that I could double-click a Hebrew or Greek name at the top of the report and look it up in a lexicon.

So, for example, I’m looking at Obed in the Biblical People report and want to consult my reference works to read more about him. I double-click on the English, Hebrew, or Greek version of his name to open Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary, HALOT, or BDAG, respectively.

(Note: Libronix DLS 3.0 Beta 7 required; your mileage may vary depending on the resources you own and how you’ve configured your English, Hebrew and Greek KeyLinks).

These are the articles on Obed that open when I do this:

I have to hand it to the developers…they’ve implemented the concept of KeyLink-ability with remarkable consistency.

All I can say is…Click On!

Rescuing the Copyrighted Orphans

The majority of works offered for use with Logos Bible Software are modern, copyrighted books that we have licensed from authors and publishers. Typically these date from the 1980′s or later. Logos is also able to digitize and offer many public domain works, generally from before 1923.

There is a wealth of material from the middle years, though, that is out of print and hard to find in libraries, but which is still under copyright. When the publisher has gone out of business, or the author’s heirs are impossible to identify or locate, copyrighted works can become effectively orphaned. The chance that a copyright holder emerges after an orphaned work is republished may be slim, but when the statutory damages are $200,000 per infringement few publishers are willing to take a risk.

The US Copyright Office has been studying this problem and has proposed reasonable legislation that addresses the rights of copyright holders as well as the public good of continued use of orphaned content.

Below is a version of the letter I sent my elected representatives in support of the proposed legislation. I hope you will consider supporting it as well.

Dear Elected Representative,

Digital publishing, on CD-ROM’s and the Internet, is enabling us to make entire libraries of material available to students who previously had little or no access to valuable content. Students in distance learning programs, in rural areas, and in far-off parts of the world are using computers and the Internet to get access to content that previously could be found only in large libraries in major cities.

Projects like Google Print, and many others at universities and libraries, are putting the contents of irreplaceable, hard-to-access archives at the fingertips of students around the world.

There is a tremendous amount of information in the public domain, but many important works were published after 1923 and are now out of print. In many cases it is difficult to locate or even identify the owner. Publishers have gone out of business. Rights have reverted to heirs who have never heard of the copyrighted work. Titles were published without enough identifying information.

The Copyright Office issued a Report on Orphan Works in January of this year that recommends legislation providing for the use of orphaned works during their copyright period.

(http://www.copyright.gov/orphan/) The proposed statutory language addresses compensation for rights holders if they emerge, and provides safe harbor from huge infringement penalties to users who have made a diligent search to locate a copyright owner.

I encourage you to support this important proposal which advances the causes of commerce, education, and human knowledge.

Meet the Staff: Video Interviews

Way back in April 2005, before the Logos blog, Bob kicked off a series of video posts on his personal blog, touring our building and introducing some of the fine folk who work for Logos.
Those posts can be found here…


Bob’s been after me for awhile to continue the series so I’ve been taking a few minutes here and there to interrupt my fellow employees and ask them what their role is at Logos. Most of them have taken it kindly enough.

To inaugurate the continuation of the video post series, let’s start with the guy who keeps our computers running: Gabriel Powell.
Windows Media (1.9MB) | Quicktime (1.6MB)

Comfort & Barrett’s The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts

One of the books that Logos has recently released is Philip Comfort and David Barrett’s The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts.

One of the cool things you can do with Comfort & Barrett is compare the text of a given papyrus with an edition of the Greek New Testament. So, if you wanted to know how P75 compares to the NA27 (or Westcott-Hort, Tischendorf, or the Byzantine, or Stephanus, or Scrivener, or even other papyri) for a reference that they both share … well, just fire up Compare Parallel Bible Versions, select the desired reference(s), and let ‘er go.
Like this:

Be sure to check out the article that explains the comparison feature in a little more detail.