You may have noticed I haven’t been blogging much lately. Mostly, I’ve been too busy working on the Andersen-Forbes Hebrew Syntax project. As part of that work, I recently went down to Melbourne, Australia to visit with Frank Andersen and Dean Forbes, the gentlemen themselves. It’s rare that the two of them are ever in the same room, since Dean lives in California and Frank lives half a world away in Melbourne. When we found out that Dean would be visiting Melbourne for a month to work with Frank, we decided that I should crash the party.*
Here’s another of Wendell Stavig’s questions to one of my earlier posts:
What is a MARC record?
MARC stands for Machine Readable Catalog, and is a Library of Congress standard way of specifying resource metadata, that is, information about the book. Think of it as an electronic card catalog entry. You could use the MARC record information to do a library search, and if you printed this information out and took it to your local library, your librarian would probably know what she was looking at, but mostly the MARC record represents cataloging information that is used by the Libronix DLS to help organize and find resources in your library.
If you want to learn more about the MARC format in all its splendor, the Library of Congress has a page for you. If you follow that link, I recommend that you refrain from operating heavy machinery for at least twelve hours afterward. Better make it twenty-four, just to be safe.
Anyway, this illustrates one of the things that sets the Libronix DLS apart from other Bible software programs: We really have built an electronic library, and not simply a Bible study program. To be sure, the Libronix DLS is an excellent Bible study program, but that’s not all it is; the features we’ve built for Bible study are simply specialized ways to access certain kinds of information in your electronic library shelves.
Say it with me: It’s not a program, it’s a library.
This is why, for example, we call books “resources” — a library has all sorts of resources, not just books. (So do we: A video resource isn’t a “book,” it’s … a video resource.) We are not tied down to presenting only one kind of information. Just like a library.
This is also why the My Library browser shows you not only the actual title of each book, but also alternate titles, popular titles, and any abbreviated titles we know about. You can type “Little Kittel” into the My Library browser to find The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Abridged in One Volume. Or you can find them by subject. Or by author. There’s more than one way to find the book you’re looking for.
Just like a library.
[C]ould you please explain some of the data in the Help | About This Resource window?
How you use the information under datatypes?
When you are studying a word, it’s often a good idea to look at synonyms and antonyms for that word as well. For example, if you were studying the English word run, you might also want to consider how words like sprint, jog, or even gallop overlap in meaning with run, and to what extent they are different. You may also want to consider how run and its synonyms are transformed into other parts of speech: What can the word jogger tell us about the meaning of run that runny cannot?
Finding words that are related to one another in meaning is also useful for studying the Bible, or else resources like Girdlestone’s Synonyms of the Old Testament or Trench’s Synonyms of the New Testament wouldn’t exist — not to mention Louw and Nida’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament based on Semantic Domains. The Louw-Nida dictionary is particularly interesting, since it arranges all the words of the Greek New Testament by means of a hierarchical taxonomy, where each entry rests within a “domain” of meaning alongside any other words that have some degree of semantic overlap.
That’s all fine and good if you’re only studying the Greek of the New Testament. But what about the Old Testament?
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 …”
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.
Earlier, I wrote about how to set up the Quick Navigation Bar (aka, “the Go box”) to quickly open resources. It can be used to navigate to references as well, and in the Libronix DLS, just about everything is a reference. I’ll look at two in this post: citations of Bible verses, and lexicon headwords.
The Quick Navigate Bar is already set up to open Bible references. Try it: Type
Ecc 12:12 into the Go box and hit
ENTER. Some version of the Bible should open to that verse. Which version of the Bible opens on your system depends on which resource you have set as your preferred translation (Tools | Options | Keylink…).
The Quick Navigate Bar can also be set up to navigate to other kinds of references, too. It simply needs to know what kinds of citations which data types it should expect. I’ve added Hebrew to my Quick Nav bar so I can type Hebrew words into the Go box to open my favorite lexicon: 1) Go to Tools | Options | Power Tools… on the main menu; 2) Choose the Quick Navigate tab; 3) Type
Bible, Hebrew into the Data Types text box; 4) OK.
Now, when you type a Hebrew lemma into the Go box (don’t forget to change the keyboard with
F2, or by using the Keyboard Selector in the system tray at the bottom-right of the screen) your favorite lexicon will be opened to that word. What’s more, if your favorite doesn’t have that word (or doesn’t have that spelling of the word), some other lexicon that does have that word will open.
The other day, Rick Brannan mentioned the Libronix DLS “Go” box casually in passing, as if everyone has that feature turned on and knows how to use it. Since Rick and I work with LDLS resource files all the time, we often stop thinking about titles and authors and start calling books by their project names: CHAPSOT, ANLEX, BHSWTS40.
We also use the identifiers to navigate quickly to the resources using the “Go” box that Rick was talking about. This is so integral to the way that I use the LDLS that I forget that most people don’t know about these shorthand identifiers, and furthermore, many people don’t even have the “Go” box turned on in the first place.
What is it? What we’ve been calling the Go box is really the Quick Navigate Bar that comes with the Power Tools addin. That’s exactly what it lets you do: navigate to any resource in your library quickly. I use the Quick Navigate Bar to do three things: 1) Quickly open specific resources (books); 2) navigate directly to a Bible reference in my preferred Bible (when it isn’t even open yet); and 3) do the same with a Hebrew lexicon.
My name is Eli Evans, and I’ve been working at Logos for almost ten years now. (“HI, Eli!”)
It’s easy for me to remember that because my daughter Chelanne (/shel-ANN/) was only a few months old when I first began work at Logos as a “proofer.” Back in 1996, I was in music school (French horn) and my Dad was working at Logos in the dealer sales department. He told me about a new department that was just starting up that I might be interested: Electronic Text Development. It sounded exciting to me, and the closer I came to becoming a high school band instructor, the more I felt I had chosen the wrong career path. In fact, I began to believe that almost anything would be better than being a high school band instructor.
These days I work in the Design & Editorial department with Rick Brannan. (No matter what I do, I just can’t lose that guy.) I think that Rick is “Editorial” and I’m “Design.” Where Rick is the go-to guy for Greek resources, I mostly concentrate on the Hebrew databases and writing top secret data-entry tools for scholars and authors to create new LDLS content.