Visual Filters and Verb Rivers (Part I)

I’ve been working through 1Ti 4.11-16 in my personal study. One thing that jumps out in this passage is the amount of imperative verbs relative to 1Ti 1.1-4.10. These six verses contain 10 imperatives; nine of them are in the second person singular (thus likely addressed to the reader, Timothy).

This is an important feature of the passage (and in the larger discourse of the epistle), and it should be looked into.

But how does Logos Bible Software help you become aware of this sort of thing? There are two features (at least) that help one “see” these things. Visual Filters and Verb Rivers. These are available in the Biblical Languages Addin, which is already a part of some Logos packages (see bottom of this product page for details).

This article explores what sort of information these addins convey.
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From Morphology to Syntax

Morphologically analyzed texts have been an important feature of Bible software packages for years. Logos offers several different morphological analyses for the Greek NT and we will soon have three different analyses for the Hebrew. Recently we announced or shipped analyzed versions of the Old Testament Greek Pseudepigrapha, the Apostolic Fathers in Greek, and the Works of Philo. (The Works of Josephus aren’t far behind.)

But what if you want to look at syntax? There have not been a lot of tools available. Logos is partnering with to change that, and you soon will be able to see (and search!) a syntactically annotated Greek NT. The image below is an early view of just one of the ways you will be able to use this data.

Navigation History as a Tree

HistoryTree.pngWhen I am browsing electronic texts I tend to follow a lot of rabbit trails. One of my frustrations with web browsers and other hyperlinked systems is that my navigation history is a straight line. I can follow links from A to B to C to D, but if I back up to C and follow an alternate link to E, the system forgets that I was at D.

Real world browsing involves following lots of parallel paths, and this is especially true in Bible study, where you want to follow lots of cross references on a single theme, each of which may lead you to other ideas, without losing track of where you started.

The next release of the Libronix Digital Library System records all of your navigation and can present it as a tree, not just a list. So while Back and Forward work just as they always have, if you want to revisit one of the branches your study took earlier in your session, you can open the History Dialog and find it quickly.

(The History Dialog is already available as part of the Libronix DLS v2.2 Alpha.)

I am excited about the new History Dialog not just because it is a feature I have wanted for a long time, but because it is representative of the innovation in the Libronix Digital Library System. To the best of my knowledge, this is one of the first visual tools for navigating your browsing history in any hypertext system. (A similar feature was added to one web browser just weeks ago, and it has been suggested for others.)

We are not content to simply apply the established technologies and interfaces to Bible study tools – we want to be on the cutting edge with new and better solutions.

Tools, Options, KeyLink!

If you’ve been to one of Morris Proctor’s Camp Logos training seminars, then you’re familiar with the cry of “Tools, Options, KeyLink!”

I know I occasionally need a reminder of this, and chances are you may need a reminder too. Now is as good a time as any, especially since Eli’s recent blog entry about data types reminds me that facility with KeyLinking (how you look up stuff using data types) is something that effective users of Logos Bible Software seem to take for granted.

But knowing where to go to set your KeyLink preferences (once again, this time for Moe: “Tools, Options, KeyLink!”) is only half the battle. Understanding what happens when a KeyLink is invoked, and knowing a little more about the resources available for KeyLinking is necessary as well.

You might want to check out a few tutorials we have in the Support area of the Logos web site. These are listed in the order in which they were written. I wrote the Greek KeyLinking article to help folks understand what the different targets were and how KeyLink order affects lookup. A colleague then wrote the Hebrew KeyLinking article, and he followed that up with the English KeyLinking article. (If you haven’t figured it out, I’m a bit myopic when it comes to Greek!) All three articles have the same basic idea: understand the feature, know your resources, select your KeyLink order; but the each article applies the ideas to particular languages and available resources.

So, here are the articles:

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.)

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Using DBL’s Semantic Domains

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?

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More on Looking Up Citations: Pseudepigrapha

I blogged about looking up Philo citations in BDAG awhile back. But Philo (and even Josephus) aren’t the only potential targets you can work with.

There are a number of reasons to use pseudepigraphal writings (Greek or English or both) to supplement one’s study, though I think such reasons fall into two primary categores: cultural and linguistic. In this article I’ll focus a bit on the linguistic side of things (though I do venture into the cultural a bit), looking particularly at word meanings.

In my personal study, I like to look up cross-references when looking into word meanings. This is particularly handy if a word doesn’t occur often in the New Testament but does occur in other non-canonical writings. I was recently looking at 1Ti 3.8, specifically at the word ?????????????, which the ESV translates as greedy for dishonest gain.

The first thing, of course, was to look it up in BDAG. Here I found that it occurs 2 times in the NT, and both of these are in the Pastoral Epistles (1Ti 3.8 and Tt 1.7). Both contexts are the pretty much the same. But BDAG also cites instances of ????????????? in the Works of Philo (Sacr. Abel. 32) and in the pseudepigraphal Testament of Judah 16.1.
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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.)

[Read more…]

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.

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.