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Michael Hanel
10-11-2004, 09:01 PM
I know this was stated earlier in a previous post, but one of the reasons that BibleWorks is such a great program is because of what it includes in the main program without extra costs. Sure there are modules that you can buy to expand the program, but the program itself provides a plethora of Biblical texts. Then with BW 6 Josephus and the Apostolic Fathers were added, with no additional costs to the user.

Now another opportunity to make BibleWorks even better is coming up. I've contacted Harry Plantinga, the operator of the Christian Classics Ethereal Library (http://www.ccel.org) and I've asked him if it would be okay to use the Church Fathers texts that are online at that website to incorporate them into a database for use with Biblical studies computer programs. He said that was perfectly okay. To my knowledge, the works at that website are public domain and with his assurance that this is so, I think it's time to take a step forward.

I'm asking for volunteers of those who are interested in using the CCEL Church Fathers texts to make them into a format that would work in BibleWorks. This would entail picking a specific work and converting it into a plain text format that BW's Version Database Compiler would then integrate into BW. I'm sure I make it sound easier than it is. I honestly don't have any experience with making this happen, but I know we can figure it out because the same process was used by BW users to get the Apostolic Fathers database into BW in the first place. The biggest thing is just to be able to spearhead activities and make sure we're not reduplicating work. I'm not entirely sure how long this project would take, but I know the more people who are willing to help out, the quicker it would go. A lot of the texts include copious footnotes. BW will allow footnotes in its text as well, but it will take a little bit of work to type them in the text in the right order.

:eek: If you think you have more skill or time than myself and would like to coordinate this project, let me know. If you would like to volunteer to be involved also let me know. This is a no glory project. No one's going to make any money on it, but it's for the collective BW public own benefit. This stuff is out there and free, it just takes a little bit of grunt work to put it on BW in a way that would pay off big.:eek:

In the future we could also include original languages to these works, but since that text is less freely available, that's an option down the road. If anyone knows of a great repository of original language works that would be in public domain, certainly speak up.

My email is of the hotmail.com variety and should be preceded by an ekim11

Mike Hanel
MDiv Student Concordia Seminary
MA Classics Student Washington University

bcollins
10-18-2004, 02:17 PM
I've already done a little work on the Ante-Nicene Fathers from the CCEL site.
I suppose what I've done reflects my own idiosyncrosies. For instance, I stripped out the footnotes, the elucidations, and most things labeled as suspect or fragmentary.

I tried to post what I've done already, but received the message: "Invalid Post specified."

Michael Hanel
10-18-2004, 03:41 PM
I'm not exactly sure what would have gone wrong with your post, it might have something to do with attachment size, if you meant you attached it with your message. With his permission of course, you could get the file to James Darlack since he has a website that can host a limited amount of files.

I've been working on Irenaeus' Against the Heresies, but I've been including footnotes because they're valuable to the translation and since BibleWorks is capable of having them, it seemed to make sense to keep them.

Mike

tomc
10-18-2004, 05:31 PM
Michael,

What needs to happen is for someone to write a program to strip out the html code and put it in plain text to be compiled. All that needs to be decided is the versification, i.e. by word count, sentence count, ect.

I do this type of text manipulation all the time at work, it would just involve writing a Perl script. Fortunately there is a version that works at the DOS prompt called ActivePerl.

I could probably take a quick look at it later this week, but probably wouldn't have time to really do it until near Thanksgiving. If someone else can do it sooner then just let me know.

The only thing I haven't done is work with other languages in Unicode within Perl, I'm pretty sure it is doable though.

thanks,

Tommy

Michael Hanel
10-18-2004, 08:56 PM
Who knew life with computers was that easy? Brian has a raw text file of all the ante-nicene fathers it looks like minus the footnotes. It needs a little basic formatting, but otherwise (from my brief glance over it -- it's hard to be certain since it was 1200 some pages long!) it probably is able to be compiled.

However, his version is without the footnotes, which i think are valuable enough to put in there. So I didnt know if it was quicker to manually add them, or would a Perl program be able to put those in as well? that seems rather difficult, but you would know better than I.

Otherwise, if all people want is the raw text, I feel fairly confident in saying if we simply divided up the text file that we have now into smaller chunks so people could review those pages to make sure formatting is ok, it could be compiled no problem.

Mike

jdarlack
10-19-2004, 07:36 AM
Let me encourage you to include the footnotes. When the the original translators of the Early Church Fathers did their work, they included them for a reason, plus as Mike said, BibleWorks can do it, so why wouldn't we? In fact you can even encode the Greek and Hebrew that's mentioned in the footnotes so that it shows properly in BW! This could be done with a macro or by hand.

Also, let me encourage you to "versify" the text according to one of the standard Greek texts. Either by Migne's Patrilogia Grecae or by whatever's in TLG. This may actually take some work, but I believe the profits would be worth it... Ah, but TIME is is at a premium for those of us in Seminary/School and even more so for those of us in the pulpit/classroom!

This discussion is great!

Regarding:

I've already done a little work on the Ante-Nicene Fathers from the CCEL site.
I suppose what I've done reflects my own idiosyncrosies. For instance, I stripped out the footnotes, the elucidations, and most things labeled as suspect or fragmentary.

I tried to post what I've done already, but received the message: "Invalid Post specified."
Send me an email, bcollins, and I'll post it to my site and list it on the forum!

My email is jdarlack?@?gcts?.?edu (just remove the question marks!)

tomc
10-21-2004, 12:54 AM
I don't think including the footnotes would be too difficult, if I recall it is just done with tags. Perl can do whatever you want it to do regarding footnotes, ect. As I said before, I just haven't tried using a greek font within it. That would require a little bit of work.

Jim,
Do you have a suggestion to automate the versification? Doing it according to a standard would definitely be the most difficult part.

thanks,

tommy

jdarlack
10-21-2004, 09:54 AM
Jim,
Do you have a suggestion to automate the versification? Doing it according to a standard would definitely be the most difficult part.Hi Tommy,

I don't think there is any way possible to "automate" versifying the text. This is something that has to be done by either looking at the Greek/Latin texts or by comparing with an already versified English Text...I am sorry that I don't have any other ideas.

;) My high school geometry teacher used to tell the story of Euclid--the Greek father of geometry. Euclid once rebuked Ptolemy, a Greek king who sought an easy way into mathematics, saying, "There is no royal road to geometry." I think his words apply here... There's no royal road to versification! :(

For those of you who are curious, here's the Greek of Euclid's statement:


mh. ei=nai basilikh.n avtrapo.n evpi. geometri,an


From G. Friedlein, Procli Diadochi in primum Euclidis elementorum librum commentarii (Leipzig: Teubner, 1873), page 68, lines 16-17.

Michael Hanel
10-21-2004, 11:42 AM
Hopefully in less than a week I'll have the Ante Nicene text into database-ready format. After that there's tons of proof reading to do and it needs footnotes too. Now if there's an easy way to add footnotes to the text we have that's cool, if not, as Jim says, the text still needs to be checked out, and footnotes can be added then. Then there's the question of whether you want to convert references out of roman numerals and little things like that to make it more user friendly. In any event, it's a little over 2500 pages of text, so it'll prob take a good while. It'll be useable now, but not very reliable, but it's definitely a place to start.

Mike

tomc
10-24-2004, 06:10 PM
Michael-

Whatever you have will be a good start to add the footnotes to. I think changing the roman numerals would probably be fairly easy, so don't do any of it by hand.

Michael Hanel
10-25-2004, 05:06 PM
Until Jim gets his email checked you can download the ANF files at www.cune.org/michael.hanel/ANF.zip (http://www.cune.org/michael.hanel/ANF.zip) Unzip it and use the DDF file provided and make sure it's pointed to the ADF txt file. Compile. Enjoy!

Next comes the fun part of editing :)

Mike

MBushell
10-28-2004, 10:38 AM
Hi Guys,

The VDC was never really intended to do this sort of thing. It is intended to do verse based stuff. You might be able to shoehorn the Fathers into this shoe, but I would recommend a different approach. You can put the stuff into well-formatted HTML files, including the footnotes. The footnotes can be hypertext linked to the text. Someone would also have to do some hypertext linking to build a nice table of contents, etc. In fact al this may be in the Ethereal library stuff already. The files need to be broken down into nice-sized sections.

Once all this is done you ca build an HTML Help file of the Fathers. I can show you how to do it. Or I can do it myself. In fact if you guys can get the files into decent shape ready to be compiled, we can add hyper text links to all the scripture refs and add a scripture index for use with the Lexical & Gramattical Help feature in BW. Of course the resulting files would be made freely available to users. We have a policy of not charging for PD texts, even if they cost us money to develop. We hope we can continue that policy - pray for us!

SO basically, my suggestion is to just produce HTML files. If you break the text down into nice-niced chunks the HTML search engine works really well and we can hook it up to BibleWorks very easily. Since the text is not verse based and doesn't include a lot of Hebrew and Greek, this is the best way to go.

That's my 2 cents.

Mike Bushell
BibleWorks

jdarlack
10-28-2004, 11:02 AM
Hey Mike,

That sounds like an excellent idea!

Here's a few thoughts, however:

Speed & complexity of searching is hindered if it is not treated as a "version." This is not so much an issue if the text is English, but if I wanted to do a search on a particular theological motif and wanted to exclude certain words, etc. It would be helpful to have either the power of the Command Line or the ASE.
Parallel display: If or when someone gets the Greek and/or Latin compiled for these texts, it is much easier to display the various versions in parallel if they are compiled with the VDC or in a similar manner.
Synoptic display: If one wanted to create a sdf file for a "catena" of sorts, where a Biblical quote in the text would automatically be displayed next to the source file, then one can only do this if the text is a compiled version. Perhaps this could be a feature for 7, 8 or 9.0...the ability to display synoptically HTML help files next to version files...Hint, hint...;)
Ultimately, I think your idea of marking the text up in HTML with Scripture References, etc. is an excellent idea! The "synoptic display problem" I mentioned above would be taken care of with the Grammatical & Lexical help, as would the Hebrew and Greek mark-up.

Have you looked at the files at CCEL Mike? Here's a link to Version 2... http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/. Version 3 is in the works.

Michael Hanel
10-28-2004, 11:47 AM
Perhaps if we saw an example of what you're talking about it would be easier to decide. I don't really want to divert BW programmers from important projects, so I figured this was something users could do. Also I agree with Jim, there seem to be some definite advantages to this method. One of the main reasons I even thought about putting this into BW was the searching capability. Other programs that use the Church Fathers don't have the same capability because the files are all partitioned, but here they're under one umbrella, a definite plus.

I def recognize the drawbacks of integrating them into the VDC format, indeed we've mentioned some of them like formatting to certain verses, chapters etc, the inability to get Greek display, etc. So it's not a totally one sided issue. But for what my two cents is worth unless some of the advantages of this format could be attained in the HTML format.

Also Jim, I don't know if you've seen the E-Catena (http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/e-catena/) link or not...sounds like it's not reliable but is a start....

Anyway, I'm open-eared to what others think will be beneficial

jdarlack
10-28-2004, 01:03 PM
Hi Mike,

The E-Catena is a great resource, though if you really want an accurate account of where the Bible is referenced in the Fathers, one should consult the pricy Biblia Patristica. Here's some info:

Biblia Patristica; Index des Citations et Allusions Bibliques dans la Litterature Patristique. Paris: Editions du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 1, 1975- . Each volume is arranged in canonical order. References to a passage by church fathers are listed under the biblical texts. The project is to cover from the 1st through the 9th century.

v. 1 covers the first two centuries
v. 2 covers 3rd century, omitting Origen
v. 3 Origen
v. 4 Eusebius, Cyril of Jerusalem & Epiphanius
v. 5 Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa & Amphilochius
v. 6 Hilary of Poitiers, Ambrose of Milan & Ambrosiaster
Supplement: Philo
v. 7 Didyme d’Alexandrie

See the bottom of the following web page for instructions on how to use it! (http://www.hugsr.edu/ResearchGuide/2004/Early%20Church%20Hist%20Bib.htm)

MBushell
10-29-2004, 01:01 PM
Hi Guys,

One of the reasons that BW works so well as a Bible research tool is that is was designed and optimized from the ground up for verse based searches. The same search paradigms do not work well for both verse based texts and generalized infomation texts. You just can't do a good job on both with one paradigm. That's my opinion anyway. HTML Help works very well, and when we take the time to build scripture indices, it is even better. It is possible even to build Greek and Hebrew indices in the same way. HTML Help even supports unicode searches, though in order to support our many users who do not have XP, we have opted not to compile them in unicode format just yet. But eventually we will use unicode HTML Help or whatever Microsoft equivalent there is at the time (it is uncertain what will be in Longhorn). This also provides databases with real longevity (a serious issue in this indistry). For English databases like the Fathers it is a good match I think.

We could easily design a new database compiler and reader suited to generalized text databases. We have thought about that many times. We could even put a wrapper around Microsoft code, as many others have done. But does the industry need yet another proprietary database format? We use our own formats for verse based databases and lexicons because there are huge speed and integration advantages and in these areas that is important. But we want to minimize the use of this approach to those areas where it makes sense. We are still feling our way along, but this seems to make sense at present.

But we are always open to new suggestions.

Mike

Michael Hanel
10-29-2004, 05:22 PM
So what would you suggest then? I don't know if I entirely understand where you're going. If the database is in this present format is there an easy way to convert it into HTML help version? Or doesn't putting it in this format do any good at all? I'm just thinking that if there isn't an easy way to do your way since BW as of yet doesn't handle that, is it really a good option? Like in the future if that's what you guys can do, that's cool, but I assume you don't want to drop all you're doing to pursue this. I was trying to find things users could do that were helpful and beneficial while you guys did your job on your side.

Again, I realize we are trying to fit ANF into a format that it's not optimal for, but I do like having it available in the version format that it is, despite the problems mentioned elsewhere. I guess I'm just not sold on the HTML help mode yet.

Mike

jdarlack
10-29-2004, 10:12 PM
Hi Mike,

To give you an idea of what Mike has in mind here, take a look at either Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar or Burton's Moods and Tenses in the Grammatical Resources. If Scripture references were indexed, you could use the Lexical & Grammatical help in the same way that you can use it to access the grammars.

I agree with you that the searchability is an issue here. The other issue is with displaying parallel texts, but I don't think that would be solved until the ANF is versified according to whatever Greek standard is out there...perhaps the Migne's Patrilogia Graecae, or something else. Ultimately I think it would be best to have the versified version of the whole ANF, NF and PNF along with Greek, Latin and Syriac texts...but that would be quite a feat!

~Jim

MBushell
10-30-2004, 10:32 AM
Check out:

http://www.helpware.net/FAR/

This prvides you with a cheap (but excellent) way to produce HTML Help files. You can download and use it for free but if you use it long term we do recommend paying the very reasonable shareware fee. This program allows you to take a directory of HTML files and turn it into an HTML Help file. There are expensive tools that do the same thing and add bells and whistles, but this one is cheap, easy to use and well done. Of course you would need a good HTML editor if you do much of it. We can provide tools to automatically search for scripture refs and tag them so they jump to BW. Hopefully we can pull together the tools to do this in our next release, along with some tutorials.

The bottom line is that it is not at all that difficult to make your own HTML Help files and incorporate a high degree of BibleWorks integration into them. The files would work fine without BW - the links back and forth just wouldn't work. So if people want to work on projects to share that are not verse-based (like commentaries or anthologies, etc.) this is the way to go. The format is easy to work with, has longevity, is portable, and is non-proprietary.

Another option is PDF files, which now have very nice indexing features. We are looking into this more. There are advantages and disadvantages but I don't know nearly as much about this option. And there are not any free tool options that I know of.

Mike

tomc
10-31-2004, 01:15 PM
I'll mess around with that HTML help program, that sounds like the best overall solution, but some of us on the side could work at the versification. It appears as if it will have to all be versified by hand if we actually want to follow the standard that Jim mentioned.

tomc
10-31-2004, 07:16 PM
I looked at it a little bit this afternoon. Version 3 at the CCEL site is also distributed in what they call "ThML", which is their own little XML file that they then parse into HTML. The cool thing about that file is that an entire work is in one file with the footnotes embedded in the text by tags. I think it might not be too difficult to add a little javascript to the HTML file via a script so that the footnotes would just be a popup at the appropriate place. (I'm under the impression that the Help file will compile fine with a little javascript or vbscript in it.)

Some formatting might have to be done by hand though. Here is a great HTML editor: http://www.chami.com/html-kit/

Michael Hanel
11-01-2004, 05:04 PM
A msg for those who are able to work on HTML files and convert them into HTML Help format. If you do this use as the base files only those volumes that have been updated into Version 3. I honestly haven't sat down and compared a version 3 to a version 2 file, but supposedly the version 3 should have been more thoroughly proofread and such so that it should be the cleanest text available. I know it has a lot more coding in it with THML and I dont know if that makes a messy conversion into HTML Help, but just thought I'd make sure people were working with the best possible text if they're putting hard work into it.

Mike

vr8ce
11-01-2004, 07:20 PM
...
The bottom line is that it is not at all that difficult to make your own HTML Help files and incorporate a high degree of BibleWorks integration into them. The files would work fine without BW - the links back and forth just wouldn't work. So if people want to work on projects to share that are not verse-based (like commentaries or anthologies, etc.) this is the way to go. The format is easy to work with, has longevity, is portable, and is non-proprietary.

Another option is PDF files, which now have very nice indexing features. We are looking into this more. There are advantages and disadvantages but I don't know nearly as much about this option. And there are not any free tool options that I know of.

Mike
I'm not fond of the HTML help files, personally, at least wrt use with BW. If I wanted a standalone Matthew Henry, e.g., it might be OK, but as a tool for use with BW, it leaves a lot to be desired. For example, comparing integrated (Robertson) w/ HTML (Henry), the HTML doesn't sync with the response window, doesn't allow direct verse entry, the font isn't controllable by the user (or is it? I'm not talking about the person who compiles it, I'm talking about the hundreds of people that are going to use it), and doesn't have a menu shortcut (more keystrokes to open).

I'd love to see a VDC for this type of material, and the ability of the program to use it as it does Robertson, e.g. For example, I'd love to see/get K&D into BW (e-sword has it, so an electronic text exists somewhere).

I don't think the proprietary format is really an issue, when it's possible to easily get "standard" text in/out of the proprietary format. I don't think even BW's proprietary database format is that big a deal, because we can easily produce a CCAT file from it, or import a CCAT file into it.

So, one man's opinion, but I don't think HTML is a good generic solution for a lot of the material I would like to add (or see added) to BW.

Vince