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Thread: Better handling of text groups needed

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    189

    Default Better handling of text groups needed

    Hi all
    I have a suggestion to the BW-staff for future improvement of BW: I think a better, more user-friendly and more modern handling of text groups is needed.
    To me it seems odd that you have to define your text groups and tabs by your self - risking to miss some connected material.
    It would be much more logic that BW came with an predefined division like:
    OT-texts
    NT-texts
    OT Pseudepigrapha
    OT apocrypha
    NT apocrypha
    Philon
    Josephus
    Qumran
    etc...

    My point is: right now you have to first point out a search version, then you have to find out whether some Greek, Hebrew or English text follows that search version, and then you have to define a tab (which cannot be labelled) and to save it.

    Why not make it much more userfriendly and with clear text and labes explictly stating which text goes with which and in the userinterface then give an option on what to have displayed together, which version to be the searchable and so on.

    Am I clear enough here?

    Right now my bet is that many BW user would not even know which books they have on the HD simply because BW does not in a user friendly manner tell you so.

    So, just my 2 cents...

    Morten

  2. #2

    Default

    I partly agree that the setup could be clearer, but on the other hand, I don't use my tabs the way you describe, in which each tab is assigned a particular kind of material (if I've understood correctly).

    I use one tab for my main research, a second for my main reading, and all the rest end up being offshoot searches. For example, I'm reading along, and I want to run a search on some Hebrew phrase that pops up. instead of doing it in my reading window and losing my place, I clone it to another tab and do my messing about in there. When finished, I clear that tab and go back to my reading pane.
    Ben

  3. #3

    Default A little help

    Just a little hint that helps a bit...
    With the cursor clicked somewhere in the middle browse window, hit the letter "V" (for version) on your keyboard. This will open up a menu with the texts sorted by language: Greek, Hebrew, English, Latin, etc.

    It helps a bit, but it would still be better to have texts groups as you noted by topic/subject.
    Mark G. Vitalis Hoffman
    Professor of Biblical Studies
    Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg
    ltsg.edu - CrossMarks.com
    Biblical Studies and Technological Tools

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    175

    Default

    Hi Morten,

    I agree with your suggestion. The video below shows how I set up several language or resource specific groups and how I use them in a cross version search. This may be a work around until BW gets the features you are recommending. I would like these to be provided by BW and the link #'s to be able to be named. Also, it needs to be easier to set these up without missing versions. As the resources continue to grow, library management becomes more important.

    http://screencast.com/t/5Va9Uwe751K

    Hopefully the video is clear and helpful.

    John Fidel

  5. #5

    Default Very nice, John!

    I had not thought of using the Display Versions tool in that way, ... and then to work with the cross-language search tool. I'm busy pulling together displays of the Targums and other sets. Thanks!
    Mark G. Vitalis Hoffman
    Professor of Biblical Studies
    Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg
    ltsg.edu - CrossMarks.com
    Biblical Studies and Technological Tools

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    175

    Default

    Hi Mark,

    I am glad the suggestion was helpful. It should be easier to set up.. perhaps the next version.

    John Fidel

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    923

    Default

    Ever since 7.0 came out I have been using tabs as Morten suggests. The problem with making such tabs pre-set is that not all users load all the Bible versions that come with BW. Not all users purchase the add-on versions, and some people make more use of user-database versions. So, if you designate tab 1 as Old Testament (which I do), each user may have a different set of versions in it. I have WTT, BGT, VUL, and various English versions. Others might want the Targums or non-English modern translations. You can use the "Edit Search/Display Favorites" under Options, right now to decide which versions you want together. If you want BW to ship with somebody's personal favorites, that would be easy to do. It takes one line in the BW700.ini file. But whose favorites would you choose?
    When you talk about versions that go together, that can mean different things too. For example I have my tab 3 for all versions in all languages that contain the apocrypha. (Tab 2 is for my favorite versions for New Testament study). But most users wouldn't care to have the Slovak versions in the favorites, just because it contains the apocrypha.
    I also have set up tabs for the Apostolic Fathers, Josephus, Philo, classical Greek (almost all from user-databases), and Pseudepigrapha (which I would like to be able to coordinate with the Dead Sea Scrolls, since there is some overlap). If someone is interested, I could post my tabs, but they are personal preferences, not necessarily a definitive grouping.
    Someone else might want all versions that are translated from the Vulgate instead of from the Greek and Hebrew. Some translations of the OT are based on the LXX instead of on the Hebrew. Would having a separate tab for them be what you mean by combining versions that "follow" your search version? If so, parts of the Vulgate are translated from Hebrew and parts from LXX. So do you include the translations of the Vulgate among the translations of the LXX? Users might differ in their answer to these questions. So, you just edit your favorites.
    The one advantage of NOT having a name on the tabs is that is saves screen space. I have 8 active tabs. I can see only 7 on my screen, even though each is just a number. I would probably see only 2 or 3 tabs on my screen, if the title of each tab were to be displayed. If I can remember a ten-digit 800 phone number, I should be able to remember my 8 tabs (which I do).
    Just some food for thought.
    Mark Eddy
    Last edited by Mark Eddy; 09-17-2007 at 12:41 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    175

    Default

    First of all you make some good points. A few thoughts:

    1. Why not make it easier to find resources in the version listing? I would like to see all Greek NT texts and not have to filter through all Greek Texts. The Peshitta texts are all over the place. Why not make it easier to put sets together?

    2. Why not have a few sets that users can adapt or copy as a starting point for their own sets?

    3. I think BW can make things easier and still maintain the ability for each user to adapt the software for their purpose. This way new users can have access to some of the more advanced features and advanced users such as yourself can tweak things how best suites you.

    4. How many BW users really know how to tweak the ini file and want to? Not me.

    John Fidel

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    189

    Default

    John, thanks for the very helpful screen cast - such a cross-version search surely enhances the value of the many added user databases.

    Just as a response to some of the arguments here against a simplification of the interface, I would say that I surely treasure BWs highly customizable design strategy as well. However, in this case I think it comes out too 'nerdy' and unhandy. You need a really good overview over the resources available to be sure on not accidentally leaving something out in your collections.

    I am sure that the BW staff can come up with a more user-friendly, less nerdy and more fancy solution that would demand a less steep learning curve without compromising the flexibility.

    All the best
    Morten

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    189

    Default

    Hi again
    John (and others), what is the difference between using the tabs to call up predefined collections and search preferences and then the one you show in the video, where collections are stored under Options/Versions?

    I have predefined collections at my tabs marked by two ** - but nothing is written under Options/Versions?

    Also, what does it actually do when I freeze the tabs (* -> **)? I started doing so because I experienced that my tab-collections got lost from time to time. Now I freeze them and save the collection in a different name.

    Thanks
    Morten

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