Building a new paradigm for the Notes engine

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Jim Dean | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Jul 15 2009 5:46 AM

As I see it, we use the resources in Libronix for two or three general types of purposes (I'd appreciate any expansion of this list - I'm trying to keep it related to the "purpose" of the activity, and as "general" as possible):

1. to generally study the Word for our own purposes - either via a "devotional" or an "in-depth" pattern, but without a particular topical focus or goal in mind other than to be able to grow and be transformed

2. to prepare lessons/sermons/treatises on a given topic or a given portion of scripture

3. to answer a specific question or to research a specific topic

And I suppose that many if not all of us have at some time(s) or another thought how neat it would be to be able to consolidate ... or plan on later consolidating ... ALL of our study, regardless of its original purpose, into our own personal "Systematic Theology" ... or, some might prefer to think of the consolidation in terms of our own personal version of Thompson's "Chain Reference".

I believe that an improved Notes feature for Libronix is where these abilities stand or fall.  I also believe that significantly-enhanced highlighting is a core component which can "feed" that new Notes engine.

I'm starting this thread as a place to consolidate this line of thinking, and would appreciate whatever ON-topic contributions or critiques that others might make.  Hopefully, when we get done, BobP will have a detailed, useful paradigm to consider.

I'd like to try and avoid getting too embroiled in aspects that would only affect a small percentage of Libronix users.  Two reasons for this:  one, because if it's only a few people affected, then there's little ROI for Libronix staff developers;  second, because USUALLY those "out of the ordinary" aspects can complicate the interface so much that it's awkward to use.

My opinion is that the current interface is not only somewhat buggy, but it is neither intuitive nor easy to use.  I'd like to see the revised engine have a "natural" feel to it.  "Natural" in this case should be interpreted to mean "it works like the rest of Libronix".  In arenas that Libronix does not have any comparable features, then I'd suggest that "natural" should fit general Windows paradigms, or more specifically MS Office - not because those are necessarily the "best" ... but because the MAJORITY of users are familiar with them.

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Redeeming the time (Eph.5:16+Col.4:5) ...
Jim Dean

Posts 150
Jim Dean | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 15 2009 5:50 AM

JimDean:
I believe that an improved Notes feature for Libronix is where these abilities stand or fall.  I also believe that significantly-enhanced highlighting is a core component which can "feed" that new Notes engine.

Pursuant to that, here is a list of Highlighting suggestions that I've made (so far) which have a bearing on this.  Additional Highlighting suggestions, insofar as they fit into this feeding-the-Notes-engine, would be appropriate to post on this thread ... if they are more general suggestions, then you might consider posting on this thread instead:  http://community.logos.com/forums/t/342.aspx

 

1. Add the ability to toggle highlights off/on for a given resource, independently for each highlighting color/style, or for any instance of a highlighting palette, and with a user-specifiable range in the resource.

2. Add the ability to search a resource for the next occurance of any specified highlight color/style/palette (single item or group) by some simple single-keystroke method such as F3 to find the next, Shift-F3 to find the previous, and Ctrl-F3 to redefine the search parameters.

3. Add the ability to automatically create a verselist from any portion of a Bible, based on any specified highlight color/style/palette (single item or group).

4. Add the ability to automatically create a linked-page-number list from any portion of any resource, based on any specified highlight color/style/palette (single item or group).  This list would have the general form/function that VerseLists do now, but instead of verses would show page numbers with location-ID's.  Those ID's would be abcd/efgh, where a indicates the middle of the highlight is in the top quarter of the left column of a page, and h indicates the bottom quarter of the right column.  The searched item would be displayed with user-toggle options similar to VerseList options, showing either JUST the highlighted words OR the full sentence OR the full paragraph that they are a part of.  The highlight color/style itself should be shown as in the resource.  Hovering over the page number/letter would bring a popup with the paragraph, and clicking on it would open the resource in a new pane to that location.

5. Add the ability to delete any specified highlight color/style/palette (single item or group) markings from a given range (verses or pages) of a given Resource.

6. Add the ability to CHANGE any specified highlight color/style to any other specified highlight color/style within a given range (verses or pages) of a given Resource.

7. Add the ability to circle the verse number, with one two or three concentric circles, and with different colors (ie to show the "importance" of the verse)

8. Add the ability to draw lines between highlighted words in the text to associate them with one another visually, with different line colors possible.

9. Add the ability to associate a "keyword" with a certain style/color of highlighting, and a different keyword with the palette that the highlight was drawn from - hovering over the highlight would pop up the major.minor keywords (palatte and color = major & minor).

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Redeeming the time (Eph.5:16+Col.4:5) ...
Jim Dean

Posts 150
Jim Dean | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 15 2009 5:58 AM

JimDean:
As I see it, we use the resources in Libronix for two or three general types of purposes (I'd appreciate any expansion of this list - I'm trying to keep it related to the "purpose" of the activity, and as "general" as possible)

Here's a copy of another (long) post I made in the more general Notes/PLEA thread (http://community.logos.com/forums/t/242.aspx?PageIndex=2), which also should help set the scene for what my vision is (hopefully a vision that will grow and morph so that it becomes one that others can share in) ...

I think that the key to this is to get FOCUSED on what "the task" really is.  Then each suggestion can be evaluated against that paradigm.

LOGICALLY, there seems to me to be a clear dividing line, which Jim expressed and I'd like to further define.  That dividing line has stage(s) we might call "research" and "correlation" on one side, and stages that we might call "presentation" and "application" on the opposite side.  If we ask L to create something that works on both sides of the line, I think we'll just end up running in circles, and neither side will be adequately handled.  That's where we are now ... let's not just get a fancier version of confused. 

So, presuming that we agree conceptually on the distinctions between the two sides of the line, which one should be the prime focus of L's "new nifty notes" (NNN) ??  I think that's also a foregone conclusion ... the purpose of LIbronix is to help us study and learn ... it's NOT intended primarily as a visual-presentation platform (though it can be used that way, with a sufficiently-interested audience and a high-resolution projector).

THEREFORE, my strongest recommedation would be that "features" which would exists primarily to make things "look pretty" should be 86'd.  I'd far prefer to see L apply its talents and time to aiding me in my research and correlation.

OK, so where does THAT take us?  Well ...

RESEARCH is of course the process of utilizing L's tools and books to gather information into "interlinked baskets" that we will go back to later and sort through.  Of course, even though one often undertakes an initial study in one massive thrust, it is often the case that we will later go back to that same topic and add additional information &/or categories to it.  On the other hand, sometimes we have no such initial organized approach, but later on we decide to "collect" disparate notes and highlights together into a grouping that currently holds interest to us.

CORRELATION is the process of organizing the information into some coherent categories and sequence.  The same collection of bits of data can be correlated in many different ways ... thus, the results of our Research might yield, over the years, many different useful vignettes from different perspectives, with different teaching-goals.  So, we need to be able to have a way to leave the research in place, organized in whatever manner makes sense for the process of researching, and somehow, without disturbing that "orderly mess", have a way to reorganize bits of it into whatever pattern that fits our current task.

This need to reorganize-without-disturbing-the-original is the heart of the problem, in my view.  The simplest solution is to just make an extra copy of the entire research-collectiton, then hack and slash away the stuff that's not relevant to the current task, and finally organize the remainder into something that's amenable to porting to a DIFFERENT application, for "pretti-fying" (such as PowerPoint).

That copy+hack-n-slash method does work - it's how I usually do my own preparation - but it has two major flaws:   first, it often involves a LOT of material, especially if it includes extensive quotations from scripture or other sources.  This makes it just plain awkward to do.  The second flaw is:  if you want to add to or modify the research data at a later time, there is no "automatic" updating of the correlated results ... in fact, it's nearly impossible to figure out what research stuff is the "new' stuff, since completion of the original correlation task.

So, my strongest to-the-point request regarding NNN is that intense effort be made to allow for quick and easy and targetted links to be available at all levels, between all objects.  Of course, L is all about links!  However, those links don't "port" with a click-n-dragged selection when we paste it somewhere else.  That is, right-clicking on that copied entity does not bring up a menu similar to Libronix's.  Nor does double-clicking or hovering over it provide us with any additional information.  If we want to take THAT info (the linked stuff) with us to our Research-collection area, and later to our Correlation-worktable, we need to copy and paste it ALL!  Ooof.  Reminds me of moving out of a house.  Ya gotta take it ALL.

Additionally, we need a new layer of links that currently don't exist in Libronix ... ones that we build.  That is, we need to be able to link our notes ... our reseach data ... into customize chains of whatever sort we can imagine.  Then, we need links to link the links in different patterns, as we go through the Correlation process.  Huh.  I know, this sounds like gobbledegook, and sort of makes my head spin trying to write it out ... but I believe that this process is what we ACTUALLY DO, somewhat unconsciously and haphazardly, as we study and prepare, under the Spirit's direction.

I'm not too concerned, personally, about links to non-Libronix stuff such as external URL's.  Sure, it would be nice, but there is so much already IN Libronix, I believe that we must make research within that universe the top priority.  If for no other reason ... the multiple thousands of (wisely) invested dollars (many of us) have in this resource.  (I try not to think about this too much).   Besides ... incorporating outside links may well cause the "tightness" of whatever L might otherwise build to be mangled ... I'd rather be told to "add it myself, manually" re that other stuff, than to find that there's extra work, or additional limitations, in using the Libronix resources as a result of including the other stuff.

OK - that's as thorough an analysis that I can provide of the TASK's necessities.  It "shore wud bee grate" if a thousand replies came in with the words  - "Yeah - what he said" ... but I seriously doubt that will happen.  However, maybe we could try to discuss this for a while WITHOUT getting off into the "mechanics", because as Jim said before, everyone has their own style.

What we need are the tools to interlink all this info in ways that no one has yet imagined.  IMNSHO, it would be REALLY helpful if the L team could make a "list" of the KINDS of "linking" which are reasonably possible, and which kinds are a real time-consuming hair-pullilng bear of a job that we should try to avoid asking for.

Then, after those research+correlation "framework" capabilities are defined, I think it would be useful to start discussing the grab-bag of formatting options that would be useful.  Actually, THAT part of it is the SIMPLE part (I speak as a four-decades programmer at this point).  As someone already pointed out, a 12-year-old can write a word processor.  However it takes a Pritchett to write keylinking!

Summary:  I've tried to apply structured systems-analysis methods to this problem.  I hope that I've explained it well enough.  Thanks for being patient with the wordiness!

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Redeeming the time (Eph.5:16+Col.4:5) ...
Jim Dean

Posts 150
Jim Dean | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 15 2009 6:28 AM

That last (long) post is very general in nature, and probably will be frustrating to some since it does not offer any specific suggestions for implementation.

Here's a start on some implementation suggestions ... I hope others will add more, consonant with the overall idea.  And hey - if you think this is all going down the wrong track, puh-leeze don't waste time criticizing it ... just start your own thread with your own approach.  Thanks!

The two prior writeups ... one general about concepts and the other specific re improvements to highlighting ... can be thought of as the "Macro and micro" views.

Suggestion #9 in the highlighting list is a crucial key to useful integration of notes and highlights.  I'm envisioning the highlights to be a "visual" form of outlining, which can be augmented at any time without opening the Notes window.  The idea is to leverage L's current Highlighting organization of "Palettes" (groups of styles/colors) into a Major.Minor "outline" structure.  Keep in mind that you can build your own custom palettes (I did a writeup somewhere else about that, and posted snapshots).  You can have MANY differently-named palettes that use the SAME highlight-style in them. 

My thought is that one might build a Palette for a particular TOPIC, for example, "Who is Jesus".  That topic would have its own palette of colors or styles.  Each color would have its own focus, for example "Who Jesus said He is" ... and another color for "Who other believers said He is" ... and another color for "Who unbelievers said He is" ... and another color for "Who demons said He is" ... and another color for "Who the Father said Jesus is".  Of course this list just touches on "testimony" aspects of the main topic ... we'd also want colors to help group the various titles / descriptions of Jesus - hundreds of them - ie "Who the Word says Jesus is".

OK, with that idea in mind ... those descriptions would be added to the selectiton-boxes for various Palettes ... or possibly the description would just BE the name of the palette.  Then, as you "drill down" into the palette to see the various colors/styles assigned to it, next to each option would be listed the text you've chosen to associate with it.

L's highlighting allows MULTIPLE colors/styles to be COMBINED for a given word or phrase ... that is, you can highlight something in yellow, outline it, underline it, and box it, etc.  So, you could have MULTIPLE "topical" Palettes visually attached to a given passage, which would make topical overlaps very obvious.

When you HOVER on any of these highlighted items, a popup would appear that would say something like " Who is Jesus > Who other believers said He is".  If more than one highlight overlapped, then the popup would simply have multiple lines, one for each concept.  Another small problem ... what if you already have hover-popups turned on for greek/heb lexical assistance, etc?  Answer ... these "highlight" popups would either come up in addition to the grk/heb, or (better), if you were hovering over an inter-word space or punctuation mark instead of a specific word.

Keep in mind that all of this presumes that many/all of the prior highlighting suggestions have been implemented.  You WON'T be burdened with seeing colors galore and popups machine-gunning you at every turn, unless you want to ... this presumes that entire palettes &/or individual colors/styles &/or ALL highlighting can be turned off.  I'd add, at this point, that the highlight-hover-popupup feature probably also ought to be a user-toggle item.

Most believers who've been seriously studying the Word have previously done some marking in their Bibles.  Most have probably TRIED using colors or other methods such as Precepts.  And most have learned that sooner or later, their Bible which they've put SO much effort into marking up, has become so cluttered and blurry that it's almost unreadable ... so sadly, it's relegated to the bookshelf to reside in state, and the process begins anew on a new Bible.

With Libronix, I believe we should be able to use the SAME METHODS that we've grown comfortable and accustomed to on paper, but NOT get trapped by having the growing amounts of information visually overwhelm us.  Furthermore, I think it's really important that we should be able to LEVERAGE that info, sometimes years after we first marked it and categorized it, into later studies and insights.

More to come, later, about how this ties into Notes.

 

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Redeeming the time (Eph.5:16+Col.4:5) ...
Jim Dean

Posts 150
Jim Dean | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 15 2009 7:20 AM

JimDean:
1. to generally study the Word for our own purposes - either via a "devotional" or an "in-depth" pattern, but without a particular topical focus or goal in mind other than to be able to grow and be transformed

2. to prepare lessons/sermons/treatises on a given topic or a given portion of scripture

3. to answer a specific question or to research a specific topic

Those were the three very general "purpose of your L work" categories that I proposed at the beginning of the thread.

Take a moment, if you would, to reread/reconsider the "major > minor" labels for palettes > highlights that I outlined in the last post.  Think about how you might apply that approach in the process of DOING the work of #1, #2, and #3 above.

Clearly, the main use of the highlight-labels would be most beneficial for #1 activities.  In a sense, the #1 processes are used AS we do #2 or #3.  The primary difference between #2 and #3 from #1 is that they involve ORGANIZATION of the information which we collect, gradually or in a few focused sessions, using #1 methods.  The old "Observe, Interpret, Apply" tune actually is missing a few verses, imho ... "Meditate", "Memorize" and "Correlate".  It is the last of these, Correlation, that make #2 and #3 different from #1.

Continuing for a moment in our "discrimination" between these items, I'd suggest that one of the differences between #2 and #3 is APPLICATION.  Usually, #2 includes that component, or actually has it as its main goal.  OTOH, #3 has more focus on INTERPRETATION and CORRELATION.  At least, that's what I was thinking of when I wrote the list of three, at first.

So ... focus of this post is to comment on how annotations would be used during the #1 process - this is, in my mind, the simplest of all applications.

Think again about what you did before L was available.  You wrote notes in your Bible's margins, or kept a journal, or both.  Some people kept very organized multiple journals, maybe even with some kind of manual cross-referencing (been there, done that).  But, again, sadly, all that information tends to get "filed away" or misplaced as time moves on.  THANKS BE TO GOD for the Holy Spirit's teaching ministry, that He helps us bring to mind that which we have previously read, digested, and hidden in our hearts!  Selah.

When we are doing "general devotions" or "general study" or whatever you'd like to call the #1 process, we are keeping our minds and hearts open to what the Spirit would teach us, without any predetermined goal (in contrast to #2 or #3).  When the HS does "lay something on us", then we'll naturally want to record that insight somehow ... and our simple two-level highlighting hierarchy would rapidly become overwhelmed by the wide variety of things God teaches us.  So, we need a way to "put notes in the margins".

The existing Notes engine provides this capability, though awkwardly.  We have to keep the notes pane open, and fuss around with the two columns and other concerns, which breaks our concentration.  Highlights are EASY to add, especially with the floating palette.  We need something JUST THAT EASY, to add a note.  Furthermore, we need to be able to associate that note with either a word or a verse or a phrase or a sentence or a paragraph or even an entire pericope.  Highlighting the whole thing with background-color is visual overkill.  And the current annotation markings, though cleverly designed and categorized, tend to take up too much space on the page (in my opinion).

So, I suggest that we KEEP USING the SAME MECHANISM that we already have in place on our floating menu - and simply DEDICATE a palette to handwritten notes.  This palette could be designed to utilize some "custom" highlighting (L has a really cool "Add Palette Style" engine for us to do this, already).  I'd suggest that a good way to INTEGRATE the annotation-highlights with the more conventional major > minor highlights discussed earlier would be to utilize LINES for the annotations highlights, and other mechanisms (colors, styles) for the major > minor palette approach.

Lines can be placed under words or short phrases.  Lines can be used as brackets around sentences.  Lines can be placed vertically in the margins to group multiple sentences.  These will not obscure or obfuscate other highlighting.  And, if they are "reserved" for general annotations, then NO OTHER ICONS ARE NEEDED that would clutter the screen.  The annotations would be read simply by the "hover" method described earlier ... in this case, HOVER above the line in question.

Another neat way lines can be used is to interconnect repeated words or phrases across a pericope or chapter ... that is, the kinds of lines that you would try to draw with a ruler in your paper Bible.  Sometimes it's obvious, even 20 years later, what the "connection" is.  But, since the connection is NOT always obvious, AGAIN, we would be able to attach an "annotation NOTE" to that line ... and see the note when we hover over the line.

OK, that adds another component to our toolbox.  So far, I haven't discussed how any of this ties into the formal "Notes" pane.  But hopefully you're starting to see the "elements" clearly.

 

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Redeeming the time (Eph.5:16+Col.4:5) ...
Jim Dean

Posts 150
Jim Dean | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 15 2009 8:46 AM

JimDean:
And I suppose that many if not all of us have at some time(s) or another thought how neat it would be to be able to consolidate ... or plan on later consolidating ... ALL of our study, regardless of its original purpose, into our own personal "Systematic Theology" ... or, some might prefer to think of the consolidation in terms of our own personal version of Thompson's "Chain Reference".

Rereading that, well ... I suppose that maybe it's not true that the "majority" of L users want to write their own Systematic Theology ... but certainly that would be a laudable conceptual goal ... consonant with the COMMAND to  "be ready always to give an answer for the hope that is in you" ... and to do so with confidence that the answer is grounded and fully supported by the Word of God.

So, I'll move (finally) from the core Highlighting concepts into the Notes venue.

I've already commented a little about how the existing engine is awkward ... by that I mean the number of keystrokes necessary to do simple tasks.  In my experience, extra keystrokes = loss of concentration = frustration = (in the extreme) quenching the Spirit.  So, ease of use is important to even the spiritual aspects of what we're doing.  We don't want to get so caught up in the mechanism that we miss the meaning!

Rather than discuss (at this point) what the Notes engine would "look" like (re columns and toolbars and such), I'd like to focus on what it should be able to DO.  If you've the time and patience to, now might be a good time to (re)read the THIRD post in this thread.

Let's start with a quick review of what components we have available to us, already, that the formal Notes vehicle does NOT have to provide:

1. Two-level categorized highlighting, very similar to a two-tier chain-reference or topical summary in the back of a Study Bible

2. Free-form thus-far-uncategorized annotations attached to the text by a special palette.

3. The text itself of the resources

4. Publisher's/author's notes (superscript a, b, etc) that are part of the distributed resource

5. Interlinear Bibles also contain Strong's numbers and TVM or other morphological-tag abbreviations

6. Virtually any resource has a multitude of keylinks to individual words which will open up designated references such as dictionaries or lexicons

7. Cross-references to Bible verses from the original margins (of a Bible) or parenthetical within the text (of a treatise)

8. Cross-references to other resources, or to other places in the same resource, within the text of a treatise.

9. Parallel-passage relationships (NT gospels and OT historical, etc) which are available through various Harmonies.

10. Contextual outlines / notes that are commonly inserted between paragraphs & pericopes of study Bibles.

... and probably some more that I've not thought of ...

 

This is a very important concept to build on ... the next step beyond the "highlighting" level.  I believe that the CORE function that the Notes engine should be built around is to facilitate quick, compact, easy access to all of those "elemental" components.  In fact, I'd probably rename it from Notes to "Correlator" or "Organizer" or something like that, since that's what we would be using it for.  The "raw information" would be stored at the resource level, whenever possible.  The stuff that we "add" to that elemental information, in the Correlator, would normally be related to the particular correlation task that we've set for ourselves (ie along the lines of purpose #2 or #3 in the orig post).

So, the very first function that needs to be fully operational in the Correlator/Notes engine is a LINK to any one of the 10 elemental components listed above.

That is, in the text that would appear in the Correlator engine, we would see a short, tight link to the original.  From that, we should be able to right-click (within Correlator) to opt to display the full text of the element that the link points to, underlined in blue or visually set apart by some other means so that we know it is not something we typed in.  A third display option would be to show both the text and the link.

In order to keep the link from getting too long and unwieldy in the Correlator/Notes display, some part of the link should be relegated to a "bibliography" ... that is, using our prior two-tier highlighting example, rather than having the link itself say:  "Who is Jesus > Who believers said He was > Luke 2:11", we might rather see simply "h17>Lk 2:11", where h17 refers to the highlight-string "Who is Jesus > Who believers said He was", which would be listed in the Correlator bibliography.  That bibliography should have a convenient popup or half-pane available at user-option. 

Furthermore, when we HOVER over the "h17>Lk 2:11" link, we would see the full expansion of h17 at the beginning of the text itself, so the Bibliography would not be needed unless we port this outside of Libronix.  Of course there would be other letters assigned for each of the ten (or more) elements just to help us be able to tell at a glance what the nature of the abbreviated link is. For example, the "annotation" component discussed earlier might use an "a" instead of an "h".

If the reference is to a non-versified resource ... OR to a portion of a versified resource that is outside the Bible-text, such as the intro's or helps contained in Study Bibles, then we might have the link be: "r23>Chafer,lovingkindness" ... which would presumably link us to some extract from Chafer's Systematic Theology that deals with lovingkindness.  The actual text in the link "Chafer,lovingkindness" would be ENTERED BY THE USER at the time that the link was introduced into the Correlator/Notes page.  Alternatively or additionally, the engine could auto-insert "Pg123c" as a part of the link, with the 'c' being a pointer to what quadrant of the page the extract was from (described earlier).  This might be a useful option, but I'd prefer the user-entered text since that's more informative.  In fact, you could allow this optional user-entered text for the regular highlights and straight Bible-text links also.

The idea is to keep the Correlator/Notes page CLEAN and EASY TO FOLLOW, and give the user the ability to EXPAND/SHRINK the references pointed-to at will, either via temporary hover pop-ups or a full textual inclusion.

I hope I've described this well enough.  This link-facilitation is a CORE component to what I think the enhanced Notes engine should include.

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Redeeming the time (Eph.5:16+Col.4:5) ...
Jim Dean

Posts 3707
Floyd Johnson | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 15 2009 9:09 AM

Jim:

A while back I posted some specific comments on my use of Notes - Rather than repeat them here, I will just include a link in order to add to your conversations.  Many of these are already include in your list, so this is just an attempt to support your suggestions.

http://community.logos.com/forums/p/242/2360.aspx#2360

Blessings,
Floyd

Pastor-Patrick.blogspot.com

Posts 150
Jim Dean | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 15 2009 9:48 AM

JimDean:
I'd like to see the revised engine have a "natural" feel to it.  "Natural" in this case should be interpreted to mean "it works like the rest of Libronix".  In arenas that Libronix does not have any comparable features, then I'd suggest that "natural" should fit general Windows paradigms, or more specifically MS Office - not because those are necessarily the "best" ... but because the MAJORITY of users are familiar with them.

OK maybe take some time just to discuss a few odds and ends, now that the foundational elements have been laid.

As the third post in the thread mentioned, facilitating links and expanding that paradigm for the purpose of Correlator/Notes is what I think of as a "natural" extension of the Libronix engine ... that's what the engine is all about in its core patents, afaik.

So - to expand a bit more on the list of elemental links in my prior post ... (thanks Floyd for the supporting comments you added) ... let me specifically mention that we should be able to easily copy/link the strong's numbers and morphology tags that are included in many resources directly into the Notes ... with the ability to hover over them and get the same link-based expansions that we would in the original resource.  That is, a morphology-tag hover-box would show the expansion of the abbreviations, and the strong's# hover-box would show the orig-lang lexical aid that was the primary keylink defined for strongs.  Furthermore, Double-Clicking on those items should do the same keylink-thing as clicking on them in the original resource.

Another element which should be linkable to Notes/Correlator ... sort of a second-level-derivative element ... would be specific VerseLists, Grapical Queries, and Sentence Diagrams.  I suppose one might even want to have links to each of the other document types:  Bible Reading Plans, Prayer Lists, etc but I'm not sure if there's a real value to that.  These links would be simple understandable shorthand using the name of the item as it appears in the directory. Hovering would not expand them (too complex) - clicking would open a window for them.

There should be, within the Notes/Correlator controls, the ability to search through that Notes page for all links of a given type ... I don't think a consolidated list is likely useful, but rather a move-forward, move-back kind of function, similar to what F3 provides in many programs.

I do not think that extensive support for drawing-graphics should be provided as a native part of the Notes/Correlator engine.  I think that should be handled by dedicated peripheral engines such as the Sentence Diagrammer now provides.  Notes should provide the link to those drawings, and the ability to quickly open them up.  Further, the right-click-on-link option would ideally offer the user the ability to expand that linked diagram or query into a png-file that becomes part of the Notes text ... but is not alterable by the user, except via the engine that generated it.  Such links should auto-refresh if the diagram changes in the original.  Similarly, optional expansions should be possible for VerseLists ... in some compact form, as well as the standard tabular form.  For the compact form, separate each verse-reference-entry by space-semicolon-space for clarity, with word-wrap.

OK ... that's the end (for now) of my mind-dump on this topic ... I'll have more, later, but in the meantime, I'd welcome your contributions.  Questions that seek clarification or refinement also will be very beneficial.  (As will, of course, any form of hurrahs :~)

Thanks for your patience in reading through all this!

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Redeeming the time (Eph.5:16+Col.4:5) ...
Jim Dean

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 15 2009 1:48 PM

JimDean:
it's NOT intended primarily as a visual-presentation platform (though it can be used that way, with a sufficiently-interested audience and a high-resolution projector).

While technically I agree with this statement, I think there is another consideration - students today are growing up with a far more visually oriented education than "us old foggies" [spoken as another "four-decades programmer at this point)" although much of my time was as an analyst and manager.]. Therefore, I see the use of templates (graphic organizers) and diagrams as fundamental elements of Scripture study that need to easily integrate with the verbal notes. The sentence diagrammer , people, time lines, important words and power point sermons are a start but only a sliver of what is needed. However, they do show that Logos recognizes the paradigm shift in knowledge aquistion (it's that a great and useless way to say "how we learn?").

What I would like to see is further movement in this direction with the following priorities (based not on valued added but on ease to implement):

1) templates for notes

2) tree diagramming for sentences, morphology, etc.

3) charts (table structures) which are also major components of templates for notes

However, I do agree that Logos should not get so involved in visual presentation as to lose sight of their basic function - scripture study. Therefore, I would expect a number of diagrams to continue to be generated by software I launch through my customized toolbar. However, I would like Logos to recognize "hot spots" on these diagrams - primarily scripture references - so that they could pop up in the passage guide.

A sidebar: The bolded sentence applies also to the great (historical) chart sermons  http://executableoutlines.com/charts.htm

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 15 2009 11:42 PM

JimDean:
we should be able to easily copy/link the strong's numbers and morphology tags that are included in many resources directly into the Notes ... with the ability to hover over them and get the same link-based expansions that we would in the original resource.

I do not agree that Notes should be regarded as a substitute/copy for a resource when a proper link to the resource text should be sufficient. You may as well suggest that one shoud be able to insert Notes directly into the resource text and Save it!

JimDean:
Further, the right-click-on-link option would ideally offer the user the ability to expand that linked diagram or query into a png-file that becomes part of the Notes text ... but is not alterable by the user, except via the engine that generated it.

I do agree that we should be able to link to other elements e.g. Verse Lists,  user diagrams/reports/searches, even though some are not presently available as User Files. But not to the extent you suggest unless the native format of the User File permits its expansion in-line.

You are in danger of Notes becoming fully fledged documents and I know that Logos are not in favour of a Word-processor replacement!

 

BTW the (Structured) Systems Analysis is superb, but may have lost the non-programmers!

Dave
===

Windows 10 & Android 8

Posts 150
Jim Dean | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 16 2009 3:15 AM

MJ. Smith:
I see the use of templates (graphic organizers) and diagrams as fundamental elements of Scripture study that need to easily integrate with the verbal notes.

Thanks, MJ.  I fully agree.  I had not intended to imply a bias towards written and against graphic content, though i see now that my comments could have been taken that way.  What I was trying to emphasize was that I believe that the Notes engine does not need to have internal functions which are capable of graphics, or other relatively high-powered publishing functions ... but rather, whatever other engines within Libronix that do have those capabilities should be fully integrated in Notes.  I would envision that things such as sentence diagrams or people or timelines would be available as links ... that is, the short link would be enough to indicate the type of item and some kind of title for it, and that the Notes user would, while within the Libronix environment, be able to expand the link in two ways: first, simply convert the graphical item into a static image that remains as a part of the Notes document (exportable), or second, to open up an instance of the engine that created the graphic, and to modify it as needed (with the modifications porting over to the Notes doc if the image had previously been expanded, at the end of the edit session). 
I'm trying to be sympathetic with Logos' need to get the biggest bang for their buck when it comes to programmer effort.  Any way that they can leverage extant functionality rather than duplicating it in another form is clearly a good path to take.
Thank you for your feedback!

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Redeeming the time (Eph.5:16+Col.4:5) ...
Jim Dean

Posts 150
Jim Dean | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 16 2009 3:57 AM

Dave Hooton:
You are in danger of Notes becoming fully fledged documents and I know that Logos are not in favour of a Word-processor replacement!  BTW the (Structured) Systems Analysis is superb, but may have lost the non-programmers!

Hi, Dave - thanks for your comments.  Clearly I've not done a very good job of expressing the vision and purpose properly.  In one of my early posts in another thread, I chorused the cautions that you and some others had made regarding the foolishness of expecting Notes to be a Word Processor.  And I still feel that way.  My intention in this presentation is to create a rough draft of the concepts that I laid out in the Systems Analysis - which obviously was NOT intended for non-programmers.  I'm hoping that BobP &/or some of his crew are perusing this and chewing it over along with everything else ... and I presume that they WILL be able to understand it.  I hope that most of the other stuff I've written has been more easy to understand.

Regarding your comments about expansion inside of Notes of other items via a rightclick or hover ... if I understand you correctly (sometimes I have trouble sorting out the truth in the midst of sarcasm) ... you're concerned that people would virtually duplicate a resource in Notes, and possibly even use Notes to violate the copyright by allowing that resource (or very large chunks of it) to be exported.

I think that I've made my views about copyright infringement abundantly clear in other threads.  I personally hold copyright on over a hundred articles, but for every copyrighted article, I've also put probably a half-dozen more in the public domain.  I believe it is important to protect the rights of the creator, insofar as they have requested those rights to be protected.

One of the advantages of using LINKS to attach information from other resources (whether textual or graphic) is that Libronix would maintain the ability to keep track, in the background, of how much information was being linked over from any copyrighted resource ... and to LIMIT it in whatever way they wish.  I did not make this point in the writeups - there are a LOT of things I did not touch on - but it most definitely was in the back of my mind.

As you well know, it is nearly impossible to prevent a skilled person from violating software licenses ... and it's far easier these days for people to violate copyrights on "static" text and graphics with various capture engines.  Again, I've stated my views on this earlier.  You can only try to "keep the honest people honest", and rely on the court system to help you rein in the more prolific abusers.  As yet, His law is NOT "written on their hearts".  Come soon, Lord!

My intention in this whole conceptual writeup has been to envision a vehicle which most closely emulates our "natural" habits of study, and also fully leverages Libronix's inherent capabilities in doing so.  Part of my note-taking regime, before PC's, had been to make copies of portions of pages of doc's I've referenced and actually cut and paste it into hardcopy notes.  PC's have allowed me to do that much more easily, with electronic notes that later I can print out.  These are definitely in the category of "fair use" ... small portions, not redistributed, for study purposes. 

The idea is to have an expandable document.  One where you can look at the compressed form, with no links expanded, to quickly get the flow, or find your place ... and then having the ability to quickly and easily drill down within the document to reflect on or modify the more detailed aspects.

I personally find it very cumbersome to have to be continually re-opening resources or hopping around within them, in separate panes, in order to see the material that I have ALREADY reviewed and selected for inclusion.  Again, my purpose has been to outline a streamlined vehicle for getting through this research and correlation process.  "Redeeming the time, for the days are evil!"

I hope that these comments have clarified the issues you expressed concern with.  I do not want another word processor.  In fact, if they created one, which did NOT have most of the features I've described in some form or another, I most likely would not use it.  WP's need to be very flexible tools so that each user can fit them to their own very personal style ... L would be foolish to waste resources building an adequately robust engine to provide users with that level of support.

However, I do envision that Notes (I do like the name "Correlator") can become the centerpiece of in-depth, non-"canned" Bible Study activities within Libronix.  That's what I've tried to describe.

As a side note, while I am impressed by the various "canned" study tools such as the home page and templates, I personally rarely use them.  I've been involved in in-depth Bible Study for forty years (my new-birth anniversary was in March :~)), and have my own ways of doing things.  However, for many if not most newcomers to Libronix, those tools provide an excellent starting point and educational engine for people who have not already come up with their own methods.  Also, even for "old fogeys", those tools provide some neat new ideas and avenues that we haven't thought of before, or been able to do effectively.  The "People" tool is definitiely in that category, for instance.

Thank you for your comments.  I hope you will permit me a personal comment and loving exhortation.  This forum does not offer any means of privately communicating with you, so I pray that this will not be offensive.  I'd like to suggest that straightforward information is a more effective communication approach (to me, at least) than ideas couched in sarcasm, since it does not have such a great potential for raising the fleshly emotions of the reader (or of the writer, for that matter).  I see a HUGE amount of that (sarcastic, derogatory, demeaning) kind of communication on this Forum ... distressingly so ... much worse than on other "secular" Forums I've been a part ofIt has saddened me - where we ought to be know as Christians by our love for one another ... any nonbeliever that were to read through most of the postings in this Forum would not get that idea at all.  Since I went to bed last night, a dozen-and-a-half more posts have accumulated that are either argumentative or complaining - either in text body or title.  Maybe two or three have been posted that are reasonably on-topic and helpful.  Folks like you have been around a while, I take it ... please pray about trying to help encourage others in Godly behaviour in these areas.  Thanks for listening.  If you want to communicate further with me about this, my email is hvacsage@yahoo.com  And also - thanks for the many, many helpful contributions you have obviously already made to this community.

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Redeeming the time (Eph.5:16+Col.4:5) ...
Jim Dean

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 16 2009 6:15 AM

JimDean:
Thanks, MJ.  I fully agree.  I had not intended to imply a bias towards written and against graphic content,

No, that would be something I would be more likely to do since I am not graphically oriented.  Give me a word, not a picture.  But, who am I to criticise?  After all do we not read

Ἀποκάλυψις Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἣν ἔδωκεν αὐτῷ ὁ θεὸς δεῖξαι τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ ἃ δεῖ γενέσθαι ἐν τάχει, καὶ ἐσήμανεν
The revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave to him to show to his servants what must come to pass quickly, and he SIGNED IT . . .

I guess that makes the Apocalypse God's comic book.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 150
Jim Dean | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 16 2009 6:40 AM

Hi, George:

I've a favor to ask.  I've spent many hours to get this thread started with a serious attempt to suggest some improvements to Logos.  I'd appreciate it if you could avoid posts, at least in this thread, that don't offer any useful content or assist in the goal that the subject of the thread defines.

I do realize, from prior comments others have made, and explanatory comments that you've made, that many remarks you post are tongue-in-cheek, lighthearded jesting.  However, some of those remarks do hit people in ways that I suspect you may not imagine.  In this case, I was disturbed greatly to see a portion of the Word of God, pure and holy and without compare, which IS in one sense Jesus Christ Himself (per John 1), referred to, even jokingly, as a "comic book".

I'd appreciate it if you'd edit out your remarks, and I will do the same to this post.

Thank you for your understanding and patience with my sensitivities.

Your fellow servant,

Jim Dean

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Redeeming the time (Eph.5:16+Col.4:5) ...
Jim Dean

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 16 2009 7:14 AM

JimDean:

In this case, I was disturbed greatly to see a portion of the Word of God, pure and holy and without compare, which IS in one sense Jesus Christ Himself (per John 1), referred to, even jokingly, as a "comic book".

I'd appreciate it if you'd edit out your remarks, and I will do the same to this post.

Thank you for your understanding and patience with my sensitivities.

Your fellow servant,

Jim Dean

Perhaps the truth is a bit disturbing to you?  That's what the text quite literally says so I don't intend to edit my remarks.  Let me give you a little lesson.

In the Babylonian epic Enuma Elish (their creation account) there is a war between the elder gods and the younger gods led by Marduk, the head of the Babylonian pantheon.  Marduk is victorious and creates the world from the bodies of the old gods.  From the blood of the captain of their forces he makes man to be a servant of the gods and thus expiate the sin of opposing the younger gods.  In Gen, however, God creates the world and makes a garden in which he places man.  Man's first full day on earth is thus quite literally a "stroll in the park."  The point being that God made the world and put man here to enjoy his creation. 

It's time to put a smile on your face, laugh a little and go enjoy yourself.  That's what God wants you to do.  So, get up off your prayer bench and put a little lotion on those callouses so they can go away.  In the words of a once popular song, "Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think; Enjoy yourself while you're still in the pink."  Make sure you're not practicing your piety before men to be seen by them. 

See, when I have anything to say to someone, I address them personally.  You don't need to guess that I mean any one person in particular.  If I do, they'll know it.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 25854
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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 16 2009 8:02 AM

JimDean:
I'd like to suggest that straightforward information is a more effective communication approach (to me, at least) than ideas couched in sarcasm,

Jim,  no sarcasm was intended in any of my comments.  Stating that you may as well insert Notes into a resource, for instance, is simply a functional inversion of your request for inserting portions of a resource into Notes. And there is no way that was a veiled barb about copyright violation.

The statement about non-programmers was not a criticism nor sarcastic - simply a critique/observation.

The statement about being a word-processor replacement was an indication of the level of functionality that Logos has resisted in the past as you have made some assumptions about their capability.

mailmedav at xsmail dot com  (it is valid!).

Dave
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