Where did this feature go: topic browser

Page 1 of 8 (141 items) 1 2 3 4 5 Next > ... Last »
This post has 140 Replies | 11 Followers

Posts 3771
Francis | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Nov 3 2009 6:44 PM

Hello all,

My attempts to use the L4 help file to find some of the features I am looking for was not all that successful. Hence the idea for mutual help by posting "Where did this feature go: [L3 feature name]" posts, giving the opportunity to someone else who discovered it to let the rest of us know.

In this post, I am asking about the topic browser. I have not figured out quite yet how to do a topic search in L4. I would be grateful for an answer to this and look forward to hearing answers proposed to other "Where did this feature go" type of questions.

Blessings,

Francis

Posts 9520
Forum MVP
Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 3 2009 6:51 PM

Francis:
I have not figured out quite yet how to do a topic search in L4.

There have been some other posts about this today. The Topic Browser is not in 4.0 and there really is not a good way to do topic searching in 4.0. As far as I (and some others) are concerned this is a big deal that Logos needs to address. Can we add your name to the growing list of people who want to see this ability restored?

(Keep L3 close by until this gets fixed so you still have this capability.)

Pastor, North Park Baptist Church

Bridgeport, CT USA

Posts 3771
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 3 2009 7:02 PM

Yup!

Posts 9520
Forum MVP
Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 3 2009 7:06 PM

Francis:
Yup!

Good. That now makes 4,672 people who want better topic searching in 4.0. If we keep up at this pace we'll hit 5,000 by 6 AM EST tomorrow. Wink

Pastor, North Park Baptist Church

Bridgeport, CT USA

Posts 40
Timothy Lovegrove | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 3 2009 7:16 PM

Francis,

I'm not sure exactly what collection you have, but if I click the search button in L4, and then search my library for the word "centurion" (the kind of term I would expect we would do a topic search for), I get three Bible dictionary / Encyclopedia entries at the top in the "topic" section. Then the library results below are pretty helpful too: an assortment of concordance entires, other dictionaries, a commentary discussion, and more. Of the first @15 entries from the library results, at least 12-13 are helpful. See below.

 

Posts 9520
Forum MVP
Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 3 2009 7:21 PM

Timothy, this is not anything like topic searching nor topic browsing in 3.0 It seems this is what Logos is trying to sell as topic searching, but we've seen better and this is NOT an upgrade. Logos has said they are 'working' on improving topic searching, so perhaps we'll get something better, but it was NOT on the list of features Bob referred to as being in the offing through the middle of next year.

Pastor, North Park Baptist Church

Bridgeport, CT USA

Posts 40
Timothy Lovegrove | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 3 2009 7:32 PM

I am not trying to be argumentative at all (just a user like you!), but isn't the L3 topic search for "centurion" (below) only slightly different than my L4 search for it? What do you mean when you say L4 is "not anything like" L3?

 

 

 

Posts 687
Jon | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 3 2009 9:10 PM

When searching your entire library for a topic you will find useful information though the way that the results are arranged still needs some refining.

However, L4 brings an entirely new architecture for researching topics. Try doing a basic search for "Peter". In the topic section at the start of the results you have some dictionary articles, you also have a "Reading list" and some online links. Click on the reading list, this provides you with a human-edited reading list broken down into categories of resources to research about Peter - far more precise than a topic browser list generated with an algorithm could be!

You can have a look at topics.logos.com to see how it all works, topic entries have been created for every person, place, thing in the bible just for a start, it will take time for these to all be populated with useful links and reading lists, but it's managed as a wiki and its refinement over time will be a community endeavour. I believe there are plans for more instructional material there to show you how you can contribute...

Posts 139
Sean Boisen | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 3 2009 9:19 PM

Mark:

Could you articulate for me what you wish topic searching/browsing was like in 4.0? Can you walk me through a scenario of how you would use it?

Posts 656
Jeremy | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 3 2009 9:27 PM

I think we would like it to do exactly what it did in 3. It is a quick way to find topics that don't always come up in the searches. It was better than the Topic Study in Logos 3 because that was not linked to a collection and wouldn't even register dictionaries like Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels.

Posts 9520
Forum MVP
Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 3 2009 9:40 PM

Timothy Lovegrove:
What do you mean when you say L4 is "not anything like" L3?

First we need to distinguish three things: topic study from the home page, topic searching using basic search, and the topic browser.

What you showed in 4.0 is search results of the word 'centurion'. You got hits in 2402 articles. Do you really want to look through all of those to be sure you've discovered what you want? (I know you can limit the search.)This is simply a surface text search for the word centurion as far as I can tell. It is not looking for centurion as a topic, just the simple word centurion. Topic Searching from the home page in 3.0 gave you about a dozen articles directly related to centurion. In 4.0 you got three such articles. Not as good. May I change my wording a bit and say "hardly anything like 3.0"?

In 3.0 if you clicked on the "Search entire library for this topic..." on the example you gave, you would get a listing of additional places the word centurion appeared but no where would it be 2400 articles (I got 123 occurrences in I don't know how many articles). I don't understand how L3 generated this but it is more helpful than what you were able to produce in L4.

There just is nothing like the Topic Browser in 4.0 so we can't really compare 3 to 4 with this one.

There is also nothing like topic searching in 4.0. All we can do is a surface text search of our resources. Logos has not provided a way to locate topics.

We can do surface text searches in 4.0 right now but that isn't topic searching.

I'd like to be shown that the facility of 3.0 exists in 4.0. So far no one has been able to do that. Logos is very silent on this issue, and I suspect that is because they know they haven't provided this capability and perhaps don't intend to. I do hope better but the assurances haven't been frequent and strong in this direction.

Pastor, North Park Baptist Church

Bridgeport, CT USA

Posts 5622
Todd Phillips | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 3 2009 9:47 PM

Sean Boisen:

Mark:

Could you articulate for me what you wish topic searching/browsing was like in 4.0? Can you walk me through a scenario of how you would use it?

I'm not Mark, but I find it harder to find topics since it only finds exact matches or sometimes no matches at all.  The v3 topic browser showed all the hits that matched the beginning of your search pattern. (and you could do a topic search with a wild card as well)

None of the following searches bring up Topic entries for John Calvin:

calvin
john calvin
calvin, john

I see the entries in the Library search results, but not in the topic results.

Same thing for "oxford movement"...no topic hits, but it's a topic in several references including the ODCC.  Same problem with "tractarianism".  In fact I don't seem to be getting any topic hits for the ODCC.

"Eusebius" only gives me two hits. (AYDB and Eerdmans Bible Dict).  But there's lots of Eusebiuses in NNCD, Columbia Enc., ODCC  and they don't show up in the topic results.

"Bede" gives no topic hits.  But library results show:

"Bede" in Who's who in Christian history
"Venerable Bede, The" and "Bede, St." in Nelsons New Christian Dictionary
"Bede, Saint" in Columbia
"Bede, St." in Pocket Dict of Bib. Studies

Finally example: searching for "Jesus" returns the topic "Jesus" in the ISBE,  but not the "Jesus Christ" topic.

 

Wiki Links: Enabling Logging / Detailed Search Help - MacBook Pro (2014), ThinkPad E570

Posts 139
Sean Boisen | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 3 2009 9:53 PM

But can you walk me through an example? What would you type, what would you see, how would that support something you need or want to do?

Here's an example i just walked through in LDLS 3 (though it's a bit contrived, since this isn't a feature i used in LDLS3):

  1. After opening the Topic Browser, i type "brook" in the Find box
  2. LDLS searches and finds a list of topics matching the string
  3. I select the one for Brook of Egypt
  4. LDLS then displays a list of articles with that topic, and the resource
  5. I pick the one for Brook of Egypt from ISBE

But to my understanding, this works about the same (though much faster) in Logos 4: i type a string in search, i see a list of completions, and i pick one. If matches a special topic ("brook of egypt" does), you see a list of dictionary articles: in any event, you see general search results. With "brook", there are a lot of completions, but it's quite fast if i type "brook of".

So what am i missing?

 

Posts 9520
Forum MVP
Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 3 2009 10:04 PM

Sean Boisen:
Could you articulate for me what you wish topic searching/browsing was like in 4.0? Can you walk me through a scenario of how you would use it?

Sean I will do my best but I'm a little curious. It would seem that saying I'd like the 3.0 capabilities in 4.0 would be self-explanatory. I'm not into software design. I just would like to be able to do the same thing with topics in 4.0 that I can do in 3.0.

When I look for a topic I am not looking for surface text but for articles that deal specifically with the topic. That means, I suppose, that somehow there has been a way for a search engine to determine what is and what is not a treatment of a topic. I have no idea how this was handled in 3.0 and earlier versions, but it worked pretty well. I'd guess some sort of tagging had to be done to the text or perhaps a sophisticated search algorithm was used. It's in 3.0 so I'm sure someone at Logos knows how its done.

The Topic Browser could take a topic and find a host of possible sub-topics that I might want to look at and then present the hits so I could decide if I wanted to look at them. Again, this wasn't just a surface text search yielding hundreds or thousands of hits. It homed in on articles that in one way or another (if everything worked right) dealt with some aspect of the topic. There had to be some tagging or some other way for the browser to figure out what was topical and what wasn't.

In 3.0 I can do a topic search in Basic Search using a search parameter (topic) and it would give far different results than a straight surface text search. Not as accurate as the Topic Study from the home page, but the same thing that 3.0 generated automatically if I clicked on 'Search entire library for this topic...' at the end to the Topic Study results. 4.0 has nothing like a 3.0 topic search capability. There is no 'topic' parameter I can use to specify a topic rather than a surface text search.

I want topic searches to return articles that deal with the search term as a topic. That's what 3.0 gives. The Topic Browser builds even further on this.

I don't know if this helps but I'm not asking for anything new.

Pastor, North Park Baptist Church

Bridgeport, CT USA

Posts 2793
J.R. Miller | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 3 2009 10:04 PM

In addition, L4 also ranks results by relevance, so the results list is more likely to return relevant articles at the top of the list whereas L3 did not have this ability.  

My Books in Logos & FREE Training

Posts 5622
Todd Phillips | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 3 2009 10:04 PM

And here's a question:

Why does it ask if I want to do an alternate search when the results look like it's already doing that alternate search automatically?

Wiki Links: Enabling Logging / Detailed Search Help - MacBook Pro (2014), ThinkPad E570

Posts 2246
Damian McGrath | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 3 2009 10:15 PM

Joe Miller:

In addition, L4 also ranks results by relevance, so the results list is more likely to return relevant articles at the top of the list whereas L3 did not have this ability.  

Not exactly. The algorithm is not quite that "clever." 

The "Ranked" results is based on the number of hits per word count for an article. For this reason, things like a concordance appear first followed by brief dictionary articles.

Posts 725
Harry Hahne | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 3 2009 10:15 PM

Sean Boisen:
So what am i missing?

The topic browser eliminates noise in your search. For example, if you want to find articles on Josephus, you don't want to wade through articles that mention Josephus but are not about Josephus. There are thousands of references to Josephus because he mentions a lot about the New Testament era. A topic browser is like looking up the article in an encyclopedia under the hearing of Josephus. The full text search is like reading through every article to find where Josephus is mentioned.

I have about 20 Bible dictionaries and encylopedias.that I put in a Collection I called Bible Dictionaries. In Logos 3, I just did a topic search on Josephus in this Collection. It took 1 second and displayed a neat list of  8 links by title of article. If I do the same search in Logos 4, it takes over 20 seconds and returns nearly a thousand matches on over 40 screens full of lists. In fact it is does not even finish the search until I go to another page of matches. It is true it eventually returned the subject headings in the Bible dictionaries, but it is not instantaneous as in version 3. In fact, it did not even return all of the article headings in my collection of dictiories and encyclopedias, because it limits the "Look it Up" section to the first 5 resources in my preferred list. The "Look it Up" section is what the topic Browser does. It gives me an instant list of all of the articles with the title or subject heading that I am looking for.If I wanted to do a full text search, I can do that in version 3 as well, but the beauty of the Topic Browser combined with custom collections is it is fast and not cluttered with irrelevant information.

Posts 139
Sean Boisen | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 3 2009 10:26 PM

I can manage a quick answer to Todd's question about alternate search (i'll save the larger issues for tomorrow when i'm a bit more coherent).

The "Search for () instead" expands the search terms, which usually provides a larger set of search results.

For example, with my library searching for "communion" returns 13,559 results in 8,075 articles. The topics section knows other ways to talk about that topic, however (assuming you mean the sacramental sense): "Lord's supper", "eucharist", etc. Clicking the "Search for (...) instead?" link does another search with all those terms, which results in 28,550 results in 12,044. The intended benefit here is that Logos 4 is supplying alternate terms (which you may not know) that can be used to describe the topic, to try and provide more comprehensive results.

Of course, you could also type these additional terms in by hand (and even tailor them further manually): we're just trying to make it easier. In the future, we hope to expand this particular feature to also include more general and more specific variants (e.g. if searching for "adder", maybe you want to search for the more general "viper").

Posts 9520
Forum MVP
Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 3 2009 10:29 PM

Sean Boisen:
So what am i missing?

You reposted before I could reply. You are surface text searching and somehow thinking that is topic searching. Brook isn't really a topic, so it wasn't a great example. A brook pretty much is a simple thing. Search "Brook of Egypt" if you need to, but that isn't topic searching. Marriage is a topic. Parenting is a topic. Health is a topic. Crucifixion is a topic. Peace is a topic. They are also words, but when they are topics, there are many other words and ideas that are associated with that topic. With 'brook' I just have 'brook.' Many different brooks but still just 'brook.' With a topic I can have lots of other words that are important to the topic. Just locating the main topic word isn't enough.

For example, if I type 'marriage' into a search engine I get surface text hits where that word appears, and I get hundreds that give no real help in studying the topic of marriage but I still have to look through them. In addition I may have resources that deal with marriage but don't have the word marriage in them. They may be on couple communication which is part of the topic of marriage but doesn't have the word. The Topic Browser helps me find whatever is in my library (I hope it does anyway) that deals with the topic of marriage. Here's a screen shot:

Because of the limitations in resizing the Topic Browser I can't show you more of the many, many subtopics the browser found on Marriage. But if I want to spend some time on the sub-topic of Divorce and Adultery I can go right to a source where this is the topic, not just a surface text hit. In fact I can go to a number of differently worded sub-topics that deal with divorce and/or adultery.

Different things can be done with the topic search capability of 3.0, but it is a topic, not surface text search.

I need to go to bed and have a busy schedule tomorrow so don't know when I'll be able to look in on this thread again. Thanks for asking. Try to think of topics not just words and you'll see that a topic needs a different search approach than just looking for one or two words.

Pastor, North Park Baptist Church

Bridgeport, CT USA

Page 1 of 8 (141 items) 1 2 3 4 5 Next > ... Last » | RSS