Where did this feature go: topic browser

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Ken McGuire | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 4 2009 3:14 AM

I know it is not the same thing as the old 3.0 topic browser, but try looking up a topic in one of your dictionaries and then hitting the little + button on the window for that article.

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Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 4 2009 3:32 AM

I realize everyone's frustration and I know what you are talking about when you want the "noise" filtered out...

I may be in the minority but this seems like a pretty relevant search on marriage and it took just 0.13 seconds.

The results are arranged by topic...you can see which one might interest you just like v3....

 

And somebody mentioned a Calvin search...here is the results...and 0.15 seconds.

 

 

Just from my observation on reading the concerns...it seems like shift in thought needs to occur. In V3...it was a mindless typing in of your word into the "topic" slot....in other words...logos automatically made your "topic" collection for you..

 

In V4 I find that the results are similar and very acceptable if you make a few stragetic collections and search them....I mean really..would you search for "marriage" in the Baker exegetical commentary? No...

 

that's where i see the disconnect.

 

For myself, I'm happy to have a few collections that I made to search specific things....like

Bible Dictionaries

Bible handbooks

Bibles-topical

People in church history

Archaeological information

etc...

 

 

Robert Pavich

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John Fidel | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 4 2009 5:21 AM

Set up a collection with all the theological journals and compare a topic search between L3 and L4. I think you will quickly find that there is a true need to be able to search topically. Why were all these resources tagged topically if it cannot be searched as such.

Posts 3763
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 4 2009 6:45 AM

I was somewhat more satisfied today in finding out that I could use the + and - operators in the search from the home page field. For those who don't know what these do, they are equivalents of AND and NOT. They work in Google and... in L4. I find this faster than typing AND or NOT. I tried lovingkindness +God and it worked. Then I did -Jesus. Then I tried lovingkindness +Jesus -God and it worked very well too.

Also, for the first time the blue icon has disappeared from my tray and I did see some topic suggestions when I used lovingkindness AND (a bit like in Google or Amazon.com). I need to play more with this to see whether it fills the need or not.

Blessings,

Francis

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Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 4 2009 8:50 AM

Robert Pavich:
Just from my observation on reading the concerns...it seems like shift in thought needs to occur.

I agree. But the shift in thought needs to come from Bellingham. Your example is an attempt to make what we have work like the old. I don't understand why you and others are trying to defend the poor choice that Bob and his team made here. The fact is L4 does not do topic searching. Your kludging shows that. All L4 does is surface text searching. Your example shows that. That restriction went out with 2.0 if not with 1.6.

I recall Logos advertising that their product could in seconds act like a personal research assistant (or librarian) and open all the books in my library to the relevant passage or subject I was studying. I wanted that. I had that. Now in 4.0 I don't. It is a MAJORset-back.

I don't understand why Logos would have removed that capability. Please, enough of trying to convince me and others it exists. It doesn't. If you don't need or never use topic searching (or browsing) then you have no discontent. I (and clearly others, including some just getting exposed to 4.0) need this capability in all the robustness with which it was there in 3.0. I really do hope that Logos will respond to this need with real topical searching.browsing tools.

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Posts 40
Timothy Lovegrove | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 4 2009 8:59 AM

Mark, though I earlier tried to show that L4 can give similar results, I do ultimately agree with you that L3 topic searching needs to return. This was one of my first frustrations at the beginning of the beta process, and a big hindrance to a new user.

Am I recalling correctly that this will be built into the "go" box on the L4 homepage - it just isn't there yet?

Posts 2778
J.R. Miller | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 4 2009 9:11 AM

Mark, I have a question.  I know that Logos has tried to build a search that returns a list with the more relevant searches at the top of the list.  If Logos assigned a higher value to search terms found in the Article Title and in a subject index, do you think that would met your needs?

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Pastor Dan Cleghorn | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 4 2009 9:16 AM

I, too, miss the topical browser. L3 provides you with more possibilities.

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 4 2009 9:25 AM

Mark A. Smith:

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.)

Add my name to the list, i am with you Mark on this!

Ted

 

 

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 4 2009 9:49 AM

Mark A. Smith:

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

I like the way the Topic Browser functions in V3. A specific search for "Peter" in the Bibliotheca Sacra narrows the search field to Exegetical articles on Peter as oppose to all the places where Peter is mentioned in the articles. Can this be done in Logos 4?  Ted

V4 brings up all instances where Peter is mentioned 

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Jannie van Niekerk | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 4 2009 9:55 AM

I just tried "topic:Peter" and got some results. The Reading lists might be a smarter way forward...

Posts 725
Harry Hahne | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 4 2009 10:37 AM

Jannie van Niekerk:

I just tried "topic:Peter" and got some results. The Reading lists might be a smarter way forward...

OK. This is a good hidden feature.It is basically a topic search, but not as rich as the topic browser was in finding alternative topics.

However, it only finds the first 5 resources that match.

Is there any way to get more than the first 5 matching resources? Perhaps a "Find more" button after the search is complete?

Posts 139
Sean Boisen | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 4 2009 12:18 PM

Let me try to shed some light on all the helpful comments this thread has produced. My goals are to explain what Logos 4 can do today, and to give some sense of where it's going next. But i'll tell you up front that our work on topics is not yet complete.

There are a few issues mixed together in this thread:

  • what is a topic in L4 and how do i find and use them?
  • how do i manage the (sometimes overwhelming) search results?
  • what are the most effective ways to find information?

First of all, "topic" has a new and different meaning in L4 (i'm going to call them concepts here to try to keep the distinction straight). We've put a lot of work into building a new framework for concepts that will provide much better results going forward. Right now our concept coverage is very incomplete: even though we have about 11,000 such concepts, they still don't include much church history (so no Calvin yet), they only include key Bible dictionaries (ISBE, Anchor, and some others), and they don't yet include all the possible synonyms for a concept.

We've integrated concept searching into general search: so if your search term matches a concept (like "centurion" or "marriage"), you'll get a Topic section at the top of the results with links to the dictionaries we've integrated so far. If you look for "communion", you'll see that concept groups together dictionary articles even though their titles are different, and if you open one and use the right-arrow key, it will now go to the right next article (this did not work right in L3 because it only knew when titles "matched", not when articles described the same concept).  So in L3 you would never have found e.g. the Eerdmans Bible Dictionary article on "Eucharist" unless you also knew, and browsed for, that topical keyword. Also note that we've disambiguated two different concepts that match the same term "communion": the sacrament, vs the notion of fellowship.

What's below the Topic section is indeed searching the words in the text, and i agree that we need to provide more help in dealing with the potentially large quantity of results. The best way at present to manage that is to restrict the search to some collection rather than the entire library (or make your search terms more specific). For now, you have to do that first with Tools > Collections, outside the search panel.

Lastly, let me attempt a conceptual explanation of where we're going with this.Here's my rough assessment of how topic browsing performed in LDLS 3, vs. how it works now. Our ultimate goal is to provide all the relevant results (100% completeness), and only the relevant results (100% accuracy), and i'm certain we'll never get there. In L3, i'd say we provided pretty good completeness (note you never saw what you were missing!), but with a lot of noise as well: but skilled users learned strategies for dealing with that noise. What we've done with L4 is to take a big step in the accuracy direction with our new concept strategy, and we'll continue to drive that toward higher and higher completeness (the projected improvements in 4.1 and 4.2 are notional: don't treat these as real numbers, but as trajectories).

I know some disagree and would prefer the topic browsing experience of L3. Please be assured that we care about improving your experience, and we're doing our best to balance that with all the other challenges of providing a rich, complex application like Logos 4.

[Update: picture edited slightly to not show accuracy declining over time]

Posts 5615
Todd Phillips | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 4 2009 12:45 PM

Sean Boisen:
First of all, "topic" has a new and different meaning in L4 (i'm going to call them concepts here to try to keep the distinction straight). We've put a lot of work into building a new framework for concepts that will provide much better results going forward. Right now our concept coverage is very incomplete: even though we have about 11,000 such concepts, they still don't include much church history (so no Calvin yet), they only include key Bible dictionaries (ISBE, Anchor, and some others), and they don't yet include all the possible synonyms for a concept.

Thank you for the detailed explanation. I look forward to the expansion of the topic list.

But when I keylink or use power lookup on a word, that does not seem to be using the controlled topic list.  Is there someway we could integrate this type of search into the basic search? Like with a "More" link after the current topic hits?

Secondly, the types of topic indexing that the journals have (as Mark pointed out) seems to be ignored in v4.  Have we lost access to these indexes (er, indices) in v4?

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Posts 139
Sean Boisen | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 4 2009 1:54 PM

The easiest way currently is to right-click on a word or phrase, select the Selection tab, and do a search. But i can see the benefit of Power Lookup including these results as well: thanks for the suggestion.

As far as i can tell, topic indexing in journals isn't exposed in the interface. Somebody mentioned using topic:someterm in search, but that doesn't seem to behave as i'd expect if it were really searching topics. I'll inquire further.

Posts 5615
Todd Phillips | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 4 2009 2:09 PM

Sean Boisen:
The easiest way currently is to right-click on a word or phrase, select the Selection tab, and do a search. But i can see the benefit of Power Lookup including these results as well: thanks for the suggestion.

Actually my suggestion was the other way around (I think).  I'd like power lookup type results in the basic search.  I don't really want controlled topic results in the power lookup window. (if I understand you)

Sean Boisen:
As far as i can tell, topic indexing in journals isn't exposed in the interface. Somebody mentioned using topic:someterm in search, but that doesn't seem to behave as i'd expect if it were really searching topics. I'll inquire further.

If the "topic:" prefix worked to search all topics and headwords, controlled or not, then that would be a good thing.

One problem I have now with the right-click lookup and power lookup is that it only works for single words (a multi-word selection doesn't give the lookup and power lookup options, only full text search is available).  I had hoped I could use the search window to search dictionaries for multi-word entries.  But I've documented the problems I've had with that above.

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Posts 725
Harry Hahne | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 4 2009 5:30 PM

Sean Boisen:
if you open one and use the right-arrow key, it will now go to the right next article

The problem is that it also seems to go to resources that are not in the collection I searched.

I wish there was a way to show all search results in a group, like the More link in version 3 for a Bible Word Study. I can live with the 5 results as long as I can see all the others at will.

Posts 725
Harry Hahne | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 4 2009 5:33 PM

Todd Phillips:
If the "topic:" prefix worked to search all topics and headwords, controlled or not, then that would be a good thing.

The topic: prefix is good. But why force the user to learn command line syntax if you want it to be easy to use. It should be easy to add another option to the Search window for "Topic", in addition to Basic, Bible, Morph, Syntax. This would simplify the user interface and show that this hidden feature exists.

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 4 2009 5:44 PM

Hi Sean Boisen and thanks for the explanation. I would like to know from you or anyone else the answer to my previous question. Ted

Ted Hans:

I like the way the Topic Browser functions in V3. A specific search for "Peter" in the Bibliotheca Sacra narrows the search field to Exegetical articles on Peter as oppose to all the places where Peter is mentioned in the articles. Can this be done in Logos 4?  Ted

V4 brings up all instances where Peter is mentioned 

 

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Posts 40
Gabriel Powell | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 4 2009 6:04 PM

I'll add my two cents which may or may not be new. I'm a seminary student and I used the Topic Browser in v3 to find articles for papers I was writing. Topics should be derived from title and headings, not surface text. If I do a topic search for marriage, "Marriage" should be in the title or sub-heading of an article.

One of the problems with v3 Topic browser was that in almost every case a single article showed up many many times in the results. That would need to be fixed.

So that's what I would want to see in a topic browser. Something that is based on titles and headings and returns one result per article.

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