Suggestion: Commentary Browser

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Mike Tourangeau | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Oct 5 2016 9:08 AM

Logos is an amazing program and there seems to be a nexus with some of the tagging that results in a new tool. Take for instance the "Bible Browser." A lot of this tool is just helping with the searching already in place but a bit complicated. It's brilliant for new users and old users who just want to get to the data.

This brought me to the idea of a "Commentary Browser" Let me explain. I run a passage guide on Romans 8:17 (my focus is the suffering), there are "Cross References" that I see may be relevant. So I save them as a Passage List titled Suffering and then I run the search {PassageList Suffering}. This returned way to many hits to be usable. I could search a particular group like - commentaries.

I then search "trial* NEAR  {PassageList Suffering}" ("WITHIN" only returns footnotes) this also returned too many hits but it is manageable. I can further narrow my search to collections. Even then I have to manually click on each one to see the contents.

A "Commentary Browser" could provide an interface to these searches and return the results in a continual scroll where you can scroll to the next result.  

Simple search: So you could open up the browser and type in a verse reference and it could open up the top 5 +commentaries from your prioritization for you to scroll through (think of how we can open multiple references in the bible in continual scroll).  You could search within these results. You could click on one to open up the commentary.

Topic/Subject search: You could type in "Righteousness" and it would take the cross references from a particular existing reference work or a Logos created one and return the top commentary results for those cross references in your commentary. So you may get results from Habakuk to Galatians from your commentaries. You could scroll through them reading the results. Or search within.....

Complex searches: You could type in "Righteousness" but have a drop down listing all the operators ("NEAR", "AND" etc) and a dialogue box to add your own input, say "works" and this would pull from your commentaries the appropriate results.

I am sure the people at Faithlife could imagine even better uses for their data, but this would be invaluable (I think) and a way to use the data that is already there. I don't think much new tagging would be needed. 

I have a ton of commentaries that I don't regularly use but every once in a while I do because of the "Lemma in a passage" and it is helpful. This tool may help us to discover some "gems" that we may not know about. 

In the very least it would help new users to do some of these searches. My .02 :)

Posts 928
Matthew | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 5 2016 1:06 PM

Features I would consider essential in a commentary browser would include the same types of sorting available for the systematic theology interactive Faithlife has already released. I would want to be able to filter commentaries by author, date (time period, not specific years), theological persuasion of the author, and type of commentary (textual, background, technical, expository,  concise, etc). As a bonus I would be able to sort them based on which English translation (if any) the commentary uses as a base. Yes, all of this could be done by tagging and collections, but perhaps this is the point - the community has already gathered much of this information in the Commentary Collections Faithlife group. All Faithlife would have to do is take that data and make an interactive out of it.

EDIT: Eventually, of course, I would want the dataset behind the interactive to be integrated with the passage guide so I could choose how to display my results. This would save people from having to add a bunch of commentary  collections to the passage guide if they want their results sorted by any of the above criteria. Essentially it would be taking something that power users already do and making it available to a broader user base.

Posts 1392
James Taylor | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 5 2016 1:12 PM

Matthew:
All Faithlife would have to do is take that data and make an interactive out of it.

Sounds good, lets get it started. lol

Logos 8  | Dell Inspiron 7373 | Windows 10 Pro 64, i7, 16GB, SSD | iPhone X | iMac 27" i7, 16GB, SSD | OS 10.13

Posts 928
Matthew | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 5 2016 1:43 PM

For Revelation it would be nice to have the additional sorting categories used by bestcommentaries.com (a-, pre-, and post-millennial). While I am adding on to the wish list, other broad categories like those would be helpful. For example, sorting commentaries when possible into categories such as Calvinist or Arminian, Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish, etc. This would be beneficial when trying to study a particular viewpoint that might include authors from multiple denominations. Of course, such cut-and-dry categories would not always be possible and there would doubtlessly be some disputed cases, but an "unclassified" or "other" tag would always be an option.

EDIT: And maybe these tags could then be added to product pages so customers could search for other commentaries that come from a particular perspective?

Posts 1190
Mike Tourangeau | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 5 2016 2:02 PM

I created a user voice suggestion for this, https://logos.uservoice.com/forums/42823-logos-bible-software-7/suggestions/16509853-commentary-browser

Head over and give a vote or two if you feel it's worth it. Thanks

Posts 1190
Mike Tourangeau | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 5 2016 2:04 PM

Matthew:
Features I would consider essential in a commentary browser would include the same types of sorting available for the systematic theology interactive Faithlife has already released. I would want to be able to filter commentaries by author, date (time period, not specific years), theological persuasion of the author, and type of commentary (textual, background, technical, expository,  concise, etc). As a bonus I would be able to sort them based on which English translation (if any) the commentary uses as a base. Yes, all of this could be done by tagging and collections, but perhaps this is the point - the community has already gathered much of this information in the Commentary Collections Faithlife group. All Faithlife would have to do is take that data and make an interactive out of it.

Good idea. I would want the option to show only commentaries I have not merely a bunch of locked resources. 

Posts 928
Matthew | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 5 2016 2:49 PM

Mike Tourangeau:
Head over and give a vote or two if you feel it's worth it. Thanks

Did you  one better - just added 3 votes! Stick out tongue

Posts 1190
Mike Tourangeau | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 5 2016 3:54 PM

Matthew:

Mike Tourangeau:
Head over and give a vote or two if you feel it's worth it. Thanks

Did you  one better - just added 3 votes! Stick out tongue

Great! 

Posts 928
Matthew | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 5 2016 4:50 PM

Not to derail this idea or anything - obviously from my comments above I would like to see this implemented - but long-term I don't want to wind up with a different browser tool or interactive resource for every type of resource offered by Faithlife. At some point the discussion will ultimately have to turn to better library management and better ways to explore one's library from within the library window itself

Posts 1392
James Taylor | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 5 2016 9:15 PM

Matthew:
I don't want to wind up with a different browser tool or interactive resource for every type of resource offered by Faithlife. At some point the discussion will ultimately have to turn to better library management and better ways to explore one's library from within the library window itself

Good point, maybe Logos 8 or 9 or ? would have such a robust Library management capability that all of this would be built in. I like that idea

Logos 8  | Dell Inspiron 7373 | Windows 10 Pro 64, i7, 16GB, SSD | iPhone X | iMac 27" i7, 16GB, SSD | OS 10.13

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