Kyle & Craig: I'm getting worried that referencing is seriously lacking

Page 1 of 1 (7 items)
This post has 6 Replies | 0 Followers

Posts 30835
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Dec 11 2019 1:42 AM

I have been working backwards from the current edition of Denzinger (Peter Hunermann, ed. Denzinger Enchiridion symbolorum . . .2010.) Think 1973-2008. I have found it frustrating to find some documents - those that are stand alone resources usually having a standard name; those in anthologies having a wide variety of names to the point that in some cases I resort to a search on the text itself to find the document. Note that milestone searches once I know the values resolve this problem.

However, I am concerned at the number of documents that I have in my library that lack the standard milestones used for references. These mean that ALL references to the document can only reference the document ... the equivalent of referencing Matthew with no chapters or verses. I have seen how the lack of forethought and consistency in the Early Church Fathers hampers the functionally because some older resources are indexed only to the chapter while the newer resources are indexed to chapter and paragraph. This forces a compound search (or two searches) to find references/occurrences. I don't want the same mistake to be made in church documents.

This is a list of the documents without appropriate indexing that I've run into in Denzinger for the small portion that I've tried to link:

Remember that the lack of the appropriate index means that monographs, especially theological monographs, catechisms, other church documents ... can't make the correct link so "all" resources are degraded. And yes, my list may be incomplete or otherwise imperfect - my goal was not to proof-read Verbum resources.       

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

Posts 1345
LogosEmployee
Kyle G. Anderson | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 11 2019 9:53 AM

Thanks MJ

A couple of points and I'm sure they won't fully satisfy you but I'm trying to clarify where we're coming from and what is and isn't possible:

  1. Denzinger didn't reference many of the documents you list because it was produced before we had access to those documents. I know it's an important resource and it's currently undergoing an update. The update should be pushed out shortly.
  2. Page Indexing: We work with the indexes available to us. If page milestones are available to us we add them. In many of the cases for the titles you list we are provided websites from the publishers which did not include pages.
  3. Further Indexing: This is a balancing act. Creating a new data type (i.e. index) is an extremely large undertaking. It's more than just updating a resource. It involves creating an entirely new schema as well as updates to the desktop and mobile application that are necessary to make sure the index is understood and also prevent older clients from discovering the resource which would otherwise cause them to crash. Because it's a large undertaking and there is no end to possible indices we could potentially create we need to weigh the pros and cons of creating a new index type versus other work (i.e. if we're creating a new data type that means there is something else that we're not working on). This generally involves considerations of how often its cited in the library, how its cited, how absolutely necessary it is to read the resource, etc. On this point, I should mention that it's not necessarily a once for all decision. We can always go back and create new indexes should situation changes.
Posts 4696
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 11 2019 12:29 PM

Kyle G. Anderson:
Page Indexing: We work with the indexes available to us. If page milestones are available to us we add them. In many of the cases for the titles you list we are provided websites from the publishers which did not include pages.

Page indices for magisterial documents are entirely irrelevant. They effectively do not exist. Print copies of magisterial documents usually do not have page numbers. Documents of the Magisterium are never (ever) referenced by internal page number. The only page number ever connected to them is the page number in the AAS (or its predecessor) when they are published in it, which occurs in one language per document and constitutes the definitive edition of the document. Happily, the AAS is available in full on vatican.va in .pdf format.

The important in-document index is the paragraph/section number. I went through the first four documents in MJ's list... the section information is given in each of them, but in all cases no milestones exist for them. Like the AAS paging, the in-document section/paragraph numbers are identical across languages/translations for the same document.

Edit: cf. https://community.logos.com/forums/t/185328.aspx

"The saints are the true interpreters of Holy Scripture. The meaning of a given passage of the Bible becomes most intelligible in those human beings who have been totally transfixed by it and have lived it out." - Pope Benedict XVI

Posts 30835
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 11 2019 2:43 PM

Kyle G. Anderson:
Denzinger didn't reference many of the documents you list because it was produced before we had access to those documents. I know it's an important resource and it's currently undergoing an update. The update should be pushed out shortly.

Sorry, if I wasn't clear. The CURRENT Denzinger does, in fact, reference all of the documents listed above which makes it highly likely that they are referenced by a number of other sources. Unfortunately, the current Denzinger is not in Verbum; Verbum carries the version of 1954 IIRC. I've not gotten far enough back to see how well the Verbum Denzinger is linked with Verbum Documents with or without appropriate indices.

I do understand the difficulty of new data types and have previously made suggestions that would mitigate the internal issues. I hope some Catholic academics weigh in with their precise needs but from a lay user perspective Faithlife's choice is either change the advertising to reflect the severe limitations or to actual tag them with the common referencing scheme used in monographs, academic papers, and other church documents.

I don't enjoy being put in the position of a complainer, especially because I appreciate the software and the work that has gone into it. But Catholics by training are precise, methodical (Aquinas), logical (Aristotle/Boethius), and historical ... especially when it comes to something as important as Scripture study. FL must understand that to truly be successful in the very large ACELO market (Anglican-Catholic-Eastern Orthodox-Lutheran-Oriental Orthodox).

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

Posts 1345
LogosEmployee
Kyle G. Anderson | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 11 2019 4:03 PM

MJ. Smith:

Kyle G. Anderson:
Denzinger didn't reference many of the documents you list because it was produced before we had access to those documents. I know it's an important resource and it's currently undergoing an update. The update should be pushed out shortly.

I don't enjoy being put in the position of a complainer, especially because I appreciate the software and the work that has gone into it. But Catholics by training are precise, methodical (Aquinas), logical (Aristotle/Boethius), and historical ... especially when it comes to something as important as Scripture study. FL must understand that to truly be successful in the very large ACELO market (Anglican-Catholic-Eastern Orthodox-Lutheran-Oriental Orthodox).

FWIW I don't think that at all. I greatly appreciate your feedback.

Posts 53
Andrew Loney | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 11 2019 11:14 PM

MJ. Smith:

But Catholics by training are precise, methodical (Aquinas), logical (Aristotle/Boethius), and historical ...

FWIW, this applies to other denominations as well. Presbyterians, for example, are know to do everything "decently and in order" :)
That is to say; excellent cross referencing is important to all of us. Thank you for raising this issue.

Posts 30835
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 11 2019 11:26 PM

Andrew Loney:
FWIW, this applies to other denominations as well.

Yes, but in my 70+ years I have on at least 4 occasions found some to whom it appeared not to apply ... so I hedged my bets and stuck to what I knew. But, yes, I welcome everyone to whom it matters to make their needs for cross-referencing known.

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

Page 1 of 1 (7 items) | RSS