[sword-devel] search idea

Jerry Hastings sword-devel@crosswire.org
Sun, 26 Dec 1999 14:02:27 -0700

At 01:51 PM 12/26/1999 +0000, Trevor Jenkins wrote:
>At the moment I putting a specification together. When I've connoceted a
>first draft I'll put it around for comments.

Please give some thought to adding a synonym feature to searches. Consider
Genesis 32:15. The KJV has "forty kine", the BBE has "forty cows." I would
like to be able to find it by either "cows" or "kine" and not have to
select KJV or BBE. If I am in KJV give me the verse even though I searched
for "cows."

One way to do this is to search every bible index not just the index for
the currant module. A better way is to create an index that combines
entries from other indexes. An index of English words could be created by
taking the data from all indexes of English Bibles. Information about book
and verse positions would be kept but word order in a verse would be
dropped because this type of search would probably not work well for
phrases anyway. Duplicates would also be dropped. And information about
which translations used a word could also be dropped. In the end, there
would be an entry in the index for a word in a verse if at least one
translation used that word in that verse. But there would still be only one
entry for that word in that verse even if the word is used many times in
many translations in that verse. One could use this and have the benefit of
information from translations that are not installed. I would not have to
have BBE installed to get a hit on Gen 32:15 for "cows." I could get a hit
even if the only translation I installed was KJV if I had an index with the
needed information.

If we could use that kind of index there are some other enhancements we
could add. A Bible text could be edited to include unsaid words that are
implied or indirectly referred to. To verses that contain "Lamb of God" one
could add the words "Jesus" and "Christ". Then when the text is index into
the synonym index those verses will become hits for "Jesus" and/or "Christ"
when a synonym search is done.

Some other indexes that would be great to have are indexes of mood,
setting, topic, and action. Of course there are already topical indexes.
What I want to be able to do is search for verses that are of a certain
type, like thankful in mood, and contain a word, like "Lord." I would like
to search for verses that have a topic of "law" and contain a word, like
"sin." Someone would have to compile the information for some of these
indexes. But it would be good if in concept there was support for them. If
the support was there I think we could get people to compile the
information, though it will take some time.