[sword-devel] search idea

Trevor Jenkins sword-devel@crosswire.org
Thu, 30 Dec 1999 12:11:20 +0000

On Wednesday, 29 December, 1999 05:25:23, Jerry Hastings 
<hastings@dancris.com> wrote:

> At 01:59 PM 12/28/1999 +0000, Trevor Jenkins wrote:
>>> Please give some thought to adding a synonym feature to searches.
>>A thesaurus feature ...
>>I could have said
>>    FIND NT(jewel)
> NT(jewel) search would be a nice feature. However, the thesaurus search
> will generate more hits than the one I was suggesting,

The essential piece of syntax that I left out was

FIND syn(cows)

which could satisfy your search requirement.

> To use a thesaurus may require the user to
> select how closely related words must be to be a hit. ...

Yes, it does. The construction of a thesaurus is not easy. All I said was
that the (search) feature ought to be there and I knew how to program it.

> With the search index I
> suggested, a search for "cow" will only produce hits where someone
> translated the Greek or Hebrew to "cow", and it would not require the user
> to select a range of meaning.

I think that the thesaurus structure is amenable to this usage.

> ... Rogets early editions are now PD and may provide a place to start.

I wasn't aware that they were PD. However, care is needed using the word
thesaurus in Information Retrieval sense and in the Roget sense. Whilst
Roget's is a list of synonyms the IR model is much more general and

>>An automated solution might be possible if every Bible text was marked up
>>with Strong's numbers.
> With indexes of the Greek and Hebrew texts, one could do a combined Greek,
> Hebrew and English (or whatever) thesaurus. As long as you can search more
> than one index at a time this should work without having to have Strongs
> numbers in the text.

I'm having difficulty understanding how this would work.

>>Whilst technically possible this is somewhat "dangerous". It could become
>>devisive due to differing theological assumptions.
> Even translations and commentaries are divisive. The thing to do is provide
> support for the format and features. Then others can take the heat for the
> content. And the different camps can make their own indexes to the
> specification.

Agreed. I've seen other co-operative ventures breakup because of the
participants' doctrinal positions. A flexible full-text search or thesaurus
structure should allow for such positions to be handled without the
"non-believers" having the data.

>>I'll work on the inclusion of a thesaurus feature as part of the draft
> I am excited! A thesaurus would be great. And if you can, please include
> support for doing Bible searches from more than just the index that comes
> with a text module. Multiple index searches and searches of custom indexes
> (made to the specification but with custom data).

I'll try.

Regards, Trevor

British Sign Language is not inarticulate handwaving; it's a living
language. So recognise it now.


<>< Re: deemed!