[sword-devel] search idea

Matthias Ansorg sword-devel@crosswire.org
Sat, 1 Jan 2000 22:07:21 +0100

Trevor et al.,

Some ideas that might perhaps be useful to integrate when planning advanced search features:
It would be useful for advanced searching to be more able to distinguish the semantic means of text
when searching. Examples:

1. Searching for a number like, say, 33, produces at present in some translations like "1952
Schlachter Bibel" hits like Psalms 18:32. The "33" is here contained in a string that shows that
this verse was originally verse 33. It would be useful to do a search, say, FIND numbers(33) that
finds only real numbers contained in the bible text.

2. Strong's numbers: It would be useful to do a search that finds only hits with a given Strong
number and not additional verss that contain this number in it's text. Perhaps FIND strongs(0929).
It's interesting monitoring the use of a specific Hebrew word through the bible using BibleTime's
graphical analysis feauture!

3. Names: Imagine the situation you have forgotten the name of a single person mentioned in the
Bible or a commentary or book except of one or two letters. You could avoid unnecessary hits by
restricting the search to only names, perhaps FIND names(Ben*). The markup of names is provided by

4. Annotations: show only hits that occur in annotations or that occur not in annotations to reduce
the amount of unnecessary hits to view through.

5. Meta information: Find (perhaps in some modules at one time) information that is stored in meta
fields, such as the publication date or author of commentaries or (of course not yet
implemented) general books, an appropriate markup like ThML provided. Such as: give me all books
written by Darby would be a FIND meta.author(Darby) IN modules.books

6. Scripture references: a appropriate marup to sripture references provided like in ThML, one
could search for each reference to a given verse or verse range in every commentary and (perhaps
later) even every book you have. That way, one could find nearly everything written about a
specific verse and not only that which is included in the appropriate portions of yur commentaries.

7. texts with other semantic markups like date or anything else that might be of some use. Searching
on verses that are written in a certain mood and are about a certain topic (proposed by Jerry
Hastings earlier in this thread) is related to this but perhaps easier to handle when coding: these
meta information is the same for every bible translation and is therefore not needed to be marked
up in the bible text itself.

Of course there are difficulties one will encounter when planning to code this in: The semantic
information is only available when an appropriate markup is done in the text. As we use different
markup languages in the modules and not every information metioned here is markup-able with these
all, not every module contains the desired semantic information. Therefore some search requests are
not available on a module.

IMHO, the idea of using index files for searching is great, for it provides possibilities like
creating an (perhaps semi-hand-written) index file with a list-of -contents for an mp3-module like
an audio sermon if this becomes once a module for SWORD. (and is not done over href to file like at
the moment in BibleTime).

Please discard that portions of this message that are only "technical toys" and not useful in a
bible study tool directed to further HIS kingdom.

In Christ.