[sword-devel] Abstract references between documents

Harry Plantinga sword-devel@crosswire.org
Mon, 23 Apr 2001 14:57:00 -0400

> If a text was broken down to sentences, an index of sentences like the VSS
> for Bibles could be used. It would allow for references/links to a
> sentence. One problem with collections of Early writings is that different
> translations and collections use different passage numberings. Much like
> different Bible translations use different verse numberings. Also like the
> Bible, there are order, omission and inclusion issues. Perhaps Harry
> Plantinga can give some input on that, and how they make, or will make,
> references in the works at CCEL.

My current (actually years-old) thinking on abstract referencing of
documents is given in http://www.ccel.org/ThML/ccel-URI.htm.  Briefly,
to return section III.xx.4 of Calvin's Institutes in html, you'd use
something like this:


Basically, this says
  ccel       -- this is a ccel-style URI.  Since the server is unspecified,
                use a local copy if available, or search known servers.
  calvin     -- authorID
  institutes -- bookID
  .html      -- format wanted, in this case HTML. Could be txt, pdf, mp3,
  III.xx.4   -- id of section wanted.  Your scheme is implicitly
                implicitly defined by the IDs you put on sections, etc.
  |, #       -- return the section requested, or jump to location

However, I really haven't done much work on CCEL URIs yet.  There's
minimal support in the software.  Basically, it will convert
/ccel/calvin/institutes.html|III.xx.4 to the appropriate URL,
/c/calvin/institutes/htm/III.xx.4.htm.  Eventually the server should
do the needed format conversions on the fly, be able to translate
common schemes and abbreviations, maybe parse footnotes for references
it can understand...

This would be a good way to allow your software to use local books
if available, and if not available, search known servers.