[sword-devel] imp2ld and alphabetization

DM Smith dmsmith555 at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 29 14:27:07 MST 2007

Chris Little wrote:
> DM Smith wrote:
>> On Oct 29, 2007, at 12:49 AM, Chris Little wrote:
>>> It's possible to have multiple keys share a single entry. So  
>>> pointed and
>>> an unpointed keys can point to the same entry. We've done this
>>> experimentally with dictionaries in the past to permit lookup by a
>>> Strong's number or the lemma it represents.
>> That works but then all current front-ends would show two entries.
> I hadn't considered that a problem, but it certainly could be, if we had 
> a large quantity of similar-looking keys intermixed. I suppose we could 
> either tag some keys to not display in the index or we could add a 
> module attribute to suppress display of all link entries.
>>>> A user may expect to find a word by stem not just by prefix.
>>> I'm not sure whether this is a sort order issue or lookup/search  
>>> issue.
>>> Presumably a user would know the word they want and type it in with  
>>> its
>>> prefix, even if it is sorted to group with other words sharing the  
>>> same
>>> stem.
>> Maybe I am not using the right terminology. Let's say that "run" is  
>> in the dictionary but "ran" is not because this dictionary only has  
>> the base words and no grammatical variations. Now the user right  
>> clicks on "ran" and chooses lookup and is brought to the nearest word  
>> to "ran", perhaps "rabid". This is a simple case. It has been quite a  
>> while since I studied other languages, but I seem to remember that  
>> German changes the prefix of words when going to the past tense. And  
>> in Greek, I seem to remember diacritic changes and suffix changes.
> That's what I understood you to mean. I think our first goal should be 
> to maintain the provided keys in their provided order. A German 
> dictionary won't necessarily list the past participle forms (the ones 
> that begin with ge-) unless they are irregular, and then their entry 
> will basically just say "pa. ptc. of ______en".
> I'm not sure of your experiences with learning languages, but in mine, 
> one of the first things you learn is how to look up words in a 
> dictionary. That means learning to figure out the infinitive of a verb 
> (as with German(-ic)) or the first person singular present indicative 
> (as with Latin), the nominative of a noun (as in most languages with 
> case), the radical (as in Chinese), the root (as in semitic), the stem 
> (as in Germanic & probably Greek). 
I haven't studied a language in over 25 years. I remember concepts. And 
since I use the Greek NT on a fairly regular basis, I remember a bit of 
that. But one of my first goals in learning a language was to become 
adept at resources.

> Presenting the citation form is all 
> we necessarily need to do.

I think that it would be good to provide the ability to take a word in 
the wild (e.g. in a Bible), determine if it is in the dictionary as is, 
and if not look for the most likely candidate, which probably is not the 
"next" when lookup fails.
> In practice, all we should do is present what the source gives us, even 
> if it's in a strange order.

I agree. The source is best ordered as provided.

>>> I'm willing to write these users off. We could transliterate back to
>>> Greek, but I don't think it's worth the effort or processor cycles. I
>>> don't believe that people who don't know how to read Greek use Greek
>>> lexicons other than as a novelty.
>> I was thinking altogether of a different user. For example I use  
>> Windows, Linux and Macs almost daily and I do not want to learn each  
>> OSes input system and just wants to find words by typing (like Beta  
>> Greek) It is not a matter of reading but of entry.
> I don't think it's a problem to be solved on the module side (or in the 
> module drivers).
> We have some InputMethod classes, which could be used at least for the 
> major cases where people might know a language but not know how to type 
> it (Greek & Hebrew). It would also be possible to run key entry through 
> an ICU transliterator to get another script.
I was musing about the problem from the user's perspective. I think it 
is something that the apps should provide. Having it in the library 
makes it platform independent.

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