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"About This Text..." for multi-volume works


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#1 Abram K-J

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 03:00 PM

I know this has been requested multiple times on the forums. I don't know where the feature request stands, though, in terms of priority.

 

When you purchase a multi-volume commentary set in Accordance like Word Biblical Commentary or The Bible Speaks Today, and then right-click (or use the menu) to get "About This Text..." (actually named slightly differently in the Accordance program drop-down menu as "About The Text..."), you get about the module, not the individual volume you're looking at.

 

In the DSS Studies module, this is true, too--there are 8 volumes, and working my way through the middle of one, I'd love to know the info about the volume itself, not the module, via a one-click method. (See attached.)

 

I know there are workarounds for this--"Copy As..." to get bibliographic information (though this doesn't seem to be working in this DSS volume), make your own user module with all the volume authors (really appreciated the one Ken posted on the Exchange recently), open a duplicate tab just for the purpose of looking up authors...but a one-step option would be ideal.

 

So this is both a feature request (yes, one that doesn't go away! sorry) and also a question for Accordance staff to see if this is planned for an update any time soon?

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#2 Abram K-J

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 07:35 PM

Any chance this might be in the offing for 10.3, whenever that may come?


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#3 Abram K-J

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 08:53 AM

Just thought I'd revive this thread again (which alludes to other threads already about the same topic) to see if any other users are interested in asking Accordance staff to pursue this feature in a future release? I'd find it really useful, personally.


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#4 Daniel Semler

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 09:39 AM

Hi Abram,

 

  I hope I don't derail the discussion on this point but people can just skip my post if so and pardon the intrusion.

 

  I wonder again and again about the electronic format of works versus the printed form. I personally believe, as I've said before in other threads, that the electronic work that claims to be the same work (title, authors, edition and such) should contain ALL the material in the printed work. I don't know if that would satisfy your requirements but even if it does we know that the etexts from publishers and other sources often simply don't support this.

 

  But then I use some text, take Wallace as an example, and this theory seems to have its limitations. I see that the Acc version of Wallace has page numbers at various points in the text which is handy because I also have the print edition. But its not easy for me to simply go to a page by page number in the electronic version. Maybe there is a way, but its slightly beside the point in this discussion. The question I'm heading towards is, to what extent should such things continue to work in electronic media ? Hyperlinking in Acc modules is often very extensive and in many cases, supplants this need. Page numbers are very useful for going back and forth between the printed and electronic form, perhaps for detailed references in other material, though this could be done differently in electronic texts too. There are no doubt other examples of limitations of the transferability of print paradigms to electronic reading and research systems. Indexes for example as they are done in Acc are not at the end of the text, but the implementation of them is superior to that approach in the app because of the way the medium works.

 

  If you want additional information added such as synopses and the like that would really be derivative work, but this is already being done with tagging. But it is also possible to support such things in tools modules as is done for other modules.

 

  Which leads me to my other concern with the way these texts are being published. My programmer mind thinks it would be nice if a common format existed and one bought texts from publishers and you plugged them in to a reader. This model however doesn't really work very well in this case because of the lack of adequate relevant standards and would radically affect the profitability of multiple businesses no matter how a user might like it. It would also tend to produce other issues with the quality of texts and so on. I'm not a fit judge but my belief is that the Accordance texts are of very good quality, not faultless certainly, but prepared with great attention and care, and the staff are receptive to input for corrections to be made. So homogenizing this is probably not a viable thing any time soon and perhaps not wise in the end at all.

 

  I'd certainly like to see all the content of print in the electronic and I have no issue with additional info being added if its helpful, but I don't know what latitude the module developers have to add such material - probably none in the text itself - nor what time they have to devote to it.

 

  So in the end I suspect this issue, like others of its type, needs to be taken to the etext source, the publishers. Of course I'm assuming that no etext content is being discarded in the en-moduling process at OakTree but I've never heard anything that indicates that this happens.

 

  Sorry for the longwinded and somewhat off the point message in support of your request, if I understand it, but that's what happens sometimes on Saturday mornings before breakfast. I continue to think about all this. I'll try not to deluge people with long pointless posts on this too frequently :)

 

Thx

D


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Mac : 2009 27" iMac                 Windows : HP 4540s laptop

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#5 Abram K-J

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 01:31 PM

 The question I'm heading towards is, to what extent should such things continue to work in electronic media ? Hyperlinking in Acc modules is often very extensive and in many cases, supplants this need. .... Indexes for example as they are done in Acc are not at the end of the text, but the implementation of them is superior to that approach in the app because of the way the medium works.

 

Well put. For similar reasons, most people would find it odd if a "concordance" were ever offered as a module in Accordance.

 

Good points, all.

 

To the point of quickly being able to find out what text you're in, however, in a multi-volume set... just taking a few steps back for a moment, it seems logical that this would be at least as easy in electronic media as it is in print. There is already the "About the Text"/"About This Text" feature. I'm not programmer, but it seems like specifying this by volume wouldn't be impossible.

 

Yes, the Word Biblical Commentary, for example, is just the NT and the OT modules (so you get info about each module, not each volume). But multi-volume works have pagination already that specify (at the page numbers) which volume you're in. The coding for About the Text is perhaps completely different, but it sill would be a useful piece of info to be able to get at quickly, with a single click or keystroke.

 

I did find the user module that was recently added to the Exchange (with volume author names) to be useful, in the meantime.


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#6 Timothy Jenney

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 02:21 PM

Great discussion!

 

Like many of you, I am eager to see electronic publishing become better. However, it is useful from time to time to remember just how new it really is. Scrolls were nice, but codices offered better random access. Today's books, the direct descendents of the codices, have thus been with us almost 2000 years. The printing press was invented in the mid 1400s, so even if we restrict the term "book" to a printed book, we still have about 600 years of progress represented in them.

 

I am convinced that e-texts are the way forward, but they have been with us a relatively short period of time (50-60 years, max), especially when we consider just how quickly they have become so widely accepted. E-texts offer even better random access, incredible portability and size reduction, end user definable text size and background, hypertext links, even embedded media, but most of the progress has been made in the last ten years or so—and Accordance has been with us almost twenty!

 

I have been reading e-books them since the late 1990s, when I read books from Peanut Press on my Palm (which had an awful display and battery life, by today's standards!). I actually had Accordance on my computer before I ever bought my first e-book (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, for my Mac, just in case you're interested). I wonder if Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and similar applications will ever be as full-featured as Accordance, which I see as a leader in the field.

 

OK, enough reflection, time to get back to some real work, I suppose...


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#7 Daniel Semler

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 05:04 PM

So many thoughts all at once. Hmmmm.....

 

Scrolls - reflowable text in readers is like a sort of super scroll - a scroll with hyper links which would have been really cool in the heyday of scrolls. Finding a relevant section in a scroll of any size must have been a bit of a bear.

 

Features : I discussed Acc's language/morphology capabilities with a friend a good while ago now, and she wondered if such a thing would be useful in a general reader. One use case I can think of would be for ESL or for that matter any-lang-SL, but the ereader market so far appears to have not got that far or considers the use case invalid or something. The note taking and highlighting thing is definitely there though integration with research remains in tools, like Zotero, Mendeley, DevonThink etc. So not sure.

 

On standards, has anyone looked at TEI - Text Encoding Initiative ? I've looked briefly and it seems to be relevant but I'm not sure of the available tooling. One of the things that warps my head a bit is the repeated import into this/export out of that processing that goes on. Hence my interest in a file format that unifies function and then you can use whizzy reader of choice for whatever you need. I must look further at TEI.

 

Abram, I've well and truly derailed this thread by now but I have a question on your original post. In your image there is a reference to the DSS Studies Readme. I have wondered about where these readmes are. There is at least one other I've heard mentioned in some other context. Is it viewable from within Acc somehow ? If the readmes were segmented by volume and retrievable in context that might help a good deal. The About the Text data is very small, but I can imagine even knowing that you are in a vol 12 or 37, which deals with be would be helpful. I do not own and cannot comment on the DSS module but if the table of contents if confined to each individual volume rather than being an aggregation of all the contents of the module that would rule it out as much help here, for determining context. But if you want info on contributors to each volume and perhaps publication data that wouldn't help much either.

 

Thx

D


Accordance Configurations :

 

Mac : 2009 27" iMac                 Windows : HP 4540s laptop

      Intel Core Duo                          Intel i5 Ivy Bridge

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      Accordance 10.4.2.1                     Accordance 10.4.2.2 and Aleph 10.4.3b1

      OSX 10.9 (Mavericks)                    Win 7 Professional x64 SP1


#8 Joel Brown

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 05:56 PM

To answer your Accordance-specific question, Daniel, you can access any installed Read-mes from the Help -> Documentation item, which will present you with the Read Mes folder in the Finder.


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#9 Daniel Semler

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 06:12 PM

Thanx Joel, I didn't know that.

 

Thx

D


Accordance Configurations :

 

Mac : 2009 27" iMac                 Windows : HP 4540s laptop

      Intel Core Duo                          Intel i5 Ivy Bridge

      12GB RAM                                8GB RAM

      Accordance 10.4.2.1                     Accordance 10.4.2.2 and Aleph 10.4.3b1

      OSX 10.9 (Mavericks)                    Win 7 Professional x64 SP1


#10 Helen Brown

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 01:25 AM

There is also a module called Read-Me Modules which should be in your English tools, and contains all the Read Mes.


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#11 Daniel Semler

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 09:02 AM

I don't see it there Helen. I thought that module was a separate item that came with a certain collection level. Just checked - its not part of the Starter, which is what I have plus a bunch of added on modules.

 

But I can use the Doc link Joel mentioned.

 

Thx

D


Accordance Configurations :

 

Mac : 2009 27" iMac                 Windows : HP 4540s laptop

      Intel Core Duo                          Intel i5 Ivy Bridge

      12GB RAM                                8GB RAM

      Accordance 10.4.2.1                     Accordance 10.4.2.2 and Aleph 10.4.3b1

      OSX 10.9 (Mavericks)                    Win 7 Professional x64 SP1


#12 Helen Brown

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 09:05 AM

Yes, it's included only with the higher collections.


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