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Text Reference Notation


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#1 Ryan Kilgore

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 01:30 PM

It seems like this must have been addressed somewhere in the past, but I wasn't able to find anything on it so I thought I'd inquire. Accordance requires book names that begin with a number to not have any spaces between the number and the title, e.g. 1Cor. is allowed, but not 1 Cor. This is fine with me when I type in a verse I want to look up, but I'm having troubles in that sometimes I want to copy/paste a list of references from an outside source to have Accordance look up, and since normal notation dictates that we refer to such books as 1 Cor. instead of 1Cor., I'm always having to "fix" the reference before Accordance will accept it.

Shouldn't it be possible for Accordance to be able to handle this kind of reference? Obviously I don't understand all of what is involved, but it seems like it wouldn't take too many lines of code to get this functionality. It's not a big deal, but I just find that I fight with it on a regular basis.

Thanks for considering this request!

-Ryan

#2 Ryan Kilgore

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 04:30 PM

I should ammend/clarify my original post: when the first (or only) text in a search window is referrenced by the notation that includes a space after the number (e.g. "1 Cor."), Accordance will accept this input. But if the reference is not the first in the list, Accordance requires that there be no space ("1Cor."). It seems to me however that if the reference follows a semicolon, there should be no ambiguity, and Accordance should accept the space after the number.

#3 Helen Brown

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 05:38 PM

Accordance does allow the space for the first reference in the list, but after that, it gets too complicated for Accordance to guess what you mean. This is because Accordance does not require a semicolon separator before a new book name.

Therefore you can enter 1 John 2John and you get the contents of both books
but if you enter 1 John 2 John Accordance cannot know whether you mean 1 John ch 2 or all of both books
so, unless we were to require a semicolon before a new book name, we have to continue to require a space between the book number and name, after the first reference.


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#4 Ryan Kilgore

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 06:13 PM

If you'll allow, I'd like to jump back on this thread with another thought...

Wouldn't it be possible to allow the "1 John" notation if the user includes semicolons? Accordance could simply "assume" that the number referred to the book and not the chapter whenever it is preceded by a semi-colon. This would still allow for using a space as a reference divider whenever a user chose to do that, in which case the user would be required to use the "1John" notation so that Accordance doesn't get confused, but it would also allow easy importation of lists of text references that are separated by a semi-colon and include the standard "1 John" notation.

Do my thoughts make sense? Perhaps a few examples will aid in clarification:

1 John 3:5; 2 John 1; 2 Cor. 3:11
(Accordance would accept this and understand the notation because of the use by the user of the semi-colons.)

1John 3:5 2John 1 2Cor. 3:11
(Accordance would accept this and understand the notation just like it does now. Semi-colons are absent, but there are no spaces between book number and book name, so there is no confusion.)

1 John 3:5 2 John 1 2 Cor. 3:11
(Accordance would have a problem here and would pop up an error box indicating that there was ambiguity just like it already does.)

In conclusion, unless there is some other factor I haven't considered, it seems that this suggestion would add a valuable feature, but would not add any significant problems. What do you think?

Thanks again,

Ryan

#5 Helen Brown

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 08:45 PM

There is still a problem because the semicolon can also mean that you go up a level, so that 1 John 3:5; 2 is understood as 1John ch 3 v5 and ch 2, whereas 1 John 3:5, 2 is understood as 1John ch 3 v5 and v 2. Therefore your example:

1 John 3:5; 2 John 1; 2 Cor. 3:11
is interpreted as 1John ch 3 v5 and ch 2, followed by John ch 1 and ch 2 followed by an unknown book Cor.
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#6 Ryan Kilgore

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 01:50 PM

Thanks Helen... somehow I knew I must be forgetting something.

Do you think it would be worthwhile to add another character that could be optionally used as a book separator? Perhaps '|' or something?

I notice that when I copy/paste a CR (or is it LF... or CR/LF... I can't keep them straight) separated list of text references into the Accordance search window, Accordance is kind enough to replace the CR's (or LF's or whatever) into semi-colons so that the entire list is readable in the window. This is fine except that then I have to go through and look for any notations that are incorrect and remove the spaces between the book and the book number, or else Accordance gives me an error. Am I the only one who does this on occasion?

Perhaps Accordance could even have an option added so that I can choose whether I want the CR's to be replaced by semi-colons...

Anyway, these are some of my thoughts. The current system just seems somewhat counter intuitive, and doesn't accommodate the standard way of referencing book titles, so I was looking for a solution. Please pardon my persistence!

-Ryan

#7 jpkang

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 11:31 PM

Ryan,

I can sympathize. I've hand-edited many sets of reference lists from Accordance because they did not conform to style guides, mainly inserting spaces after numbers but also changing the actual abbreviations.

I would have to say, though, that adding another character would not be optimal (as I'm sure you agree). I'd prefer for Accordance to look ahead beyond any number after a semicolon to see if in fact it is "going up a level" or is actually another book reference. Easier said than done, of course, but that's really the proper way to resolve those kinds of ambiguities.

J. P.
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