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Gesenius' paradigms


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#1 Niko

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 04:43 PM

Could the paradigm charts in Gesenius' grammar be done differently? I think the pop-up windows are terrible and not easy to use. In Logos these paradigms are just ordinary book pages.


Edited by Niko, 15 August 2013 - 04:43 PM.


#2 R. Mansfield

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 01:16 AM

Niko, I have Gesenius' Grammar in both Accordance and Logos, and I looked at the paradigm charts to see the differences you describe. 

 

No doubt, paradigm charts such as these are probably one of the most difficult elements to faithfully reproduce in electronic format. Out of curiosity, I looked on Amazon.com to see if anyone's attempted a Kindle version of Gesenius, and I wasn't too surprised to see that it simply doesn't exist yet. There is a Google Play edition of Gesenius, but it is simply a pure scan of the book with very limited ability to select or highlight text. 

 

Here are screenshots of the personal pronoun paradigm in all three formats, starting with the Google Play book since that is the closest rendition of the original, followed by Accordance and Logos. 

 

Google Play (from my iPad):

 

Attached File  IMG_0254.jpg   79.7KB   55 downloads

 

Accordance (Mac):

 

Attached File  Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 1.30.29 AM.png   504.5KB   81 downloads

 

Logos (Mac):

 

Attached File  Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 1.36.25 AM.png   279.72KB   71 downloads

 

In comparing Accordance and Logos, against the "original" in the Google Play edition, I personally like the Accordance version best of all three. I know, I know--you say I'm biased. However, let me defend my preference. Only by looking at the Google Play edition do I realize that this is a chart spread out across two pages. Since I do not have a hard copy of Gesenius' Grammar, I would have had no way of knowing this. 

 

The Accordance version combines the pages seamlessly into one image. I would have no way of looking at the Accordance version and realizing that this chart originally spanned to pages--a division that ultimately breaks the flow of the chart. 

 

Now, to be fair, the Logos version combines the content spread across two pages into one chart, too. And it goes a step further by attempting to reproduce in a flowing and selectable typeface the content of the original paradigm chart. The advantage would allow for selection of text in the Logos version since the Accordance chart is essentially a graphic--a scan of the original chart where the two pages have been combined into one seamless whole. 

 

But when I start looking at the details of Logos' chart, I notice that in their attempt to reconstruct it--as valiant of an effort as that is--the chart has actually been changed from the original. This is because the large brackets in the original either cannot be reproduced in an all-text chart or it was too much effort to go to that much trouble on every chart, so the chart is reconstructed. I suppose someone could debate whether or not Logos' reconstruction is better than the original, but the fact remains that its structure is significantly changed and the brackets are lost. The Accordance version changes the chart only by bringing the content of the page spreads together, undeniably improving upon the original. Does the Logos chart contain the same information? Yes. However, it is no longer in the same format as Gesenius designed it.

 

Is it a big deal that the text in the Accordance version cannot be selected? Maybe or maybe not, but the value of a paradigm chart is in the chart as a whole. With that, the chart itself can be selected and pasted intact into another application such as MS Word because it is a graphic. If I try do the same thing with the Logos version, it becomes a mess in Word, and in fact is unusable.

 

In the screenshot of Microsoft Word below, the page on the left contains the personal pronoun paradigm chart copied from Accordance. The page on the right (which actually goes on for two more pages beyond that) is the paste from the chart in Logos, which completely loses its structure as a chart:

 

Attached File  Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 1.51.27 AM.png   368.69KB   40 downloads

 

And I won't go to the trouble of including screenshots from the iOS versions of each platform, but suffice it to say that I can view the entire personal pronoun chart in Accordance on my iPad (best viewed in landscape), but the chart in Logos breaks across about three different screens. It's really not usable in the Logos for iOS version at all.

 

Now, could the Accordance version be improved? I believe so. The scans seem rather low resolution, which may be the retina display on my MacBook Pro, but I believe they are just lower resolution scans. Regardless, it might not be a bad idea to rescan the original charts at a higher resolution from a hard copy now that computer screens have significantly improved since Gesenius first came available for Accordance. 

 

In the end, these are two different approaches to reproducing complicated text in a hardcover book for an electronic medium. They may both have advantages and disadvantages, but for my use, the Accordance version is more useful and certainly more faithful to the original content.

 

 


Rick Mansfield

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#3 Niko

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 04:38 AM

Hi Rick

 

Thanks for your detailed reply. Having read your reply and after some thoughts I agree the chart is not that bad and my harsh words were not justified.

 

It certainly is a plus that Accordance let's you see the whole chart at first sight. I made the picture a new tab and detached it so I could move it, because I like to see the form that I am comparing it with in the BHS.

 

Maybe it could be more pleasing to the eye, but I can live with it.



#4 R. Mansfield

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 09:46 AM

It was very late when I wrote that response last night, Niko. Today, I reflected on it, and I realized that pasting the Logos text into Word was not a fair evaluation since Word does not have right-to-left support. In the spirit of fairness, here is a screenshot of the Accordance text and Logos text in Mellel--a word processor much better suited for Herbrew and other right-to-left languages:

 

Attached File  Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 10.21.16 AM.png   339.35KB   34 downloads

 

Again, the personal pronoun chart from Accordance is on the left and the Logos chart is on the right. Note Mellel properly reproduced the pasted text from Logos--both the table structure and the properly formatted text. 

 

I imagine it's going to go back to personal preference or how the chart is going to be used, but I still prefer the chart from Accordance. The chart from Logos, even though the table pastes correctly, and even though the information is editable, still spans three pages--which to me isn't as useful (again, others may disagree). The text can be reduced in size, but to try to fit the whole chart on the page makes it unusable--at least for my eyes. It's just too small. And again, I prefer being able to see the content of the chart all on one page. Not all charts will be small enough to do this with reasonable legibility, but when possible, I would prefer it. 

 

I wondered about turning the page orientation to landscape. If for some reason you were wanting to print out these charts and take them with you, the Accordance chart can be stretched fullscreen, and it loses very little quality:

 

Attached File  Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 10.25.20 AM.png   494.84KB   33 downloads

 

I tried doing this with the Logos chart, but this time it spanned six pages. Moreover, the table doesn't paste to the full width of the page, so any attempt to adjust the table and text to fit on one page would become a real chore.


Edited by R. Mansfield, 16 August 2013 - 09:49 AM.

Rick Mansfield

Technology Evangelist

Accordance Bible Software

 

 

Gear for running Accordance:

OS X

2012 15" MacBook Pro (retina) - 2.7 Ghz Core i7, 16 GB RAM, 750 GB SSD, Yosemite

Windows

2014 15.6" Acer R7-572 - 1.6 Ghz Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB mSATA, 1 TB HDD, Windows 8.1

2013 8" Dell Venue 8 Pro - 1.33 Ghz Atom, 2 GB RAM, 64 GB eMMC, Windows 8.1

iOS

2014 iPhone 6 Plus, 128 GB, Verizon

2013 iPad Air, 128 GB, Verizon

 





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