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#1 Dru Brooke-Taylor

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 12:23 PM

This is the first time I've written to the forum. I only bought Accordance recently, and I'm really enjoying it.

I hope what I'm suggesting doesn't tresspass on something that others have aired before.

Something which I think would be a really helpful addition to Accordance would be a reader for documents in other peoples' formats, particularly those that are freely available. This could either be so that one could add them as extra General Tools or My Tools, like the ones one can download from the Accordance site, or simply open them and read them - though it would be helpful if one could search them from Accordance and use the structural systems embedded in them.

The two most obvious possibilities would be a pdf reader, a sort of Accordance Preview, and the ability to open and read the documents produced by CCEL in their peculiar ThML format.

I don't know whether I'm missing something, but I've failed so far to find a way of reading those properly. In Safari, they appear with all their codes still visible, and the alleged ability to jump to indexed points doesn't work. CCEL recomends Explorer, but that usually doesn't work at all. So a CCEL reader for the Mac that worked might be a real bonus.

Other possibilities might be to be be able to read the texts on the Crosswire/Sword site, but I recognise many of these duplicate Accordance Texts, which might therefore make this a questionable suggestion, and documents in Text or Word formats.

Yours sincerely

Dru Brooke-Taylor
Bristol, England.

#2 David Lang

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 04:52 PM

Dru,

Your best bet is to import these various texts into Accordance as User Tools. Currently, User Tools support import of plain Text documents and HTML documents. Unsupported tags such as those unique to CCEL's ThML format are simply stripped out during the import process.

If CCEL's markup contains information you don't want to lose, you could use a program like BareBones software's free TextWrangler to edit the HTML file before you import it into Accordance. I believe TextWrangler even supports PERL scripts for automating that editing process.

With respect to PDF files, you would need to find some way to export those files to HTML and then import them into Accordance. Adobe Acrobat Standard supports exporting from PDF to HTML, and there may also be free resources available to do this for you.

While developing a User Tool is obviously more work than just being able to read other formats within Accordance, User Tools have several advantages. For example, they can be accessed through the Resource palette, can have hypertextable Scripture links and a hierarchical browser, and can be searched by a variety of different fields. Those are capabilities which likely wouldn't exist in a simple Reader window that displayed texts in other formats.

Hope this helps.
Sincerely,
David Lang
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#3 Joe Weaks

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 11:49 PM

Something which I think would be a really helpful addition to Accordance would be a reader for documents in other peoples' formats, particularly those that are freely available.


Hello Dru, and welcome.
I love Bristol. The last time I was there I was sitting drinking a cup of tea whilst that old steam boat went through the water. I've an etching of the bridge in my home. Anyhoo...

The one distinction I like to make about adding texts, is let tools do what they do best. For instance, if you have a document in Word. Then you can export it into HTML, which Accordance can then create a User Tool out of. Voila! Though, the HTML import and its documentation is still underwhelming, and needs to see some improvement IMHO. The same applies to the ThML format, I think. I had a look at it a few years ago. It is not that popular or used, I don't think, but there it's based on HTML so a conversion surely isnt't that difficult.
As for PDF, if it's a text-based PDF, one is still better off getting it into a User Tool so that it can interact with all the Accordance features, and if it is a PDF of images, then what is the incentive to reading it "in" Accordance rather than "in" Preview?
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#4 caorongjin

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 01:25 PM

I am not too familiar with the ThML schema, though have been interested in doing the same imports myself. To be honest, with the cost of my seminary classes, things that are free on a place like CCEL would be nice to be freely available or easily importable into Accordance. The one major advantage I see with ThML (unless I misread the schema) that I don't think the HTML import properly supports is hyperlinking to Biblical texts and particular Greek/Hebrew words. Of course, like Pastor Weaks says, I haven't seen too much documentation on the import and I am not sure how extensive it's abilities are. This may simply be my ignorance. :unsure:

#5 Joe Weaks

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 01:33 PM

I haven't seen too much documentation on the [HTML] import and I am not sure how extensive it's abilities are.  This may simply be my ignorance.

It is not your ignorance. They haven't put out any docs on it, and it puzzles me, to be honest. We really need a simple: "Here are the supported HTML tags."
In the absence of it, I created a HTML Import test page that goes through a hefty number of tags, not as a way of saying "these tags should be supported", but as a way of seeing how the different tags look after the import into a User Tool.
Accordance User Tool Import Test Page

#6 David Lang

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 08:55 AM

Joe, If you knew all the irons we have in the fire right now, I'm not sure you'd be that puzzled by the fact that we haven't documented all the supported tags. But yes, it's something we certainly need to do.

Your test page is very helpful, though I did discover that about three-quarters of the Scripture references you had that got missed would have been converted to links if you would just have had additional text after each reference and before the <br> tag. For example, put a period at the end of each line and try importing it again.

Other than this little end-of-the-line anomaly, the only Scripture refs which do not get converted automatically are refs which contain just book and chapter but no verse (e.g.: Matthew 1). This is because such combinations are not always Scripture references and you might get a lot of bad links if we converted them. Likewise, the import doesn't support the period as the separator between chapter and verse (Mat. 1.1 gets missed). Ma 1:1 gets missed because it's not clear whether this is referring to Matthew or Mark (if you entered this in a Search window you'd get an error too).

Alexander, with respect to converting from ThML, you can make sure most of the Scripture refs get converted as links by doing a simple find/replace in a text editor. For example, here's how a reference in a ThML file is marked:

<scripRef passage="Matt. xx. 16" id="v.i.lxv-p8.1" parsed="|Matt|20|16|0|0" osisRef="Bible:Matt.20.16">Matt. xx. 16</scripRef>

Simply replace all of this with a modified form of the osisRef (i.e.: Matt. 20:16), and Accordance will recognize it as a link and format it as such. Otherwise, Accordance will strip the <scripRef> tag and will not recognize the "Matt. xx. 16" text as a valid reference.

Greek and Hebrew are a little trickier, but it could be done. First you would need to convert whatever Greek and Hebrew characters are used to the equivalent Helena and Yehudit characters. You would then need to replace whatever tags they use to mark the Greek and Hebrew with something you could easily find in the User Tool edit window.

Unfortunately, the HTML import doesn't currently support the <font> tag, so you couldn't just mark it as Helena or Yehudit and have Accordance import it with those fonts. Perhaps we can change that in the future, but in the meantime, you could put some flag into the text (e.g.: precede each instance of Greek with something like "Gr:"). Then, once the tool was imported, you could open the User Tool edit window, search for each instance of "Gr:", select the text which follows, and format it as Helena.

With a little creativity and a good text editor, you should be able to preserve most Scripture refs and Greek/Hebrew text, even when importing from a markup scheme like ThML.

Hope this helps.
Sincerely,
David Lang
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#7 Joe Weaks

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 11:54 AM

Your test page is very helpful, though I did discover that about three-quarters of the Scripture references you had that got missed would have been converted to links if you would just have had additional text after each reference and before the <br> tag.


Actually, the test page is out of date. I should have remembered to say that Roy used the test page during the last update and "fixed some problems with scripture links that [he] had not seen before".

Converting things like ThML into a module is good endeavor, but not one that I've been interested while the import supports no way of getting Greek and Hebew to make the transfer. It's useless to me in that regard. I experimented a little bit with converting text into TLG format for import, but it is so tedious. As for the documentation for what tags are supported, the features should never have been released without the simple list of the dozen or so tags that are supported.
Joe Weaks
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#8 Manfred

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 03:05 AM

Hi there.

Some time has passed since the last post to this topic. So here is the warm up. :)

I also am interested in importing some freely available documents into User Tools.
Is there a documentation for the available HTML and/or TLG Tags?


Another question:
I also am interested in the Bible text "Hoffnung für Alle" module from the german Brunnen publisher. They have released a module for the sword project and I would like to see this module for Accordance as well.
Or, because I used Sword before I switched to Accordance and bought that module for sword already, is there a way to use it in Accordance?


Best regards,
Manfred

#9 jpkang

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 10:44 AM

With respect to PDF files, you would need to find some way to export those files to HTML and then import them into Accordance. Adobe Acrobat Standard supports exporting from PDF to HTML, and there may also be free resources available to do this for you.

Google's free GMail service converts almost any email attachment (including Adobe PDF and Microsoft Word DOC files) into fairly simple HTML, which you can then clean up (e.g., remove the page rubrics which Google inserts, as well as adding <br> tags at the end of each line, etc.).
J. P. Kang, Ph.D. (Bible)

#10 jarcher

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 11:06 AM

I'm very interested in this as well. In fact, I'm working with a developer now to explore options for a XSLT conversion from ThML to an Accorance-friendly format. However, it would be very helpful if somone from Accordance could provide me with some documentation on how the HTML import works. Joe's document is helpful but I'm especially concerned with the Greek / Hebrew data and the Scripture links. Thanks.

Jeremy Archer
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#11 jwritebol

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 12:41 PM

I'm very interested in this as well. In fact, I'm working with a developer now to explore options for a XSLT conversion from ThML to an Accorance-friendly format. However, it would be very helpful if somone from Accordance could provide me with some documentation on how the HTML import works. Joe's document is helpful but I'm especially concerned with the Greek / Hebrew data and the Scripture links. Thanks.

Jeremy Archer
jarcher@glorytoGODalone.com



Jeremy - would this sort of thing be used for importing the CCEL documents into Accordance? If so I am all for that!
Jeremy Writebol
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#12 jarcher

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 04:06 PM

That's the goal. :-)

#13 Robb Brunansky

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 04:44 PM

Can anyone recommend a good plain text editor for Mac? Forgive my ignorance, but I'm not sure what is the Mac counterpart to Windows Notepad. TextEdit seems to be more of a word processor than Notepad. Thanks!
Soli Deo Gloria,
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#14 jpkang

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 06:06 PM

Can anyone recommend a good plain text editor for Mac? Forgive my ignorance, but I'm not sure what is the Mac counterpart to Windows Notepad. TextEdit seems to be more of a word processor than Notepad. Thanks!

TextWrangler. It's fast, free, and very flexible. If you outgrow it, its commercial sibling BBEdit will give you even more power.

On the other hand, you can instruct TextEdit to default to plain text in the New Document preferences (or in the Format menu) if you just want a very simple setup.

Edited by jpkang, 06 June 2006 - 06:13 PM.

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