Oct 10, 2012 David Lang

A Primer on Recycling, Part 2

Yesterday I showed you the basics of how recycling works. When a tab's contents are set to recycle, that tab will be updated whenever you perform an appropriate amplify or hypertext action. As we saw yesterday, when you triple-click a Greek word to look it up in BDAG, the BDAG tab is set to recycle and therefore updates with every new word you triple-click. This is much cleaner than opening a new BDAG tab for each of those words. In today's post, I want to explain why Accordance will sometimes open a new tab even when it seems like an appropriate resource is set to recycle.

Let's start with a new search tab containing an English Bible and the tagged Greek Septuagint (LXX1) in parallel. While studying Ecclesiastes 1:3, we triple-click the word περισσεία to look it up in BDAG. Next we triple-click μόχθῳ, and our BDAG tab is recycled to display the appropriate entry.


Then we triple-click μοχθεῖ, and suddenly, instead of recycling our existing BDAG tab, a second BDAG tab is opened! What just happened?


If we look more closely at this second BDAG tab, we'll notice a couple of things. First, the hit we got happens to appear in the content of the article on κενός, a completely different Greek word from the one we triple-clicked. If we look at the Field token in the search entry box, we'll notice that this tab is set to search the Greek Content field of BDAG rather than the Greek Entry field. From this it should be clear that BDAG does not contain an actual entry for the word we triple-clicked. BDAG is, after all, a New Testament lexicon that does not cover every word in the Greek Septuagint. So when Accordance did not find the third word we triple-clicked in the Greek Entry field of BDAG, it searched the Greek Content field and found one occurrence.

That explains the different result, but why did Accordance deliver that result in a second tab rather than recycling the first tab? The answer is that Accordance will recycle a tab only if all the search conditions remain the same. As long as we were triple-clicking words that were found in the same field of the same tool (namely, the Greek Entry field of BDAG), Accordance was able to recycle the tab set to search the Greek Entry of BDAG. As soon as we triple-clicked a word that was found in the Greek Content field of BDAG, Accordance had to open another copy of BDAG with the field set to Greek Content.

Now, if we continue to triple-click words in Ecclesiastes 1:3, we'll find that any word which is found in the Greek Entry field will be displayed in the first BDAG tab, and any word found in the Greek Content field will be displayed in the second BDAG tab. In other words, Accordance will recycle each tab whenever we perform a search which meets all of that tab's search conditions.

If you've ever found yourself wondering why sometimes Accordance recycles a tab containing a resource and sometimes opens a new copy of that resource, now you know the reason. A window can only be recycled if it meets all the conditions of the current search.

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