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Reference Lists: From Good Feature to Great Feature

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#1 Wleach



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Posted 11 July 2006 - 11:15 AM

The ability to create a reference list and collect verses into it is a good feature in Accordance. However, the design and usability of this feature is not efficient; it lacks the options that could make it a truly great feature. In fact, I hardly use it the way it works now because of how many steps are involved in creating a list and managing it.

1) Create an easily accessible tray that displays all the custom reference lists.
2) Create an option that allows the user to drag and drop the verse(s) into the list.
3) Allow the lists to be searchable.

At the click of an icon (or a hotkey) it would be nice if a reference tray slid out next to the text we are working on. In this tray, the reference topics would appear much like directories and subdirectories are displayed in the Mac Finder menu. Each of these list would contain verses that the user has collected over time...

Example List:

Problem Texts

Next, the user could simply drag and drop any verse(s) into any of the reference lists. Clicking on the one of the list, a window would appear displaying all the verses found in each list. Finally, these list should searchable.

I often wish I had this feature when doing my own Bible study or reading book (e.g. Berkhof's Systematic Theology). I can imagine using this feature to capture all of the 'proof texts' an author uses to make his argument so that they could be later evaluated.

In short, the reference list could be a simple useful tool that allows the user to store away his insights or finds for later study or teaching.

Thanks and blessings,
Weyland Leach

Additional Notes:
Some of the items in the example list I gave above were supposed to appear as indented items to represent subcategories to the major categories: Jesus, Theology, Counseling, Problem Texts. These categories of course, in this feature, would all be custom to user.

Again thanks,

#2 Harry Hoffner

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 08:11 PM

Obviously Helen and her crew would know if this is something they wish to do.

For me personally I would not wish this to be part of the Accordance program itself. I can create such custom lists in a Text Edit file, have it open at all time, and search it for all the topics for which I have assembled references. But since most of the time I will never use the exact same group of references, I would probably have limited use for it.

Another possibility is to create a User Tool with all your custom reference lists in it. User Tools are searchable by title, content and scripture references. Every time you wanted to add one of these lists to an article you are writing or to a new user note on a verse, you can simply access the User Tool. It can be open all the time in a tabbed window where it is unobstructive, yet easily accessible.

If that still is not simple enough for you, then perhaps Helen or David or P.J. have a better suggestion.
Harry Hoffner. Emeritus Professor, The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. Founder & Editor of The Hittite Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.

#3 Helen Brown

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 05:28 AM

These are interesting ideas. It is true that the Reference list is an early feature of Accordance which has not been developed much since then, but is also little used.

We do not have plans to add many features like this to it. I think the idea of a User Tool for your lists of references is excellent.
Helen Brown
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#4 Alistair



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Posted 12 July 2006 - 05:40 AM

I like the idea of an easily accessible tray, but what if whole workspaces could be saved there? For example, if you were researching a number of projects and had them all saved as separate workspaces, each with multiple tabs. Then the slide-out tray could act as a library manager for workspaces. The user could then switch rapidly from one multi-tabbed workspace to another with a single click.

Also, the user would move tabs from one workspace to another by dragging the tab from the frontmost window onto the icon/name of the other workspace in the slidey tray. Modifier keys, eg holding down option, could change 'move' to 'duplicate'. Etc...

Would that work?


#5 Lorinda H. M. Hoover

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 10:33 AM

I like the tray idea, whether it is with reference lists or User Tools. What I especially like is the idea of being able to drag verses to "folder" in a list, rather than having to find the right spot in the User Tools.

I do use reference lists from time to time; for me it would be more natural to include this as a feature of Reference windows, but I could see it working either way. (The advantage, I suppose, of doing this with a User Tool is that one could add commentary)

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