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Let's fix e-Sword Comment Navigation


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#1 Josh Bond

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 01:27 PM

One of my critiques of e-Sword has been the inability of a user to have a bird's eye view of comments. Now days, this is expected in Bible study software.

Fix the Next Comment/Previous Comment Button
The Next Comment/Previous Comment button works great, as long as I'm viewing a comment. When I'm not currently viewing a comment (no comment in the commentary), it does not work. But isn't that when I need the next/previous comment button most? When I can't find a comment? When I'm on a verse that has no comment, if I click the next comment or previous comment button, ideally e-Sword would go to the next comment--just as it does when I am viewing a comment.

What if you're in Scofield's Notes in 1 Kings. We click a verse. No comment. You wonder, what does the author have to say about 1 Kings--anywhere in 1 Kings? You should able to click Next Comment or Previous Comment and you would instantly see the next or previous in the commentary. This would just help to find comments when comments are sparse. And it's just plain user friendly.

Bird's Eye View of Comments
Here are a couple of ideas on how to create a real, bird's eye view of comments. Ideas like this are now standard in free Bible software, so I take no credit for the ideas.

Here's one way, but I suspect e-Sword's Visual Basic implementation has too much of a fixed layout for this to be done in the current Visual Basic sandbox.

Implementation #1:
Attached File  usability-commentary.png   68.8K   22 downloads

Here's another way that would be user friendly and easy to code, even in the confines of VB.

Implementation #2.
Attached File  usability-commentary2.png   52.16K   18 downloads

That's my two cents. I welcome yours!

Edited by Josh Bond, 23 June 2012 - 01:35 PM.
Added text to second screenshot


#2 pfpeller

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 01:48 PM

Hi Josh,

I like your 2nd option there. This still requires you to click on each commentary and look at the drop down.

The feature below I think may be an under utilized feature in theWord, but I love it. I do not know how hard it would be to code in e sword and since e sword only has one Bible view I am not sure if people would use it.... but food for thought.

In theWord, you can select which commentaries you want to appear in commentary links in side the Bible text. When this is configured, only the commentaries that have comments for that verse show up in the links for that verse. I absolutely love this feature. It make studying much more efficient. I am not sue how hard this would be to program in e sword. I usually operate with 2 or 3 Bible views on my desktop and only have one Bible view with commentary links configured.

Attached File  Clipboard01.png   155.73K   26 downloads

#3 DoctorDaveT

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 02:43 PM

@Peter - this is where SwordSearcher works quite nicely (Swordsearcher is not free, by the way); all of the commentaries & dictionaries are linked right to each verse, and it looks like this (see screenshot)

The turquoise colored books are commentaries; the khaki colored links are dictionaries. So, even dictionary entries are linked to verse references (a very nice feature indeed).

***

@Josh - I've been "lost" in commentaries more than once when notations were infrequent; some way to fix that should be implemented. If possible, option #2 is really all that's necessary, isn't it? And it wouldn't clutter up the screen at all.

(note to Josh: adding a pic shouldn't be this hard....)

***

Attached Files

  • Attached File  ss1.JPG   41.11K   15 downloads

Edited by DoctorDaveT, 23 June 2012 - 02:47 PM.

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#4 Bradley S. Cobb

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 03:30 PM

Perhaps I'm in the minority, but I'd like to see "next comment" and "previous comment" work in chapter and book mode as well. As it is, it ONLY works in verse mode, and then if you happen to be on a verse that has comments.

I'd be happy with any of the proposed solutions, though.
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#5 Josh Bond

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 03:38 PM

@Josh - I've been "lost" in commentaries more than once when notations were infrequent; some way to fix that should be implemented. If possible, option #2 is really all that's necessary, isn't it? And it wouldn't clutter up the screen at all.


I think you hit the nail on the head, Dave. I too have been lost in commentaries. That's why I started thinking about what can be done to make this area more usable. Option #2 was my preferred method and it should be the easiest to implement.

i was thinking after posting this: The dictionary tab has a view of all dictionary entries. And you have the option to show or not show that panel. That's equivalent to option 1. That's all we're asking for--replicate the dictionary-style panel in the commentary window, except the commentary panel would show passages.

But I also agree with you: Option #2 would be more usable and "modern" looking.

#6 DoctorDaveT

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 04:58 PM

I mentioned Option 2 in my previous reply, simply because I inferred that you said option 1 wouldn't work with eSword's coding. But then, you mentioned the correlation with dictionaries. Dictionaries have a "Dictionary Topics" window, which simply shows all of the entries in alphabetical order.

OK - dictionaries and commentaries are just about identical in construction (commentaries tied to verses, dictionaries tied to words). If the "word tie" can be shown in the dictionary window, then why can't the "verse tie" be shown in the commentary window?

Now, here's the problem: I don't know the coding behind eSword's magic. There may be a real-world issue in showing the commentary "verse ties." But if they can be shown - they should be shown. That would be "a small step for eSword, and a giant leap for eSwordkind."

So - I prefer your option 1; but if that won't work, of course option 2 gives us enough usability.

Dave
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#7 pfpeller

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 08:17 PM

Just one more comment on commentary links. They might not be too intrusive in the single Bible view if there was an easy way to toggle them on and off.

#8 dartmaster644

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 03:36 AM

I think Peter has hit onto something....with the "toggle" on/off idea. I've been following this thread all day long....and theres been
some really great ideas expressed. But it seems to me a Toggling button clears the way for any or all the ideas expressed !!

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#9 jonathon

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 09:31 AM

dictionaries and commentaries are just about identical in construction


Commentaries also have a chapter table and a book table.

Will your suggestion prevent users from being lost in commentaries, when they are not looking at comments in the verse table?

jonathon

#10 Josh Bond

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 01:00 PM

Commentaries also have a chapter table and a book table.

Will your suggestion prevent users from being lost in commentaries, when they are not looking at comments in the verse table?

jonathon


The big problem with chapter and verse comments is most users never look at them. I hate putting content into these areas because I know most users will never look there.

So, we can fix this problem too! Show the chapter and book references with the verse reference in that dictionary-style pane that Dave mentioned. Or in the drop down verse selector I showed.

Example:

Gen
Gen 1
Gen 1:1
Gen 1:2
etc (see screenshot)

Attached File  show-it-all.png   13.71K   9 downloads

Now, how is blindly searching for comments better than seeing them all? :) Again, none of this is my idea. The wheel's already been invented. I'm just describing what I've seen others do. I'd like to see e-Sword benefit from it.



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