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Anthony Grubb

Member Since 08 Nov 2012
Offline Last Active Jan 29 2017 10:20 PM

Topics I've Started

Saving Workspaces and Parallel Bibles

05 September 2015 - 01:14 PM

I ran a search and could not find any previous discussions along these lines.  If you have a good memory of such, please post a link to them here.

Nevertheless, until then...

It is pretty common in Bible Software to be able to save the workspace layout for not *just* *one* layout, but for *several*.  For instance, a user may want one setup for general Bible study, another for devotional reading, and yet another for intensive study.  While I find e-Sword a wonderful tool, it has limitations here that open a door of opportunity, for I find myself constantly having to re-arrange things, trying to remember how it worked well the previous time, tinkering, etc. and in the process, thus open myself up to more distractions and get far less accomplished than could be accounted for.  A good system should work together such away that the whole is more than a sum of the individual components.  While this statement may be true about e-Sword in many areas, and while e-Sword has very useful and advanced options to assist the user in configuring the screen, I believe there is one "liability" here that could be quickly turned into "an asset", using the popular parlance.

Perhaps all it will take is a great discussion here and the community will together agree this is needed.  A way to save the layouts and give them personalized names would be really awesome, just as is available with many other suites.

Also, as a subset of the overall workspace, I find the Parallel Bible can be a particularly helpful tool (especially when using all 8 columns at the same time).  However, it suffers from the same limitation.  For if I am preparing for a Sunday School lesson, for instance, I will want an entirely different setup (like maybe NASB - Greek - KJV - NKJV - ESV - LEB - NIV) than for when I am searching the use of a phrase through the translations through early translators (where I may select Vulgate - Wycliffe - Tyndale - Geneva - KJV - ESV, or such).  I guess I could keep my own list on notecards and try to carry those around, for I often forget what worked well last time and have to tinker around, but again, a way to save parallel bible layouts and name them would be awesome!

Finally, another limitation of the parallel Bible is that it works great if all eight translations are used, but the columns do not line up correctly if only four or six are used, and it can be a little dizzying trying to read the column title that is far to the left, in the middle of other translations, and to the top of the column one is working in (see illustration).  It is not imperative to keep several unused columns at the top and thus throw off the columns below, a simple small pull-down dialog for the next column would suffice to let users know they can fill in the next column, along with keeping this area open and unused  

Also, there is no way to drop one translation from the left or middle of a set in the Parallel Bible without it deleting all the selections to the right, perhaps including some I just painstakingly put in place.  While it may be desirable to have a button where a user can purposely clear all selections (complete with an "Are You Sure?" dialog and an "Undo" button), it's desirable that the program respond to the user and not vice-versa. For that matter, it would be great to allow the user to move these columns around in some way other than painstakingly re-choosing them from the pull-down lists, which can be particularly tedious where a large number of translations are in use.  

A way to save the users' preferred Parallel Bible layouts and give them personalized names would be really awesome, and it would be really cutting edge for e-Sword to have this feature of a layout-within-a-layout.  On second thought, one pricey suite I use does have something like this with its Bible Comparison feature, complete with keeping track of the Comparisons (i.e. Parallel Bibles) the user has used in the past.  It also allows the user to quickly change the order of translations by the user typing in common Acronyms, separated by a comma ("NIV84, NASB, KJV, ESV", etc.) rather than using pull-down menus.  However, this pricey suite does not have a user's community such as here at e-Sword and BibleSupport, and so it is taking awhile to garner enough interest in historical translations such as Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale, etc. to get them available on that platform, while they have been available here now for some time.


I'm confident all reading this will see the immediate benefit to the improvements I'm suggesting.  Thank you!