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Archive for September, 2006

Using Your Bible Resources – Nave’s Topical Bible

Posted on: September 29th, 2006 by Michelle Stramel 2 Comments

This is the forth article in a series on how to effectively use your Bible resources.  If you missed the first one, I’d like to recommend that you click here to be taken to an article on how to use your Study Bibles and Commentaries.  It provides a base for the rest of the articles in this series and I don’t want you to miss out on some of the important tips that were provided.  Click here for the second article. It covers how to use the Strong’s Concordance and click here for the article on how to use Bible dictionaries. (more…)

Updated: MyBible for Palm OS

Posted on: September 28th, 2006 by Craig Rairdin 4 Comments

MyBible for Palm OS has been updated to version 4.200. The book reader engine remains 1.058. This is a free update for registered MyBible 4 owners. (more…)

BookBuilder Tech Tips: Proper HTML Syntax

Posted on: September 27th, 2006 by Craig Rairdin 1 Comment

The HTML parsing engine we use in BookBuilder is more sensitive to HTML syntax errors than your typical Web browser. Some commonly held bad habits will cause errors when you try to build your book. Here are some specific examples.

Improper use of <p> tag

There are two common but incorrect ways to use the <p> tag. Most people understand that the closing </p> tag is optional, but some have a habit of not using the opening <p> tag and instead using only </p>. This works in many browsers but not in BookBuilder. Others put <p> at the end of their paragraphs. This is actually interpreted by the browser or BookBuilder as a <p> at the beginning of the next paragraph. This may not cause problems but it leaves the first paragraph without a <p> tag and it adds an extra <p> tag at the end.

We’ve also seen people not use the <p> tag at all. Some use line breaks (<br> tags) at the end of paragraphs. The problem with this is that our readers load and display whole paragraphs at a time. If you write a long section of text with no <p> tags (using <br> tags to break lines at the end of your “paragraphs”), the program will have to load the entire section into memory before any of it can be displayed. This will cause noticeable delays in displaying your text.

Improper construction of lists

The <ul> and <ol> tags demarcate unordered (bulleted) and ordered (numbered) lists. Between <ul> and </ul> (or <ol> and </ol>) you are allowed only list items (<li> tags). You cannot intermix paragraphs (<p> tags) and list items.

Some browsers allow you to create a bulleted list by using <li> tags with no enclosing <ul> or <ol> tag. This is not proper HTML and will cause errors in BookBuilder.

The rule that disallows anything but list items within a list can also be inadvertently violated when embedding a list in another list. When creating an outline using list tags, make sure the sublists are enclosed inside the list item above them, as in the following example:

<ol type=I>
  <li>Main Point I
    <ol type=A>
      <li>Point A under I</li>
      <li>Point B</li>
    </ol></li>
  <li>Main Point II
    <ol type=A>
      <li>Point A under II
        <ol type=1>
          <li>Point 1 under A</li>
          <li>Point 2</li>
        </ol></li>
      <li>Point B under II</li>
    </ol></li>
</ol>

Note that all sublists are inside the <li>…</li> tags of the point directly above them.

As an efficiency consideration, remember that our readers load the entire outer list in memory at one time. If your outlines are long, they can take a long time to load and display. To avoid this problem, break your outermost list into pieces corresponding to list items. The list above would be rewritten as follows:

<ol type=I>
  <li>Main Point I
    <ol type=A>
      <li>Point A under I</li>
      <li>Point B</li>
    </ol></li>
</ol>
<ol type=I>
  <li value=2>Main Point II
    <ol type=A>
      <li>Point A under II
        <ol type=1>
          <li>Point 1 under A</li>
          <li>Point 2</li>
        </ol></li>
      <li>Point B under II</li>
    </ol></li>
</ol>

Note that it’s important to set the value parameter on list items after the first one so that the reader program knows this is a continuation of the previous list.

Improper use of tables

Tables, like lists, can be misued by including tags other than those allowed inside the <table>…</table> tags. You can not intermix paragraphs and table rows. The following might display correctly in your browser, but it will cause errors in BookBuilder:

<table>
  <tr><td>First row, first column</td><td>second column</td></tr>
  <p>This is a paragraph of text.</p>
  <tr><td>Second row, first column</td><td>second column</td></tr>
  Text without any tags
</table>

Both of the bold rows will cause errors.

Surrounding paragraphs with inline tags

Many browsers will allow you to create several bold paragraphs using syntax like this:

<b>
<p>This is the first bold paragraph…</p>
<p>This is the second…</p>
<p>And this is the third…</p>
</b>

This is illegal HTML. BookBuilder requires you to put inline tags like <b>, <i>, and <font> inside your paragraphs to comply with proper HTML syntax:

<p><b>This is the first bold paragraph…</b></p>
<p><b>This is the second…</b></p>
<p><b>And this is the third…</b></p>

Not reading the documentation

Finally, our best advice is to read and understand the BookBuilder documentation! It’s surprising how many questions we get are answered in the documentation. Spending a few minutes there will help you save hours of frustration later.

Using BookBuilder for Sunday School

Posted on: September 27th, 2006 by Craig Rairdin 3 Comments

As Publisher for Laridian I use BookBuilder Professional almost every working day. As a personal user I use it most work days and often both weekend days as well. Between the two, hardly a day goes by that I’m not working on BookBuilder source code or using the BookBuilder program. 

During the week I’m often working on the next PocketBible or MyBible book that we are releasing. I often spend several weeks to several months on one book. We do have other people who help us tag books, but even after they’re done with them it’s my responsibility to make sure the book works the way we expect it to. 

So you might think that when Friday comes the last thing I want to do is work on yet another book. You’d be wrong. 

My alter ego is a teacher for the college and career Sunday school class at our church. Right now we’re going through the book of Revelation. In June we finished going through the book of Genesis. 

Having access to the tools that I use for work allows me to use those same technologies for the Sunday school class. All of my notes, discussion questions and handouts are converted from Word to PDF. The PDF files are posted on the class web site so that if one of the members of our class misses a week they can easily download the notes and stay caught up. Since a number of the class members carry PDAs and use Laridian software I also convert the notes into PocketBible and MyBible reference titles. Those files are also posted on the class web site for download. 

Here’s how I go about preparing my lessons. (I know that most of you probably already do similar things when preparing a lesson, so I’m not going to focus so much on the mechanics of actually preparing a lesson as much as on how I use technology to bring it all together.) 

I read through the passage for the next class several times in different translations. Having PocketBible on my HP hx2750 makes this easy to do wherever I am…my son’s soccer game, my daughter’s volleyball game, in the line at Subway, in the car line at the kids’ school, in bed when I can’t sleep at 4:00 am, you get the picture. With PocketBible 3 having the ability to highlight and add notes is a huge benefit. My copy of Revelation on my PocketPC is already hugely marked up (and we’re still only on the first chapter). 

After having gone through the passage in the Bible I start reading through some commentaries. Some of them are in print and some are on my PocketPC. I like being able to use my PocketPC for the commentaries because I can highlight in the commentaries as well. I use one of those old fashioned stylus type things (it’s really just a piece of wood with lead in one end and a piece of rubber on the other) to mark up the commentaries that I’m using in print. 

After I go through the text and the commentaries I put all of my notes and the passages that I’ve marked in the commentaries into one MS Word document (usually denoted by the verse the commentaries are referencing). This document becomes the note file from which I build my lesson. With these notes compiled I begin the process of building the discussion questions for the class. Again, I initially use Word to create this file. As I write the questions for discussion I include the key points from my notes that will help me guide the discussion. (I use a different color to distinguish these “answers” from the questions.) Once that file is created I convert it to PDF. The PDF is then emailed to several in the class who are co-leaders (and in one case to a girl in the class who has hearing loss to help her better follow the discussion). This PDF is also uploaded to the class web site so that if someone misses a week they can stay caught up. The next thing I do is strip out everything that is part of the “answer” in the Word file. This document is also converted to PDF and becomes my handout. 

Finally it’s time to take the text to PocketBible and MyBible. I have an html file that is a cumulative study guide to the book we’re studying. The conversion from Word to html is a simple one. Word can save a file as html or some light hand editing works as well. Hand editing is required when there are specific PocketBible tags that are needed. I use TextPad to do any necessary search and replacing. TextPad makes use of “Regular Expressions” that allow me to do some complicated search and replaces easily. 

Going through Revelation I’ve found some times when I want to have the actual Greek displayed. BookBuilder allows me to do this using Unicode characters. The Unicode tables for Greek and Hebrew as well as transliteration are available as part of the documentation that is part of BookBuilder. 

Once the html file is ready I run it through VerseLinker to make sure the references are linked and then I run it through BookBuilder. I make sure the “Also create .pdb (MyBible)” box is checked and then I click “Go!” and in less than a minute I have my .lbk for PocketBible and .pdb for MyBible. These are also uploaded to the class web site. 

Since I use PocketBible during class it is very easy to hand out a list of references and ask the class members to read the verses and keep up with them. I simply tap the reference in my notes files and I’m there. Honestly though, I still tend to teach from a print copy of my notes. It’s easier for my eyes to jump around a full page than to try to scroll to the right section if we get ahead or need to go back during the discussion. 

Some of the class members have caught on that I upload the questions with answers the day before the class. It’s fun to see them sitting there with their PDA following along. 

Feel free to let me know if you have questions about how any of this works. If you want to see it in action feel free to visit our class web site at http://www.faith-focus.org/ignite.html. The PDFs, .lbks and .pdbs for Genesis and Revelation are all up there. You’re welcome to download them. But if you do…you have to let me know what you think. :) 

Using Your Bible Resources – Bible Dictionaries

Posted on: September 22nd, 2006 by Michelle Stramel 2 Comments

This is the third article in a series on how to effectively use your Bible resources.  If you missed the first one, I’d like to recommend that you click here to be taken to an article on how to use your Study Bibles and Commentaries.  Click here for the article on how to use the Strong’s Concordance. (more…)

Updated: PocketBible for Pocket PC

Posted on: September 22nd, 2006 by Craig Rairdin No Comments

PocketBible for Pocket PC has been updated to version 3.042. It still uses book reader engine 1.058. This is a free and recommended update for registered PocketBible 3 for Pocket PC owners. (more…)

New and improved demo versions

Posted on: September 19th, 2006 by Michelle Stramel No Comments

A demo version of MyBible 4 has recently been made available for use with Palm OS 5.0 or later devices. This demo version includes the entire King James Version Bible text. Demo users (and MyBible 4 full version users) can also download and use free versions of Easton’s Bible Dictionary and Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary.

The PocketBible 3 demo for Pocket PC has been changed to include the full King James Version Bible text. Demo users (and PocketBible 3 full version users) can also download and use free versions of Easton’s Bible Dictionary and Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary.

Both demos are full-featured with no time limits and no registration required. The only difference between demo and full versions is that the demo versions are limited to the previously mentioned content. If you decide to purchase or download other Bible translations or reference books, you’ll also need to purchase the full version of MyBible 4 or PocketBible 3.

Using Your Bible Resources – Strong’s Concordance

Posted on: September 16th, 2006 by Michelle Stramel 9 Comments

This is the second article in a series on how to effectively use your Bible resources.  If you missed the first one, I’d like to recommend that you click here to be taken to an article on how to use your Study Bibles and Commentaries.  It provides a base for the rest of the articles in this series and I don’t want you to miss out on some of the important tips that were provided. (more…)

An Important Notice About Backing Up Your PocketBible Data File

Posted on: September 15th, 2006 by Craig Rairdin 1 Comment

We all know how important it is to regularly back up our PCs to prevent data loss in the event of unexpected circumstances. The data on your Pocket PC is no less subject to program errors and hardware crashes that could cause you to lose important PocketBible notes, bookmarks, or highlights.

We have just been made aware of a problem in PocketBible 3 that has the potential of causing some of your highlights to be lost. One employee here has seen this happen, but we haven’t been able to duplicate it on anyone else’s Pocket PC. Because of this, we suspect (but haven’t confirmed) that the problem may be limited to Windows Mobile 5 devices or to certain hardware configurations. We know for a fact that it can’t be reliably duplicated by simply following the same steps on two different devices. And we know that if this problem was frequently occuring we would have heard from a large number of customers about it, but we haven’t.

Until we figure out what’s going on, we would encourage you to make regular back-ups of your PocketBible highlight data, which is stored in a file called Laridian Data.db in My DocumentsLaridian Books on your Pocket PC.

Complete details on backing up this data file can be found in our Knowledgebase. Click here to go directly to the article, or do the following:

  • Go to http://www.laridian.com
  • Select the Windows Mobile Pocket PC link
  • Select Knowledgebase from the Help Desk menu at the top of the page
  • Select “CE Navigation of Application”
  • Select “CE PocketBible”
  • Select “PocketBible 3″
  • Select “How do I backup and restore my PocketBible data?”

We will be sending an email to all PocketBible 3 owners to let them know about this potential problem. Again, we don’t think it’s a widespread or common issue, but since it has the potential of causing user-created data to be lost, we feel obligated to keep you informed about it even if you may never encounter the problem.

When we fix this problem and release an update, we’ll inform you in two ways: First, we’ll post a message here in the blog to let you know. Second, we’ll send an email to everyone on our Pocket PC Email List. This email list is separate from our list of PocketBible customers. It is a list we use to announce product updates and critical tech support issues. To subscribe to the list, go to lists.laridian.com and choose PPCList.

Updated: PocketBible for Pocket PC

Posted on: September 11th, 2006 by Craig Rairdin No Comments

PocketBible for Pocket PC has been updated to version 3.041. It still uses book reader engine 1.058. This is a free update for registered PocketBible 3 for Pocket PC owners. (more…)

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