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BookBuilder Updated – Version 1.5

Posted on: December 17th, 2006 by Craig Rairdin 5 Comments

BookBuilder is a constantly evolving program. As we release new content for PocketBible and MyBible, we encounter new challenges in dealing with the text we receive from publishers. As a result we’re often making small tweaks to BookBuilder, VerseLinker, and the other tools that make up the BookBuilder family of products.

Many of these changes are insignificant and we don’t want to constantly be bothering you with changes. In the last couple months, however, the changes we’ve made have reached a point where we thought it a good idea to release an update. This update is available in your download account for you to download at your convenience. There is no charge for the update.

BookBuilder Changes

BookBuilder now recognizes &#xhhhh; where hhhh is the hexadecimal (base 16) representation of a Unicode character. Previously, we had only accepted &#dddd; where dddd is the base 10 representation of the character value. Using hexadecimal is more convenient with Unicode since the Unicode specification lists all the characters using hexadecimal representation (eg. “U+05D1″) rather than decimal.

You can now create books that are entirely in Spanish. Use the pb_language meta tag to set the book’s language to Spanish. Note this isn’t for books that contain a few Spanish words, but rather are for books like the NVI which are completely in Spanish.

When you specify that a book is in Spanish, a number of things happen. Most notably, all Bible references are expected to use Spanish book names and abbreviations. These are listed in the new BookBuilder documentation. Also, VerseLinker uses Spanish units of measurement, dates, and other descriptors when deciding what numbers in your text to ignore.

BookBuilder tries to do a better job of reporting error context when it encounters tagging errors. If you leave out a closing tag, for example, the program will display the text in the vicinity of the opening tag. This is helpful in determining where the missing tag is located.

Oddly, we discovered after several years of using the program that the <pb_context> tag wasn’t working at all. This isn’t a tag we often use, so it was only lightly tested. It’s working now.

Image map support has been added. The <map> and <area> tags are implemented, as is the usemap attribute of the <img> tag.

A new scheme for mapping Hebrew and Greek text to our fonts has been implemented. The old scheme used a static list of characters and diacriticals. The new method is more dynamic and flexible and allows you to use more combinations of characters and diacriticals.

There are other small changes to fix problems that no customer has ever reported but we encountered in-house. These are too numerous and insignificant to list here.

VerseLinker Changes

The now-functional <pb_context> tag means that even ambiguous references (such as just numbers standing alone) within text surrounded by <pb_context>…</pb_context> are linked without pausing. You should make sure that all numbers in <pb_context> blocks are meant to refer to Bible verses, because you won’t get a chance to review them in VerseLinker.

As a result of tagging a reference book which contained numerous references to pseudepigraphal literature, the program now recognizes an extensive list of pseudepigraphal book names. If a name like “3 Corinthians”, “Pseudo-Philo”, or “Sibylline Oracles” is followed by what looks like a normal chapter/verse descriptor (i.e. “3 Corinthians 2:3″) then the chapter/verse numbers will be ignored and no link generated.

Ranges and lists of time and other measurements are now recognized. In the past, “A.D. 70″ was recognized and the 70 was not linked, but “A.D. 70-75″ was not, so the program attempted to link “70-75″. The new version ignores ranges like this, and also lists like “3 or 4 years”.

Because VerseLinker often runs for several minutes without asking you for input, we added a status message that reports percentage complete. This helps reassure you that the program is still making progress when it’s not asking for input.

For Spanish books, Spanish Bible references are recognized and used.

We hope these changes make BookBuilder more useful to you. As you encounter situations with VerseLinker or BookBuilder that are hindering your progress, please let us know so we can make improvements to the program.

5 Responses

  1. Daniel says:

    Any plan to add foreign language Bibles into the wonderful Laridian Bible Collection, as Traditional or Simplified Chinese Bible?
    It would be great to be able to open up English and Chinese Bibles on a divided windows for either Bible study or interpreting sermons.

    Daniel 1-3-2007

  2. If you read the article you’ll see that we have Spanish support built into the program. While other programs may have non-English language support it is often not as full-featured as English. Because Spanish is built into the program, all features including searching, are supported.

    Theoretically you could create a Chinese Bible with BookBuilder. You’d have to provide the font and searching would be awkward. I don’t know which direction Chinese text goes, but PocketBible would expect it to go left-to-right.


  3. james says:

    If you guys want add Simplified Chinese Bible I would like give you a chinese Bible database

  4. Aaron says:

    Hi Craig,

    I understand this is an old thread but I believe it could be time to add Simplified Chinese.

    First, modern chinese does go from left to right.

    Secondly, for the first release no need for fancy searching but just Book, Chapter and verse synchronisation which I believe should be quite straight forward but very helpful.

    This would definitely be helpful for sharing the Word with the Chinese speaking individuals – the ability to refer to verses in their native language would be great.

    Hope you can implement it soon.

  5. Kit says:

    Is anyone working on the Chinese bible?

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