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On Modules

Friday, February 16th, 2007

It seems a number of people have lately asked whether the Custom modules which are available for download here work in versions other than BibleWorks 7. The answer is no, Custom HTML help modules that work within the BibleWorks are a new feature only to BibleWorks 7.

The longer answer is that it is a really cool feature that is only increasing in value the more the days pass because more users are getting together to make more resources available for other users.

Essentially these modules are HTML Help files which have been tagged by a BibleWorks scripting program which is what makes it possible for the Resource Window to link to a given resource when it is cited in that resource and it also makes Scriptural links within a given HTML help module work as pop-ups. I’ll talk more about how to make these files in a future post, but for now, how about showing how they work in BibleWorks 7.

Cool Feature #1:

Custom Modules act as footnotes within the Bible, by alerting you to the fact that a given module references a specific Bible verse.

They do this by showing up in the Resource Summary Window when you are on a given Bible verse.

So in the picture above (click on it to make it larger), in the Browse Window I am looking at Psa 51:5 (English / Psa 51:7 (MT) / Psa 50:7 (LXX)), but I see in the Resource Window to the right of the Browse Window that there are a number of resources that have citations to this verse. Specifically, I see that Bente’s Book of Concord has a reference to Psa 51:5 in the Smalcald Articles. Now since I don’t have the Smalcald Articles memorized along with the Small Catechism, I might wonder, Gee, I wonder why Martin Luther was citing Psa 51:5. I could pull out my Book of Concord to figure this one out, but that’s way on the other side of the room. Or I could open up my Book of Concord that I have in Logos, but that would take a minute for the program to load and another minute or two of navigation for me to find it in my resources, etc. At that rate, I’d be better off getting up and picking up the book. Or since I have this resource in BibleWorks, I could just click on it!

Genius idea! So I click.
And bingo. The link not only opens the resource, but it brings you to the exact spot of the reference. Now if you wish to read more, simply scroll around in the module itself. Nice.

Cool Feature #2:
Not only does the BibleWorks scripting tool make links for the Resource Summary window (Cool Feature #1), but it also makes pop-up windows that work within the HTML module. So, I see that in this part of the Smalcald Articles, Luther also lists a few other Scriptural citations. Now since I only have the Bible memorized up through Genesis, I’m not quite sure what all these verses are referring to simply by seeing their Scriptural reference. Now one way to fix this problem would be to close or minimize the module and type in the reference, but that would take like 15 seconds. 15 seconds? Come on that’s way too time consuming. How about if you just place your mouse on the reference *in* the module. Now you don’t have to do anything at all, BibleWorks produces a pop-up window which will tell you what that verse says.

Classy. Now if you dislike the pop-up Bible versions, you can easily change which versions show up in these little pop-ups in BibleWorks (Go to View on the main menu and then Choose Popup Versions).

And what if you weren’t interested in all this goose-chasing, but what you wanted was to quickly see what was in another one of those resources, let’s say, Kretzmann’s Popular Commentary. What would you do? Well you could surf on over to the Kretzmann Commentary website, but maybe you left your internet connection at home. So what are you to do? Oh I know, click the link!

And there you have it. Go have some fun and see what the commentary has to say.

So to review. Custom HTML modules = Cool. Custom HTML modules = BibleWorks 7. Ergo, BibleWorks 7 = Cool.