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This project consists of porting our existing PocketBible Bible Study App to Mac OS X.
This project consists of porting our existing PocketBible Bible Study App to Mac OS X.
470 backers pledged $37,940 to help bring this project to life.

More Search Features


Last week I started seeing search results on the screen and got excited and posted an update. I talked about how searching on the Mac was going to be different but I couldn't show you how different it would be until today. I probably should've delayed that status update until today but since I see things from inside the code, from my perspective it was all but done. I spent some time on this over the weekend and a couple more hours today, and the result is what you see here.

There are three key take-aways: First, it's going to be easier to find what you're looking for with PocketBible for Mac OS X than it has been with PocketBible on any of our other platforms. Searches that result in zero results in past versions of PocketBible will give you dozens of meaningful results. 

Second, it's easier to enter a complex search specification because all the complexity is now inside the program instead of being in the search specification grammar. So instead of saying "john the baptist OR (john* AND the AND bapt*)", just type "john the baptist". You'll find the dozen or so verses in which "John the Baptist" occurs, but you'll also find verses where words that sound like "John" and "Baptist" and words with the same root as "John" and "Baptist" occur. 

Finally, search results are "ranked" instead of just being in biblical order. Results that most closely match what you said you were looking for are at the top, and results that only sound like what you were looking for will be at the bottom.

I like this feature so I'm making this update public. If you aren't a "Kickstarter backer" of the project you can't see the earlier updates so hopefully this won't be too confusing.

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Steven Moreland, Steve Ornat, and 3 more people like this update.


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    1. Missing avatar

      Jim Goddard on

      This sounds GREAT!
      Looking forward to the final product. NOT pushing..... I am the Kid at Christmas who can't stand the anticipation.......

    2. Laridian, Inc. Creator on

      Susan, you can kind of do some of this with PocketBible for iOS. To find words that sound like the word you're looking for, prefix the word with a dollar sign (so $profit finds "profit", "prophet", and as pointed out in the video, "provide"). To find all word forms, prefix the word with at-sign (so @profit finds "profitable" etc.). Although now that I'm trying this to tell you about it, I see that @profit crashes the program. Oh well, that's why it's an undocumented feature. :-)

    3. Missing avatar

      Susan A. Karnesky on

      Looks great, Craig! Any chance you'll be looking at improving search algorithms in the other versions of PocketBible? I would particularly be interested in updating the search feature on the iPad (iOS), and Android OS.

      Keep up the great work!

    4. David Wiseman on

      Nice! And thank you Craig :-) This is likely the one feature that I've missed from the other versions of Pocket Bible. I keep wanting a concordance as one of the books because the search function doesn't quite find what I'm looking for because I cannot quite remember the phrase. With this new search not only will it find phrases that we've misspelled but it will also allow us to do broad searches for "all of the uses of word X" in all of its forms! Now you have a tool to generate lovely word studies.

    5. Laridian, Inc. Creator on

      Lawson, I would want to think about the "why" of that before I spent a lot of time on it. What I assume is that it is a time-saver. That is, by doing portions of the search between keystrokes, I will have results sooner than if I wait until you're done typing and do the whole search at that point. In order for that to be important, searches have to be slow to begin with. But searching is optimized in some other ways that tend to make searching relatively fast without going to such measures. For example, I can find occurrences of phrases in the compressed text without any decompression. This gives me two levels of savings: First, I don't have to decompress the text. And second, I'm doing integer comparisons instead of string comparisons.

      There are certain searches and certain books that are worst-case examples of the weaknesses in PocketBible's search algorithm. But incremental searching wouldn't fix those. I'd rather attack those with solutions targeted at the problem instead of trying a general solution that I already know isn't going to fix the worst-case problems.

      So -- I'm in favor of cool features in general, but I'm not sure this particular one would have the kind of benefits you might think it would have.

    6. Lawson Culver on

      Nice... what do you think of the concept of updating the search results as people type? You could start finding matches after they type x amount of characters...