[sword-devel] Strong's numbers: Numbers or strings
karl at kleinpaste.org
Thu Jan 27 08:27:17 EST 2022
I have a Xiphos bug <https://github.com/crosswire/xiphos/issues/1107> in
which the facility to take a Strong's dict entry and search the Bible
module for all its occurrences sometimes works and sometimes doesn't.
The mechanism is straightforward: Take the key from the dict pane, note
whether this is Heb or Grk, construct e.g. lemma:Hxxxxx, stuff that into
the sidebar search, and execute the search. No sweat.
The problem is with Heb refs. Because of the ancient habit that Heb
Strong's refs are given a leading zero prefix (e.g. "07225") as a weak
discriminant from Grk refs in the same number space, I actually handle
this case explicitly. Strong's module keys are fixed, 5-digit strings,
and the dict pane always shows this. When that key is taken to build the
lemma search, I specifically include the last leading zero in the Heb case.
This works in KJV and ESV where we find "<w savlm="strong:H07225">In the
This fails in NASB and OSHB where we find "<w savlm="strong:H7225">In
Note H07225 vs H7225.
The question revolves around what a Strong's ref ontologically is.
Seriously, what is it?
Is it a number, written naturally with minimal required digits, stored
for convenience in a character string?
Or is it a specific and fixed string of characters?
In terms of module keys, it's a string of characters.
In terms of Bible markup, well... Opinion varies. As we see in this
case, some Bibles encode as a natural number, occupying the normal
(minimal) digits needed, but others take the fixed string approach so as
to include a leading zero, but note that it's not a full, fixed, 5-digit
string to match a dict key; it's just one leading zero, no matter how
many natural digits follow. KJV encodes the 1st Heb ref as "01". Not "1"
(natural number) and not "00001" (module key); just "01".
Result is that, by constructing zero-prefixed searches, such searches
always fail in Bibles using natural/minimal digits because there's never
a zero-prefixed match.
This is different from Grk refs, which are stored in dict modules the
same as Heb dict keys -- fixed 5-digit -- but are always marked up as
natural numbers using minimal digits.
As matters stand, I have no /a priori/ means by which to determine what
to expect in a Bible's Heb Strong's markup. The dict pane's key from
which to construct the search is fixed 5 digits. That is at first
trimmed to natural, minimal digits...and then the trouble starts because
I don't have anything like a module conf directive to tell me whether
the module uses zero-prefixed Heb refs or not. I'm also not aware that
we have any standard for such markup to which I can point to say,
"NASB's markup is wrong because it lacks zero-prefixing on Heb refs."
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