March 19, 2004

Linked Word URLs

The Linked Word Project is an online Bible application built by BJU's Web Technologies department. It allows users to search the KJV, link to passages, and cross link to Strong's Concordance entries.

The project was originally built from a bunch of generated HTML files. It worked well enough, but the design was hard coded into each file, and updating was beginning to look like a daunting task.

When we began the project we did a lot of research on different Bible technologies available. During our search we came across OSIS. OSIS is an XML vocabulary for "marking up" (as in markup languages) the Bible and other related texts. Using OSIS gave us some abilities that we wouldn't have had with other applications or databases.

One of the key features we focused on was creating user friendly URLs. The idea was to design the Linked Word Project in such a way that people could easily link to Scripture without having to copy and past the URL. They could simply remeber the structure once they learned it and link to any section of Scripture.

The book abbreviations we used are the standard abbreviations set down by the OSIS Project.

Here's an example:

Can you guess where that goes? 8o)
It's a lot better than Bible Gateway's linking:

Not quite as user friendly.

With the Linked Word you can also do ranges:

There were/are plans to incorporate multiple versions and languages. The URLs would then become something like this:

for languages:

for translations: (same just more specific)

The underpinnings for that kind of URL structure is already there. It wouldn't take much to extend it. Just need the other translations/languages added.

Hopefully the easy URLs will be a help to people needing to link to passages in e-mails or applications. At one time there was also a plan to have the web site offer OSIS versions of the verses simply by adding a ".osis" extension on the end. From what I can tell, that's still in place. I don't know if the markup is up to date or not. We used OSIS 1.1 and OSIS is now in 1.5.

Try adding ".osis" to the end of your URLs if you'd like to see what's behind it all. 8o)

In the future I hope the univeristy continues to expand the project. It was one of the projects I enjoyed most, and one that seemed to have the greatest possible return on investment.

Posted by TheIdeaMan at March 19, 2004 10:23 AM | TrackBack

and that's the rest of the story...:-)
thanks ben. i knew about it because of you talking about it, but had forgotten about it until i rediscovered it today in some search for fitness center times or something. now it's made a nice addition to my online bibles/tools links, as did jbo's post in response to it.

Posted by: apelles at March 19, 2004 06:23 PM

Now aren't you lucky I didn't take the *.osis support out when I ported that from eXist? :)

Posted by: Ender at March 20, 2004 11:43 PM

Very lucky. :)
Thanks, G.

Posted by: Benjamin at March 22, 2004 09:37 AM
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