[b-greek] Re: Searching the current List

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Thu Nov 22 2001 - 07:23:54 EST

At 8:00 PM -0500 11/21/01, Harry W. Jones wrote:
>To All
>Does anybody know how I can search the complete database
>of the current BG List? When I try to search now, it
>seems to be able to only search through a few entries
>and not the whole database.

I'll have to agree that one could ask for an improved search engine, but
unless one knows exactly what one's looking for and the format in which it
was indicated in a subject-header or transliterated Greek word or even the
formatting of a verse-notation (which can vary as much as Matthew
5:27/Matthew 5.27/Matt 5:27/Matt 5.27/Mt 5:27/Mt 5.27--and I doubt that
exhausts the possibilities) one must try a lot of things. My own preferred
search option is to look for a key Greek word appearing in the passage I'm
looking for a discussion of, such as "SHMERON" or "MELLEI"--or one can look
for a grammatical term like "passive" or "aorist". I might add that
assisting future searches is one reason that we ought to be careful about
marking subject-headers in messages; it's pretty common for people to
change the topic in a reply to a message without changing the

Granted that there are difficulties to be lived with and worked around as
best possible, still the database CAN be used. One needs to understand the
options allowed by the interface, however, on the "Read Messages" page:

Info shown above the listing of current messages (as it shows this morning):
        "Messages are available from 1998/06/05 - 2001/11/22"
        "These messages are from 11/06/01 - 11/22/01"

Just below the currently displayed messages is a BUTTON that you can click
on AFTER moving the POP-UP BUTTON to display any number of messages ranging
from 5 5 to 10,000--so that, theoretically at least, you could scroll
through the last 10,000 messages in B-Greek in the window above to find
what you're looking for (arm yourself with patience and a pot of coffee or

It might be nice if the "Search for" device were coordinated with that
display of messages, but apparently it isn't. You have to indicate by means
of words what you're looking for and in what part of a message and exactly
how large a database you want searched to find that. It's easy enough to
find the messages for ONE SPECIFIC DATE, but the options presented are:

"Search for" (blank-to-type-in)
        OPTIONS: "any or"/"all of these words"
        OPTIONS: "entire message"/"body"/"header"

"Number of messages" (database searched):
        OPTIONS: 5/10/15/20/30/40/50/75/100/200/300/400/500
        OPTIONS: "threaded by subject"/"sorted by date"/"sorted by author"

If you know or can guess the rough date of a message you're looking for,
you can use the next option: "Jump to date", filling in a blank: (Date in
YYYY/MM/DD format, e.g., 1996/4/21).

Lotsa luck!

you can search the older archives (May 1992 thru June 28, 1998) at

Unfortunately there are a couple sizable lacunae in the older archives, the
largest from Dec 1, 1997 thru May 6, 1998; we have the messages in private
archives but haven't gotten them posted into that archive.

That's about all I know about how to make the most of the system in place
at the B-Greek website and how the search engine for the Lyris software
works. If anyone has some helpful hints to add to this, please feel free to
add on.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
Most months: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad@ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek
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