Christmas Gifts

Christmas gifts? Why not. This post deals with some gifts we have placed under the tree.

Apps

I mentioned briefly in an earlier blog post that we are working on a refresh of our online apps. Updating internal tooling, artwork, and so on. We are trying to do as much as we can across the time from Thanksgiving to New Years.

We recently sat down and reviewed the complete set of apps that we currently want to have available off the Paleo.In website. There are 17 of them. With the website itself, holding the blog, 18 total public projects.

We have assigned names and artwork. We put descriptions into the apps section of the Paleo.In Homepage to allow visitors there to think about the entire list.

Think of them like Christmas presents, though some will be opened later, across future months. If you see something missing that you think should be on the list, please let me know.

Let me open up a couple packages now, in honor of this Christmas blog.

Spice Bible

This week the Spice Bible is back, 1 of those new apps.

If you were following our work last summer you will recall I was discussing technical problems with textual recovery. I made 2 serious tries at solving this problem in 2021. We learned a ton of stuff that needed attention before this is ever going to work.

One of the problems was the need for a stable, reference, word addressable, Critical Edition of the Syriac Peshitta. By word level addresses I mean every word has a book, chapter, verse and word number as an identifier. This to prevent insanity when struggling with other problems later.

Normal textual file formats were also turning into a serious problem, so I needed to use something more like a database. In this case .json, very similar to a full blown data base manager, but without the manager.

A critical edition means a bunch of witnesses to each original word, with annotations on disputes over spelling and phrases.

I set off, for a second time, to create that text in September, 2021. It took about 6+ tedious weeks. Each of 6 downloads, with different file formats and various other individual quirks, needed to be parsed. Then the entire set had to be joined together tracking disputes.

My experiences with these problems in the past let me solve this problem quite differently this time. A famous quote from the dawn of the computer age is, "Build one (a program) to throw a way, because you will, whether you plan to, or not." Sage advice.

This time I was strictly using a Javascript tool chain so every step in the process can be rerun when needed. Our first attempt at this a year ago had some manual editing that could not be rerun from scratch. This is why it needed to be rewritten.

I've now put that merged Paleo version of the Syriac text online. It is linked from the Paleo.In website, and directly loadable at sp.paleo.in. This is a PWA, and runs offline.

I am reusing a slot where we showed the Syriac parallel to the BRB verse by verse. That function now has a massive home at the VR app, check the paleo.in main page for that.

This new setup is designed to display the entire text, as a working version of the entire Bible. So the addressing and page sizes are chapter based.

There are a limited number of options that can be controlled from the upper right menu. More will come as this develops.

This new Spice Bible app is a precursor to the recovered manuscript because there are a set of very real problems that need solving first.

Especially important is the software to machine-generate parallel English. This English problem is itself a critical part to full textual recovery.

This new app will be the place to work that English langugae problem going forward in 2022. Once we can generate readable English, by machine, using this text and a parallel lexicon, we will then be ready to try again on letter based manuscript recovery. The English text online today is a shim, full English work is still to come, and must be done before trying letter perfect Paleo again.

Bible Time

Another package under the tree being opened today is a recovered bibletime.com website.

Bible Time lays out an extensive and complete theory of how time works in the Bible. This includes dating all of the stories within the Bible and includes explaining how the Bible predicts modern headlines.

We were prophetically told to take all of our Bible stuff offline a while back. I now see why. If this had been around for the past few years I would have regularly tampered it, leaving much to nothing.

Going forward I will fix bugs, but otherwise leave it alone. It was a massive wave of prophetic stuff that came when we were using the Bible. So I need to leave it. Most of it will survive into the world of the Testimony. Maybe when we can cite scripture addresses from The Testimony it will be time to rewrite Bible Time material and place it at some other website domain name.

All the prose from all articles are back. A few sticky points still need work.

The tech used for this was originally php with server side page rendering. This was very popular in 1998. This is a very terrible system in terms of security, and we had several serious hacks against the server because we were using that tech.

To make it so these hacks could never happen again, rendering server side had to stop. Rendering now happens at build time, on our laptops. This is testable, fast, and secure. The web server is mostly a read only, 1 way, pipe out to browsers. Feedback forms and classroom chat are the very limited exceptions.

There are a few Javascript based page tweeks that we run in the browser. This includes navigation between pages, changing settings like lighting and running the lot calculator in the TT. Javascript in browsers is well understood by the computer industry and considered pretty safe. When safety issues do come up, they are fixed quickly by the browser vendors. They are not our concern.

The Tools pages at Bible Time were originally built reusing the php based server side page rendering system. Basically each tool requested a page reload with a new set of input values for rendering. Clever in 1998, of course. At the time there was no reliable client side Javascript. The server side of this old architecture does not exist any more and we are not going back.

To finish getting Bible Time fully working I must go through tool by tool and rewrite the code to run in Javascript in the browser. This is not a quick job. So as of today Bible Time tools remain inactive.

I have kept back 227 articles that dealt with fulfillment headlines. These pages paralleled pages in my private desktop apps for the timeline. It was always a problem keeping them in sync. There was never a 'Single Point of Truth' (SPOT) on headlines and linked news articles. It drove me crazy for years. The desktop app was better graphically, but missing the long form fulfillments.

I am reserving these pages to go into a web enabled port of the desktop timeline tools. Once that is done, SPOT will return and crazy will leave.

There are 218 pages on Bible Time as of today. I may adjust those numbers slightly as I finish up. The Exodus related fulfillment articles are limited and maybe should go back to Bible Time. I will decide this once I can estimate the time to do a full graphical timeline app port.

I have also packaged those same Bible Time articles in a modern Progressive Web App at bt.paleo.in. This runs offline just like everything else. Beware though, it takes about 2 megabytes to download and install.

Merry Christmas,

Phil

Paleo.In