Countdown to BibleTech:2008

Things have been very quiet on Blogos for the last few weeks, as i’ve been cranking away on a prototype for my Zoomable Bible talk at BibleTech:2008. While i’ve always loved learning new things, over the last month i’ve been positively cramming on a multitude of totally new subjects to me:

  • programming in C# (i’ve been spoiled by Python)
  • Using Visual Studio as an IDE, including integration with MySQL databases
  • Basics of 2D graphics
  • Layout algorithms for treemaps (major kudos to the University of Maryland’s Human-Computer Interaction Lab for not only pioneering this area, but even providing open source implementations for people like me to learn from)
  • Using the excellent (but rich and hence challenging) Piccolo 2D toolkit for building zoomable user interfaces (also from the UMd HCIL group)
  • loading up a variety of Bible data (since visualization requires something to visualize!)

I also have a separate presentation about Bibleref: a Microformat for Bible References, and some related recent developments at Logos that will help make the world of on-line information about the Bible more searchable and usable than ever before. You’ll learn more at the conference about some of our plans in this area.

There will also be time Friday night for “birds of a feather” sessions to informally gather people around topics of common interest. I’m hoping to bring together people to talk about developing common naming conventions for people and places in the Bible. If you’ve been following my posts on the Bible Knowledgebase, you know an essential part of this work is simply identifying and disambiguating named people and places: which Judah, or Zechariah, or Gaius, or Jabneel, is which? I think some simple agreement on identifiers, and principles for constructing them, would make sharing such data much easier, and Logos is prepared to start by sharing our own sets of identifiers. So be sure to find me there if you’d like to talk more about how to make this happen. (By the way, i was tickled to see that my post on the most important person in the Bible was #7 in Logos’s list of the Top Ten Blog Posts for 2007 (most viewed)).

As i told one of the speakers in an email earlier today, i’m feeling a little giddy about what a great conference this promises to be. BibleTech, and the interesting and diverse group of people who are coming, really encompasses all the things that brought me to Logos in the first place, and that define my current professional endeavors as well as my personal interests.

It’s not too late! Come join us this Friday and Saturday at the SeaTac Hilton in Seattle (registration details).