Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Christmas Holidays mean even more work!

Haven't had a chance to update for a week or so due to much upheaval surrounding the end of the fall semester. Also had major surgery in the immediate family and that has eaten a lot of time. Editing work goes on for final release of the NET Bible Old Testament sometime in '05, which is looking increasingly doable in spite of massive amounts of work involved.

Also, the work on the NET GEMS database is going well; we now have all the text of the NT in the DB in "taggable" form, so the work can proceed more quickly.

I still have tons of grading to do from the fall semester, but that should be out of the way fairly soon.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

WAY behind the curve at this point...

With two weeks to go in the semester, things have gotten really hectic since returning from Thanksgiving Break. Papers to grade, exams to give, NET Bible material to edit, and an endless stream of extra pre-Christmas activities. Like delivering poinsettias yesterday: my teenage son, who is in acapella choir at his high school, sold 77 poinsettias so far in the annual choir fundraiser. (All but 5 were NOT sold to his parents!) So yesterday I put about 75 miles on the van driving around boxes of poinsettias (they come six to a box, about 2x3x3 feet square). My son, who drives a really small sports car, couldn't even fit a single box in, so I, who drive the family minivan, got to play FTD delivery person yesterday!

In addition I came back from San Antonio with a lot more items on my to do list than I went there with. Suddenly with publication of the NET-NTG diglot (a copublication with German Bible Society) we seem to have raised our profile and ended up on a lot more radar screens. Now people are coming to us wanting to be involved in some way, and there are many more things to be followed up than before (as if I didn't have enough already). One high-priority item will certainly be development of the NET GEMS (Greek-English Morphology and Syntax) database with Eric Sowell (codeveloper of NET GEMS, programmer extraordinaire, and president of Lexel Software (www.lexelsoftware.com). We hope in the near future to have some material online for everyone to look at.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Turkey Day and the Editing Goes On...

Spending Thanksgiving Day on the Grant Ranch on the Nueces River in S. Texas with a bunch of other people (along with all my family). Continued to do some editing on the notes to Hosea for the NET Bible final release (coming next year, stay tuned).

Have done a lot of walking today (dodging prickly pear and rope cactus) and taken quite a few digital pictures. Weather is absolutely wonderful for late November.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Back from San Antonio at last!

And a great time was had by all...or something like that. Had a really successful trip and a great set of meetings. Today was only a half day (till noon) at the Exhibition Hall, so we packed up and were on our way by shortly after 1:00 pm (I think that's a new record). Drove through some of the worst weather I have ever seen (at least from inside a car) just south of Temple and on into Waco. For about 10 miles we were actually following a storm chaser (lots of antennas, decals on the back window, etc.) and I expected to see a tornado at any moment, but nothing came of it but heavy rain and light hail. Got home by 8:00 pm, after spending a lot of time in the car with Dave F. and Chris G. reflecting on the history of the NET Bible project (www.netbible.org) over the last nine years. Next year will be NET's 10th anniversary and we will be in Philadelphia for AAR/SBL, which is where the whole thing started 10 years ago. Now if only we can remember where that Italian restaurant was where we plotted the whole NET Bible thing...

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

More from SBL in San Antonio

Today, after the malfunctioning clock, was a REALLY long day...but a really good one. Howard Marshall, Douglas Moo, and Joel Green dropped by the NET Bible/Bible.org display (among a lot of others). It was nice to see Howard again since I had not seen him for a couple of years.

Had a great time with several software developers and scholars showing off the new NET GEMS (NET Greek-English Morphology and Syntax Project) DB which Eric and I are developing for deployment on the web. We hope in a month or so to have the first book ready to publish online so we can start getting feedback on the concept and also signing up participants to do more layers of the tagging. We have gotten a LOT of positive feedback lately about NET GEMS, especially about putting it online for free personal use and research. If only more publishers and developers were to catch the vision for putting stuff online for free (see www.bible.org) and not pricing things out of reach of normal users...We also got some good ideas from Rex Koivisto of Accordance, who suggested we incorporate with the syntactical tags the rationale for the tagging (an excellent idea but it gets wordy very fast).

Also got to spend some great time over a fantastic dinner with our very good friends from German Bible Society, Dr. Florian Voss and Dr. Bertram Salzmann, both of whom were in San Antonio for AAR/SBL. It is great to hear what GBS is doing...Darrell and Sally Bock were also at the dinner (they are in Tübingen this year on sabbatical from Dallas Seminary), and in addition Dan Wallace. We had about 14 people in the hotel restaurant altogether. We were at the Menger Hotel restaurant because the San Antonio River has flooded, causing the Riverwalk to be shut down, and the only restaurants open this evening in downtown SA were the hotel restaurants.

Tomorrow we get to go home after eight long days at ETS and AAR/SBL. This will probably be the last post for a few days since we are going out of town when I get back to Dallas, and will be gone over the Thanksgiving holidays.

Monday, November 22, 2004

SBL in San Antonio

Another year, sore feet, and lots of talking...annual professional society meetings for Society of Biblical Literature have left me exhausted, and the alarm clock got messed up this a.m. and woke me up at half past five, so here we are. Can't go back to sleep so I might as well write. I have talked with an enormous number of people over the last few days, from N. T. (Tom) Wright and J. D. G. Dunn to Darrell Bock and Harold Hoehner (both the last two on sabbatical in Europe, so I haven't seen them in a while. It was also great to see Philip Davies from Sheffield, who dropped by (my one-time interim supervisor and an old friend!) and another old friend and fellow classmate from Sheffield, David Orton, now of DEO Publishing. Not enough time to mention everyone, of course, but then it's always fun to see what Roy Brown of Accordance [http://www.accordancebible.com/] has been up to with software development, as well as Dale, Bob, and the crew from Logos [http://www.logos.com/] who always have something new to show off. Then last night I had the CSNTM [http://www.csntm.org/] annual board meeting, which went really well. Dan described the past year's activities which were pretty amazing.

For me the chief value of these meetings is in the contacts and the people I get to meet. And of course, I get to stand and let them come to me at the exhibition hall. As usual I have overcommitted myself on syntactical database development for the NT with my good buddy Eric [http://thecodinghumanist.blogspot.com] resulting in my new motto: Done or dead by May! and my ongoing editorial work with NET Bible (final release version 1.0 ahead which is going to cause me to lose what hair I have left!). All on top of teaching full time, with two weeks left in the fall semester after Thanksgiving. Oh well. It beats being rich and famous I guess (but not by much!).