Primitive Index

Feature requests, and in-depth discussions of features and the way Mellel works

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laup
Knows everything, can prove it
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Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 4:13 am
Location: Topanga, California

Primitive Index

Post by laup » Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:40 pm

Having read the various suggestions and comments on indexing, I suggest a useful "primitive" capability available in Word, which might be mirrored easily in Mellel. In Word one can construct a "concordance" table with two columns. The first is the set of search terms; the second is the index entry. For example, one might be searching for all citations to Smith, and then showing where they appear under the index item Smith, John. After running the index utility, one would see in the index, e.g.,:

Smith, John 1, 15, 234.

Others have pointed out that there is necessarily some serious manual work required to build a good index. This simple mechanism, however, is a lot better than nothing and it doesn't require marking. I suspect that the Mellel Find-and-Replace mechanism is ample and that the only thing missing is a script-like tool. I, at least, don't know how to do that currently within Mellel.

As an example of limitations, if one had multiple authors named Smith, then some manual checking and deconflicting would be necessary. More generally, many terms of interest would mean something different, and be indexed under different labels, depending on context. Marking can't be avoided for anything complicated, but building on the cross-referencing tool should make all this possible at some point, again as others have noted.
Paul

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