Open to "Random Page" in Electronic Scriptures

Discussions about the Notes and Journal tool on LDS.org. This includes the Study Toolbar as well as the scriptures and other content on LDS.org that is integrated with Notes and Journal.
jwolley
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Open to "Random Page" in Electronic Scriptures

Postby jwolley » Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:41 pm

Having scriptures available online & on mobile phones is great, but there's one thing I can do in the paper scriptures that I really miss in the electronic version - that is the ability to ask the Lord for guidance by opening my "quad" copy of the scriptures to a random page. In reality, when I do this with the paper scriptures, it's not entirely random - I'm aiming for a "random" page within a particular work, and usually within a general area of that work - e.g., middle of New Testament, or latter part of Book of Mormon.

This capability could be programmed into the scriptures on both LDS.org and the LDS Library app on mobile phones, giving users the option of opening to a totally random page (w/in any work), a random page w/in a specified work, or a random page within a specified section of a work (e.g., start, middle, end). If targeting sections of the electronic scriptures that correspond exactly to the pages in the paper books is too complicated, it would be every bit as useful to open to a random "electronic page" - a chapter (or section in D&C).

lajackson
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Re: Open to "Random Page" in Electronic Scriptures

Postby lajackson » Sun Jul 31, 2016 8:13 pm

jwolley wrote:In reality, when I do this with the paper scriptures, it's not entirely random - I'm aiming for a "random" page within a particular work, and usually within a general area of that work - e.g., middle of New Testament, or latter part of Book of Mormon.

Since it is not quite random and has not yet been programmed, you can be the pseudo-random number generator yourself. In LDS Tools, select the book of scriptures, Scroll through the books to the middle or latter part and select any one on the screen. Pick a chapter number at random, and then slide the screen up a bit through the verses.

You'll have to decide whether to choose the top or bottom verse, or one in the middle.

Yes, you can influence the selection. Then again, if you wish you can tap the screen anywhere without looking at the actual book or chapter number.

serick224
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Re: Open to "Random Page" in Electronic Scriptures

Postby serick224 » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:29 am

lajackson wrote:
jwolley wrote:In reality, when I do this with the paper scriptures, it's not entirely random - I'm aiming for a "random" page within a particular work, and usually within a general area of that work - e.g., middle of New Testament, or latter part of Book of Mormon.

Since it is not quite random and has not yet been programmed, you can be the pseudo-random number generator yourself. In LDS Tools, select the book of scriptures, Scroll through the books to the middle or latter part and select any one on the screen. Pick a chapter number at random, and then slide the screen up a bit through the verses.

You'll have to decide whether to choose the top or bottom verse, or one in the middle.

Yes, you can influence the selection. Then again, if you wish you can tap the screen anywhere without looking at the actual book or chapter number.

Too much thinking.

I agree with the OP; this would be a neat, and easy feature to implement. I got to this thread in the first place by thinking today for the first time about this for Gospel Library.

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sbradshaw
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Re: Open to "Random Page" in Electronic Scriptures

Postby sbradshaw » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:20 pm

In case anyone's interested, I put together a random scripture generator today:
http://scripturetools.net/resources/random-scripture

It can be customized with parameters, for example:
Random scripture in French: http://scripturetools.net/resources/random-scripture?lang=fra
Random scripture in the Spanish Book of Mormon: http://scripturetools.net/resources/random-scripture?lang=spa&filter=bofm
Random scripture in Genesis: http://scripturetools.net/resources/random-scripture?lang=eng&filter=ot/gen

If you don't filter by a specific volume of scripture, you'll notice that the Old Testament comes up more frequently, since there are more chapters in the Old Testament than any of the other standard works. Would it be better for me to weight the standard works more evenly, or to be truly random?
Samuel Bradshaw • If you desire to serve God, you are called to the work.

serick224
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Re: Open to "Random Page" in Electronic Scriptures

Postby serick224 » Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:16 am

Niice!

If you're taking suggestions, I think it would be even more useful if you could do ANDs on books, like filter=bofm&ot. In case you just wanted to exclude one book and didn't want to exhaustively list all others, a NOT would be useful (as a shortcut). For example: not=ot.

Would it be better for me to weight the standard works more evenly, or to be truly random?

Truly random, in my opinion. Is it randomizing on chapter first, and then verse? If yes, why not just randomize on verse only?

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sbradshaw
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Re: Open to "Random Page" in Electronic Scriptures

Postby sbradshaw » Sat Mar 25, 2017 3:17 pm

serick224 wrote:Is it randomizing on chapter first, and then verse? If yes, why not just randomize on verse only?

Yes, it's randomizing the chapter first, then the verse. It was simpler to set up that way because I don't have a verses table in my database. But I do have the number of verses for a given chapter in my chapters table, so I should be able to break it out to the verse level before randomizing.

serick224 wrote:If you're taking suggestions, I think it would be even more useful if you could do ANDs on books, like filter=bofm&ot. In case you just wanted to exclude one book and didn't want to exhaustively list all others, a NOT would be useful (as a shortcut). For example: not=ot.

This would be possible to do, but I wonder about its usefulness (compared to its complexity) – it seems if you want that degree of granularity, you're not really looking for a random scripture.
Samuel Bradshaw • If you desire to serve God, you are called to the work.

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sbradshaw
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Re: Open to "Random Page" in Electronic Scriptures

Postby sbradshaw » Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:41 pm

I sped up the query for getting a random scripture and made the page web-app capable (so it works well on iOS/Android, can deep-link into the Gospel Library app, and can be pinned to the home screen). (No changes so far around what parameters can be used or how things are weighted.)
Samuel Bradshaw • If you desire to serve God, you are called to the work.

serick224
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Re: Open to "Random Page" in Electronic Scriptures

Postby serick224 » Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:34 pm

Keep up the good work. I'd love to see randomization at the verse level, because it more closely resembles the "let your scriptures fall open" model. When you do that you're not looking for a chapter--just some verses.

sbradshaw wrote:
serick224 wrote:If you're taking suggestions, I think it would be even more useful if you could do ANDs on books, like filter=bofm&ot. In case you just wanted to exclude one book and didn't want to exhaustively list all others, a NOT would be useful (as a shortcut). For example: not=ot.

This would be possible to do, but I wonder about its usefulness (compared to its complexity)

I agree the NOT case may not be with the effort, but it seems AND would be simple enough.

sbradshaw wrote:it seems if you want that degree of granularity, you're not really looking for a random scripture.

Why? Why are you "looking for a random scripture" if you include no filter, and hence include all books, or include the filter to get just one book, but not somewhere in between?

It seems just as valid to say "I'm looking for a random latter-day scripture" as it is to say "I'm looking for a random scripture in the Book of Mormon."

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sbradshaw
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Re: Open to "Random Page" in Electronic Scriptures

Postby sbradshaw » Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:11 am

Good points – thanks!
Samuel Bradshaw • If you desire to serve God, you are called to the work.

liz_monty2
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Re: Open to "Random Page" in Electronic Scriptures

Postby liz_monty2 » Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:51 pm

I came across this thread a while back and put together a website to do exactly what you are talking about: https://randomscriptureverse.com/

Features
1) Displays a random verse from a selection of Standard Works (you can select whichever ones you want)
2) Displays a random verse from a specific Standard Work
3) Displays a random verse from a book of scripture (e.g. Matthew, Alma, Moses, etc.)
4) Displays a random verse from your Favorites (which you can manage by signing up for an account)

Ways of Randomizing
[You can select which one by clicking the settings icon near the bottom of the page, default is weighted]
1) Weighted Random first selects a random work, then book, then chapter, then verse
2) Pure Random gives a completely random verse from the pool of all possible verses

Link to LDS.org
Every random scripture comes with a URL to link to that verse in context on LDS.org (or if on a mobile device with Gospel Library downloaded, Gospel Library opens). This allows you to read the surrounding verses like you would do if opening paper scriptures.

Please let me know if you run into any bugs so that I can get them fixed. And please share the site with others so we can spread the word!

-Liz Kazandzhy


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