Bible Research
Charles Conroy []

Practical Hints and Information Concerning the Site

1.  Site markup

The site is written in HTML 5, linked to external Cascading Style Sheets (including some features from CSS Level 3). As such it should display correctly in all recent browsers, except for badly outdated ones which may not be able to render all the formatting accurately. Since early 2015 all the pages of the site follow the basic principles of responsive web design.

2.  Cookie and privacy information

Two cookies are set by this site: they are called BIGipServerZebedee and TS01237438. They are set when you move from the homepage to another page in the site. Both of them are classed as "strictly necessary" for the functioning of the site, and as such they are exempt from the normal requirement of user consent for the use of cookies.
Neither of the two cookies stores personally identifiable information, and both of them (as "session cookies") are deleted when you close your browser session.
More in detail: BIGipServerZebedee is part of the back-end architecture of the hosting service that manages the site. It belongs to the class of "load-balancing cookies". This website is hosted on multiple servers; when you visit the site, you are assigned to one of these servers for the current session. The load-balancing cookie is required to track which server you are communicating with, in order to present a consistent user experience as you move from page to page. It routes data and page requests to the correct server and so ensures that the content of the page loads quickly and effectively.
Highly technical information on the accompanying (and also strictly necessary) TS cookie can be seen here; basically it has to do with enforcing elements in the security policy with regard to database management in the hosting servers.

3.  Printer-friendly pages

While you are online, every page should print in printer-friendly format which will differ from the screen display in some respects in order to give a better printing result (omitting navigation bars, changing the font, and so on). This is achieved by the use of special CSS print style-sheets, which are activated automatically by the normal print command of your browser.
If you prefer to print offline from pages that you saved to your own computer, please note that the printer-friendly format will be available only if the page is saved as a complete web-page (see the following point 4, a).

4.  Saving material to your own computer

a)  If you wish to save the formatting (which is to a very large extent governed by a linked external CSS style-sheet) as well as the content of the page, you should use the command "Save as" of your browser with the option "Webpage, Complete" (thus for the current versions of Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Opera, as of Dec. 2014). This will ensure that the formatting file will be downloaded as well as the content of the page.

b)  If all you need is the unformatted content, then you can "Save as" with the options "Webpage, HTML only". Please note however that in a page saved in this second way Greek and Hebrew words may occasionally not display perfectly (especially as regards Greek accents and Hebrew vowel points). See the next note.

5.  Greek and Hebrew characters

Greek and Hebrew and other special characters in these pages are written in Unicode. For the most part they should display reasonably well under Windows operating systems from XP onwards, since several basic fonts always present in these operating systems are now Unicode-compliant (Times New Roman, Arial, and a few others). However these standard fonts do not contain all the Unicode characters needed for pointed Hebrew and accented polytonic Greek, so there may be some difficulties for Greek accents and Hebrew vowel points (which anyway are used rarely enough on these pages).

It is highly recommended to download and install some good Unicode fonts which have all the requisite characters for the biblical languages. A few suggestions:

SBL BibLit: A Unicode font that combines Greek, Hebrew, and Latin characters, including transcription diacritics. Optional keyboard drivers are available too, both for Windows and Mac operating systems. The font was released in September 2013. The free download page is found here. This combined font includes the following two fonts, which were released earlier.

SBL Greek: A Unicode font for biblical Greek, released in March 2009; go to the free download page here.

SBL Hebrew: Generally regarded as the best Unicode font for biblical Hebrew presently available; go to the free download page here. Several optional keyboard drivers (with user manuals) are available too, both for Windows and Mac operating systems.

Cardo: This is a large Unicode font specifically designed for the needs of classicists, Biblical scholars, medievalists, and linguists. Full Greek range is available and many other characters too, including Hebrew (though SBL Hebrew is generally regarded as better for this). Free download with information (the download includes a useful manual). See also the homepage of the author of the font, classicist David J. Perry, with more news and information about Unicode fonts.

Further information on the SBL fonts can be found here and here. Much useful information on font questions in general can be found on the following two pages: "Fonts for Biblical Greek and Hebrew" from Tyndale House, Cambridge, UK, and a page of useful explanations about Unicode Greek and Hebrew and related matters by American biblical scholar M. V. Hoffman.

Finally, with regard to BibleWorks, it is worth noting that the latest version (BW 10) internally still uses non-Unicode fonts (bw*.ttf), though it supports Unicode Greek and Hebrew for export and the SBL Hebrew and Greek Unicode fonts are available with the program.

6.  A note for Mac users

Though I have not referred to Mac browsers (Safari and others) or Mac font questions in the above points, no difficulties have been pointed out to me by Mac users. Comments in this area will be most welcome (see the email link below).

7.  Contact

Your comments and suggestions can be sent here. They will be much appreciated.