Discuss & Discover

Thanks Bhante. In my opinion it would be great to have the full Canonical Abhidhamma readily available. Actually, that’s almost possible now that PTS has put a lot of their material into the public domain.

There is a great deal of confusion between the Canonical Abhidhamma, which hardly anyone has read, and the “summaries” in the Visuddhimagga and the Abhidhammatthasangaha, which were written about many centuries after the canonical Abhidhamma. See:
A Comprehensive Manual of the Abhidhamma:The Abhidhammatthasangaha of Acariya Anuruddha, Buddhist Publication Society, Edited by Bhikkhu Bodhi and others.

The Canonical Abhidhamma doesn’t contain billions of mind moments arising every second. It is much more along the lines of analysis and systematisation of the Suttas as @sujato mentions.

Take a look at, for example: http://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/English-Texts/Short-Pieces-in-English/Conditions.htm The Enumeration of the Conditions:


SuttaCentral coverage of Abhidhamma is not as extensive as for the Suttas and Vinaya, but we still have more than pretty much any other site that I’m aware of.

We have the full Pali text of the seven Abhidhamma books. These are very extensive, especially compared to the PTS editions. The Patthana in particular is very detailed; I spent several weeks last year sorting out the incredibly complex internal structure of this mind-blowing text, which has over 10,000 structural headings. It is perhaps the only text produced by humanity that genuinely requires using an <h6> tag!

We also have full English translations of three of these texts, the Dhammasangani, Vibhanga, and Kathavatthu. These are mostly from the PTS editions, with some improvements. I have added the Mātikā translation, which was missing from the PTS. And Ven Anandajoti has retranslated the Satipaṭṭhāna Vibhanga.

The Vibhanga and Kathavatthu were digitized by us, while the Dhammasangani was digitized and available on the Wisdom Library and adapted for SuttaCentral.

We are still missing the text and translations for the Abhidhamma texts in Chinese and Sanskrit. These are on our 2do list. Particularly interesting is the Sanskrit text of the Dharmaskandha, which quotes from and discusses a number of interesting suttas. I’d like to prepare the translation of the Puggalapaññatti also, as this is little more than a collection of passages from the suttas. Full sets of parallels for all Abhidhamma materials is also on the 2do list. (It’s a long 2do list!)

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After looking at postgresql’s full text search capabilities I have decided to index all posts into elasticsearch.

Towards this end I have created a mechanism via plugin which allows retrieving all new/updated posts. This should make it possible to keep elasticsearch perfectly synchronized while only needing to transfer ‘differences’. In principle Discourse can already show you new posts, but there is no real way to track deleted or edited posts.

The ability to do small incremental updates is very powerful as it allows very frequent synchronization with little burden on the servers.

Sounds like it will be very powerful in the long run. Let me know when it’s implemented.

Was there anything in particular that you felt was better about using the elasticsearch approach?

Of course. Postgresql is about as low level as it gets, all it really provides are some functions you can build a search engine with. I can see the merits of the approach as it gives you a lot of precise control and you know exactly what it’s doing and how it works, but if you don’t feel like implementing your own search engine it makes a lot more sense to a full-fledged search engine.

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Hmm, I’m having trouble getting this to show up as a link the Sutta area:

Here’s the sutta itself:

Presumably I’m doing something wrong…

Also, I think it would be nice to have access to the link from the “Details and Parallels” page, not just the pali or translation page.

Actually, it would be really nice if pages like:
gave an indication of whether there were links to discussions. As it is, I have to go into DN1, DN2, etc and see what’s there…

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OK this one worked:

So the problem is with the SNaa.bb format in my other post?

That’s actually a good point, let me think about it.

No, that should be fine. i think the problem is on our end, I think the search index or something is not working 100%. We just launched it yesterday! @blake, can you look into this?

And from the Contents page? E.g. from:
it would be nice to be able to browse for suttas that have tagged discussions etc.

Not sure about this. It could overload the page; it might increase loading time a lot, not sure.

On the one hand, it would be nice to have a place that was for discussions about the division as a whole; someone might want to talk about the Nidana Samyutta, for example. On the other hand, maybe we should keep it simple, and just let people search for things like that on Discourse. SC isn’t meant to be an interface for Discourse, we just want to make the connection.

We might let the current implementation settle down and see how the feedback and usage goes before pushing it any further.

Dear Bhante, dear Blake,

just to let you know and in order to link my post with the original conversation: I experienced the same issues as @mikenz66.

Since, you are aware of this issue already, feel free to ignore that post… :smile:

With much mettā,

A few details for @blake

I’ve tweaked the CSS for the Discourse results. Overall I’ve made it a little more compact and balanced.

Thanks for hiding it in the Templates folder, that gave me a nice little hunt! Just wondering, is there any sane reason why this isn’t in, oh I don’t know, stab in the dark, the CSS folder, perhaps?

For filtering, we still need to narrow results for the exact ID, so MN2 does not grab MN21.

Also, can we exclude results based on category, such as this Dev category, or more generally, the Meta category?

As time goes on we might want to weight results by Likes or something. Currently, how are the results sorted?

Is there a problem with the Discuss & Discover feature? I currently don’t see links from any sutta…

You’re right, it’s broke, @blake can you look into this?

Hmmm, I manually regenerated the search index and the results are back, I’m not sure quite what went wrong though.

Thanks @blake. It’s working great now…

In fact it seems to be working instantaneously!

Is there a reason why the Dhammapada verses don’t have this feature?

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