QUOTES Browser

Quotations Browser is a web app we built  in 2011 to browse our quote collections. I hope you enjoy exploring them. Enhanced in 2015.

There are two databases.

  • Alex’s Oracle”: 445+ quotes. These Quotes are personal collectibles from my own writing, or caught on TV, or favorites found elsewhere.
  • “Quotes Archive”: 5,430 quotes presently. I had a private quotes collection that started as an Apple HyperCard stack in about 1990. I collected more lists from other sources and loaded them all into Microsoft Access, around 1995, a solution I hated. With over 5400 quotes, that’s far too many quotes to type and edit by hand. I didn’t then have the technical savvy to ‘clean’ and convert the data and load it, by some automated means, into a MySQL database on my site server. I do now.

The two databases are independent. You can choose either one with the ‘Table Select’ pop-up.

  • You can browse just by clicking the Enter button. This gives you all quotes in the either quotes database. Or you can use the optional search filter controls to select matches more closely to what you may be looking for. For example, there are 6 quotes in Quotes Archive on keyword topic “abstinence.”
  • “Quotes Archive”, being bigger, can take a few seconds to load into a browser on a slow broadband connection.  If you find your connection loads slowly, try searching by keyword to limit selection, or by limiting fetch size (as below). My Internet connection takes about four seconds to load all 5,430 quotes from the server database. That’s delivery time by the ISP. Server time is 0.14 seconds.
  • You can limit the number of results to any size in a single search. A limit of 100 will always display the first 100.
  • You can search quotes or authors by name, word or phrase.The search/sort by choice you select from the popup(s) will determine the order in which quotes are listed. If you do set a limit on fetch size, choosing different sorts changes the quote order and therefore what you see at the top of the list.
  • Being able to search by author name is more of a plus than I originally knew. Most of the large online quotations databases limit this to first-letter a-z author categories.
  • By the time you read this (or or about January 4, 2015), enhanced Quotations version ’81’ will access up to four keywords database fields. The single “keyword” screen column has been replaced with a “keywords” column showing up to four keywords assigned to the quote.
  • Take the Al Capp quote “Good is better than evil, ’cause it’s nicer.” I had originally used up the one available keyword with “evil,” but what about “good?” Better yet, what about “morality?” Now, I’ve been able to add all three. Much easier to find!
  • By the time you read this, enhanced Quotations version ’81’ will offer two keyword popups with an optional AND/OR connector popup. If you search for “virtue” AND “criticism”, you’ll fetch one quote; if you search for “virtue” OR “criticism, you’ll come up with twenty-two. Use of just one keyword selector popup works as before, as the second one is entirely optional.
  • At first, the virtue of four keyword database fields seems over-rated if you are only allowed to use up to two of them in Browser. Searching for an entry with four keywords at once is a true fishing expedition, with very low probability of getting a bite. You’ll note that some quotes, like a Madison quotation, have four keywords: religion, pride, ignorance, bigotry. For many quotes, a single keyword still more than suffices.
  • Hover your mouse over the fields for balloon help.
  • Searching results by author is fast, and gives you just that author’s quotes.
  • Searching results by word or phrase is also fast, and gives you just the quotes containing the search word or phrase.

Please feel free to use any Write Us button (right-hand sidebar margin of all our posts and pages) to contact us with your reactions, questions or suggestions. Should you find errors, we are more than pleased to make corrections. Thanks!

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The Time of Your Life – William Saroyan

I’ve created a PDF containing the text to the prologue to the 1939 play by William Saroyan.

It can also be found at any time in the WRITING page sidebar under the heading Quotes & Citations. The passage was sent to me by a friend who’s treasured it since school days. A check of Google shows this passage meant a lot to many who have read it at one time or another. I don’t know how I missed it; it seems particularly relevant at this time in life.

Google Books has scanned the play. Their scan – of the Samuel French play publication – shows the entire passage as a monolithic block of text. Various people have arranged the text into paragraphs to suit their own sensibilities. I have done the same. Amazon is offering two used copies of the play at something in excess of $120, each, so I have not seen the original formatting, and I have no idea how or whether the citation was presented to audiences in productions of the stage play.

But I hope you find this short passage memorable.

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