[sword-devel] Important things!

Troy A. Griffitts sword-devel@crosswire.org
Thu, 05 Oct 2000 14:01:18 -0700

> We looked at programs like Bible Works 4.0 and Bible Workshop.
> They are really great programs (especially Bible Works) and they have
> features which are required for Sword and frontends (e.g. BibleTime).

	Thanks for all the great feedback.  I'll comment on as much as I have
time, right now...

> I'll list now the major problems of Sword we found:
>         -Sword offers many modules, but many of them are locked! Bible Works does
> include them unlocked. Troy is doing a great job here but it's not possible
> that everybody is waiting for Troy's help.
> I already contacted the German Bible Society and I discuss with them-
> There are so many users of Sword, everybody is complaining about locked
> modules (NIV,...), and only few people are contacting the Bible Societies.

Hurray, we need more people to help get permission.

>         -Chris and MPJ are doing a great job with modules! There are lots of free
> non-english texts out there which can be included in Sword. On this list are
> so many people which can't program, so I wonder if they subscibed to discuss
> religious topics. But this list is called "sword-devel", it's the DEVELOPMENT
> list of Sword! Please don't be so lazy, do something for Sword! We do have
> now the new mod2vpl and vpl2mod utilities and I'm sure Chris has some cool
> perl scripts to create modules. My brother does also have some (he did the
> GerLut1545, Rieger and MAK modules with his scripts).

Yes, more modules would be wonderful.  Chris posted a few days ago for
feedback as to what modules people would like to see.  I haven't seen
one response to that message on the list.  I'll put in my 2c:  I love to
see the 'COMPLETE' MHC added!  I tried to get permission from the OLB
guys for the text, but they all passed the buck and said they didn't
have the authority to do that.

>         -Sword's webpage is bad. Sorry Troy, but this is true. It's not my aim to
> start a flame war. Troy, some time ago people said on sword-support that they
> volunteer to design a new webpage. I think these people are right, you do
> already 99.9% of the coding, let other people design the pages! We are open
> source.

I wouldn't say 'bad', but I do understand.  I am no graphic artist. 
I've always tried to keep functionality first.  I kindof always liked
the B/W theme.  Here in America everything is too colorfully

Ok, it really isn't very attractive.


I have asked many people who have volunteered to try to put something
together and show me what they have, but none have done anything.

Jody, our install shield expert has also expressed interest in this and
has worked on a few alternative pages.

Anyone else interested, please put some prototype ideas together and
let's all look at them.

> The current design is confusing people,

I hope it's not THAT confusing!  We have a fairly large number of
downloads of software and modules each week (see

> the page is too dark for a christian
> project. Almost everything on the screen is black, some users may think it's
> related to evil things ;)

No comment. :)

> Troy, the download script is very good! I like it.

Thank you.  It was from my own laziness being reluctant to maintain by
hand each module install.

>         -Sword is a growing project and sometimes things changed from good to bad
> over the years. I think we should discuss about the things which should be
> changed or removed. For example the whole search system is mixed up. We do
> have now different search types (regExp, excat, multiple words), different
> search speeds (with and without framework, bibles my have one, commentaries
> and lexica can't have one). After we introduced the new search things we
> discussed recently (Index...) everything will be mixed up more. In this case
> I'd suggest to implement a search system, which has the common things like
> "AND, OR, NOT" and which provides the same speed for all types of modules.

Don't be afraid of the direction we are going with search.  I'll try to
ease your conscience:
	o There are many people who have expression the desire to search in
MANY different ways.

	o Each of these ways will most likely require more overhead: space /
cpu time

	o The framework will not hinder anyone from adding new search

	o As GUI programmers, you will have to decide what features of the
framework you will make available to your users.  You may always
sacrifice drive space and build a limited set of search feature
frameworks and always give your users the same choice for searching. 
That is up to your team.

	o My goal is 'facilitate' the searching that you want to provide your
users, and not hinder a technical research team from building much more
intricate search frameworks; or a palm team from conserving module space
and using an entirely different set of search options and frameworks.

Your point is well taken.  I would like to build into the framework a
search query mechanism that will allow integrators the ability to see
what framework features are available and the ability to apply a desired
feature to a module.

> Another question is how we search in new modules which may appear in the
> future (maps, sound (e.g. AudioBible), ...), not all modules are key based.
> Another thing which should be discussed are modules, we have two config
> formats (mods.d and mods.conf)

mods.conf is still useful for small scale 'appliance' implementations. 
Don't use it or tell your users about it if it is confusing to them.

, we have lots of different module types and
> formats (GBF, ThML, RawText, RawFiles, RawCom, RawLD), this is confusing
> users and developers!

Users should never know we have different module types.
Developers should find it useful that we have the ability to support
many different module types seamlessly.  I'm not sure as to what the
issue is.

> Maybe we should compress the modules and put them all into one directory, but
> this is just a quick thought.

Compressed drivers are in the source tree.  They were submitted months
back.  I integrated them into the source, but I think we lost our
submitter to other venture.  Anyone interested in picking this back up?

>         -The windows frontend has too few features

Joachim.  I would venture to say that the windows frontend still has
many features that bibletime does not have.  You need to spend some time
using an installed version of it before making these statements.

> and is not useable with lots of
> modules (For example if you use the Sword CD).

Yes, you are right.  I would like to add the ability to have a 'visible'
list of module tabs.

> I have a Linux only box, I saw the program the first time while I met Martin.
> It has some nice features I like but in comparision with other programs it's
> not very good.

Maybe you could comment on what you mean.

Concerning printing: I've not tried to tackle printing, as I could not
think of an interface that I would use as a user of the software.  When
I want to print, it's usually much easier for me to grab what I want and
paste it into where I want it.  We support decorated copy and paste, so
you get all markup with what you select.  I suppose that sometimes it
might be useful to build a verselist for printing with some mechanism
that we can come up with, but would it REALLY be more usable than just
grabbing what you want and building it in a real word processor, along
with your notes?  Maybe, but I've yet to see an interface that I
personally would use.

> We (the team of BibleTime) want port BibleTime after we released version 1.0.
> Is it possible that we are the standard Sword frontend on Windows? I don't
> want to be arrogant, but we have more features (e.g. printing, bookmarks,
> better search dialog) and I think it's more useable.

Really?  I think the Windows GUI bookmarks and search window are much
more featureful, with the exception of multiple module searches.

> Troy, this was only a question. I know you do the coding of Sword and of the
> Windows Frontend and you work to earn the money you need for living and
> nobody else is coding for Sword. Why not concentrate on the Sword library?
> But we can't port BibleTime if we can't get a Qt professional license
> ($1500 / year). Is somebody owner of such a license wo want to compile
> BibleTime for Windows? Or is here  a billionaire who can pay the license?

My apologies, Joachim.  I told you that I would call my contact at Qt. 
I have yet to dig up his business card out of the pile of stuff from the
show.  I will spend time to look for it.

>         -We are missing things like Unicode support or language parsing features
> (e.g. morphologic analysis), but the implementation of them is really hard,
> so this is no current topic. Is here some export of the Hebrew or Greek
> language who's able to do the morphologic analysis?
> Is here some Unicode expert?

I don't think we have a text that yet contains the morph codes that we
need.  I would not assume that there could be build an accurate software
language analysis tool.  I'd much rather trust the expert human eye and
a text coded with tags reflecting these decisions.

> Tro, Chris, MPJ, Trevor I really don't want to flame. I like Sword. Without
> Sword BibleTime and the other frontend would be impossible!
> Troy, I don't want to nerve you to implement the features, I know you are
> busy. But why can't the other users do something?

:)  No problem.  Love to hear good and bad.  It's the only way to know
what people want.

I like your attitude about the issues.  A few people have become
frustrated and gone away and implemented their own engine.  I don't
understand this.  If you are missing a feature that you 'need', my
thought is, PERFECT!  that's what opensource is for!  add it!  I don't
understand why you'd go do your own thing, as it does not benefit anyone
else and make more work for you.

(not 'you', but whoever goes to do his own thing).

I would love new features, but I really don't get many submissions.

	Thanks again,