[sword-devel] HELP! Need your feedback on XML Markup Language

Bobby Nations sword-devel@crosswire.org
Sat, 01 Sep 2001 12:26:10 -0500

Mike Sangrey wrote:

> Bobby Nations <bobby@bobbynations.com> said:
> > It's a bit late to rework the chapter and verse markup since it's been
> > around for so long as to become the accepted rendering.  Sometimes
> > you've just got to live with the legacy systems warts.
> True enough, but we need, we really do, we need to NOT determine the
> structure of the text.  ESPECIALLY a structure which is totally
> foreign to the original text.
> The versification scheme must only provide a way to locate the text.
> It must not provide any semantic information.  English, and every other
> language I know of, only (except for poetry) presents the meaning in
> non-verse chunks.  This will surprise people, but versification adds
> meaning which was never intended.  If you think such a little thing
> as a verse number doesn't do that, then contemplate the meaning of
> the piece of a dot on the bottom of a period which makes it into
> a comma.  That little itty-bitty fragment of ink has meaning!  And
> your mind picks up on it even though you don't think about it.  Same
> thing happens with the colon and semi-colon.

Well said, and I agree that the versification often times interferes with
the understanding by inserting apparent meaning where there really wasn't
any special meaning.  I'm thinking of the habit of the NASV and KJV (until
recently at least) of beginning a new paragraph with each verse.  I much
prefer the NIV and NLT precisely because it's possible to find publications
of those two translations which go out of their way to reduce the intrusion
of verse numbers or chapter numbers.

Ok, that was a long winded way to say that maybe my comment was taken for a
bit more than I intended it to be taken.  The gist of what I was trying to
say is that we can't throw out verses and chapters when designing a tagging
lanuage becuase way, way to many folks expect them to be there.  That is,
we've got to include the information for legacy reasons.

Personally, I find them helpful for navigation (especially when conversing
with others during a study of scripture), but they annoy me as well because
they seem to facilitate the lifting of a sentence or sentence fragment
completely out of the surrounding context.

> Aren't we all fearfully and wonderfully made!!!?  Amazing.  Absolutely
> amazing.
> Hope this helps.
> --
> Mike Sangrey
> msangrey@BlueFeltHat.org
> Landisburg, Pa.
>                         "The first one last wins."
>             "A net of highly cohesive details reveals the truth."