[sword-devel] What is going on here???

Clyde PRICE sword-devel@crosswire.org
Tue, 08 Oct 2002 10:06:24 -0400

Hi y'all!

	I don't usually pipe up on this list since I'm not any sort of a
programmer, just a (prospective) end-user. But I'll pipe up on this
(even though I'm WAY behind in my email, and this is much-delayed), and
then sneak in comments about a couple of other things. 
	I think I originally joined this list because of my search for a
program that could run an Esperanto-language Bible module, preferably
one which displayed the circumflexed E-o letters properly. I applaud the
development of the Unicode capability of the program, which should
enable adaptation to MANY (most!) of the world's languages, and am STILL
wondering what would be involved in adapting the existing
Unicode-Esperanto version of the Bible into a module...?
	By way of report: I have not succeeded in getting my Win-32 version of
e-Sword to display anything from the Esperanto module, nor have I ever
gotten the OLB E-o-Bible module to work with any version of the OLB

	I think that I was also originally intrigued to find a Bible program
with a "fill-in-the-blank" file to translate the user interface into
another language, since I think that MANY in the worldwide Esperanto
community would use such a program, including many non-Christians. It's
quite possible that a computer-savvy Esperanto-fluent volunteer to
create a Unicode-Esperanto Bible module might not be able to make a
doctrinal statement acceptable to the presbytery...

Concerning "questionable" books/resources:

chris wrote:
> On Tuesday 03 September 2002 10:07, Joachim Ansorg (you) wrote:
> > The Quran could be offered as a GenBook. But the uqestion is if we should
> > do it...
>         Why not offer any available texts however "debatable"? Q'uran, BOM, Jasher,
> etc.
>         Heck, I would sure like to see mishna and gemora, targums, rashi though I'm
> sure most here could care less re these. They just make the tool that much
> more useful and broaden the audience.

	Other Bible programs & their user/developer communities (noteably OLB)
have added in lots of other books, commentaries, "questionable"
resources, and other user-contributed files: almost all of them in the
"religion" category, and most could be useful to workers who are
engaging in meaningful and content-ful interchange with other religious
folks (hopefully: sharing Christ with them!). I have no objection to
this at all, and applaud the efforts to expand the "digital library" of
resources along with tools to make the data more accessible and useful.

	The Quran presents some interesting challenges/opportunities for module
creators whose goal is to create a REALLY USEFUL Quran module: It should
preferably display a (chosen) translation beside the Arabic, because in
a discussion with Muslim friends they want to see the Arabic nearby. The
only Quran files I've seen have been translations. For English-using
folks, the ideal "electronic edition" would probably be a FULL
electronic version of the 1997 _The Meaning of THE HOLY QUR'AN_,
'Abdullah Yusuf 'Ali, New Edition with Qur'anic Text (Arabic), Revised
Translation, Commentary and Newly Compiled Comprehensive Index, amana
publications, Beltsville, Maryland, U.S.A. The English translation WITH
the footnotes alongside the (searchable) Arabic text would be MUCH more
useful, even to non-Arabic-readers. The creation of such an ALI module
would very likely involve close cooperation with amana publications, and
possibility of a required licensing fee for the resultant _Ali_module_,
BUT configuring the Sword program to accomodate such a module would open
the door to OTHER Quran-related modules/elements, and would greatly
facilitate Quranic studies (by both Muslims and non-Muslims) and deeper
levels of interfaith dialog.

	Of course, the ability to choose other-language
translations/"interpretations" of the Quran (such as the other available
English translations, the Esperanto translation of which I'm aware, and
the "interpretations" available in MANY other languages) would be a
TREMENDOUS functionality.

	I think that creating modules for the Book of Mormon (and other Mormon
source-books), and other resources/commentaries such as Rashi, mishna,
gemora, targums, etc. --from a scholarly point of view-- would be
WONDERFUL... and greatly facilitated by the Unicode capabilities of the
	I would add to the not-Scripture module-wishlist L.L.Zamenhof's _La
Fundamento_ (the "Bible" of the Esperanto _language_) and many other
"standard" references for the International Language.
	Other possibilities for Unicode-Sword program other-than-Bible modules
could be parallel original & translation files for the Latin- &
Greek-language "classics", Confucius, LaoTzu, SunTzu... you get the
idea. Perhaps the folks able and motivated to create such modules might
not qualify for everybody's doctrinal statements...

	I think that the idea of making the tool more useful and broadening the
audience is the key. I appreciate what was said about already nesting
under the Crossway.org doctrinal statement (which I admit I haven't read
yet: I assume it's generic evangelical Christian). I also observe that
signing/endorsing a doctrinal statement is not a requirement for
participating in the list/project. I think it's quite possible that
among the candidates to create Unicode modules for a multi-lingual Quran
module might be some Muslims. (There is also a real need for easy access
to the Hadiths and other historic Muslim documents which are also
authoritative to Muslims.)

	...Keeping in mind the GNU-license "restrictions", it's quite possible
that future users MIGHT employ the program ONLY to access the documents
of their own (perhaps non-Christian) religion. This was a possibility
incurred as soon as the GNU license was adopted.

	I have participated in conversational Bible studies populated mostly by
professing Christians, but with a policy of keeping the door open to
anybody who thought the Bible was worthy of studying for what it said
itself. The only assumptions I have had about the participants in this
project are that they consider the project important enough to labor on
it together, rubbing elbows (albeit digitally) with a wide variety of
people whom they might not want to "go to church with". In THIS project,
there is the possibility of many people using the program entirely to
display/search/study material OTHER THAN the Bible, and perhaps even for
the promotion of their own religion & views. This _comes_ with the "GNU"

	On one hand, I wouldn't be terribly interested in this stuff if I were
NOT an evangelical Christian believer and I understand the desire to
have a "Christian" consensus on a team. On the other hand, I draw my
circles of openness/fellowship in different ways depending on what I'm
trying to do. My "Pro-Life" and "Esperanto" circles are VERY wide. My
"Christian fellowship" circles are very "ecumenical" on a
person-to-person basis. The PCA congregation of which I'm a member
requires a prospective member to make "a credible profession of faith"
in an appointment with two of our elders, and our denomination requires
elders and pastors to be thoroughly Presbyterian and Reformed (i.e.,
"Calvinistic"). Prospective pastors in our denomination face a grueling
examination by the presbytery concerning both knowledge and views.

	I think that the "circle" on a software development list should be more
like Esperanto and less like conservative-Presbyterian...          ;-)

	Dio ege benu vin! (God bless you bigly!)


Clyde C. PRICE, Jr. h-678-393-1782, m-678-491-0469 
email: <ccprice@bellsouth.net> or <Clyde.Price@CDLF.ORG>
11770 Haynes Bridge Rd., Suite 205 PMB 214, Alpharetta, GA 30004 USA
   Founder & President, the Christian Digital Library Foundation
<http://cdlf.org>. CDLF is looking for Scribes, Eager Readers, and other
friends to enjoy, distribute, and produce digital Christian books and
other resources to build up the Body of Christ.
   Vice President, Parakletos Ministries Inc.
 PM seeks to support the ministries of local churches in building
evangelizing Kingdom-seeking disciples.
   "To know Christ, and to make Him known, as the Way, the Truth, and
the Life."