[sword-devel] curiosity

Andrew Vardeman sword-devel@crosswire.org
Tue, 2 Sep 2003 19:53:39 -0500

Hi SWORD developers.

I ran across the SWORD web site the other evening and am generally 
curious about the project.  I don't know enough about SWORD to ask many 
intelligent questions, but I'll introduce myself and throw some things 
out there.

I'm a Christian, 24 years old, two years out of Grove City College, 
where I graduated, somewhat accidentally, in Industrial Management.  I 
hadn't really settled on a career path and ended up as a programmer in 
my hometown.  Two years ago I knew HTML and some Javascript.  I've 
picked up bits and pieces of other stuff since then, but I have no 
formal CS training.  I have some experience with:

Java (not much Swing)
JSP/Servlets (some JSTL)
SQL, some Oracle-specific tools
C#/Windows Forms (they made me do it!)
Perl (CGI)
SOAP (between MS .NET and Apache's Axis toolkit)

I'm thinking about learning XUL.

I'm probably a bit dangerous since I know nothing about algorithms and 
have never had to do my own garbage collection.

Additionally, I can draw and I know the standard graphics apps 
(Photoshop, Illustrator, Freehand).  I've also done some font design, 
but that was long long ago and my font software is on its last leg.

I'd be working on a Mac.

I can write, but I'm painfully slow.

| Whence my interest in SWORD |

I teach Sunday school; Bible tools are handy.

XML is cool.

I'd sincerely like a "calling"; if it's programming (eek), I should get 
better and find good worthwhile projects to work on.  SWORD could be 
such a project.

| Questions |

Forgive me if these are answered on the site.  I didn't find much but 
may have missed some documentation.

Do the XML formats round-trip back out of the binary formats?  If not, 
could they easily?  I'm thinking of the presentational flexibility you 
get from outputting XML rather than HTML or RTF.  It would be cool, 
once you'd found a passage you wanted, to get it out with all the 
semantic markup that went into it so you could transform it to your 
heart's content.

Specifically, what graphics do you need?

Is there a standalone server-ish version of the engine that is 
lightweight enough for server and client to run on an end user's 
machine in Mathematica style?  If not, is this a planned use of the 
SOAP API?  Or is the SOAP version intended to run under a full-blown 
web server/servlet engine?

Are there any teeny-weeny pieces a presentationally-minded guy like 
myself could nibble on that are not mission-critical?  MacSword is an 
attractive project since that's my platform, but unfortunately I don't 
know any Cocoa.  I enjoy playing with stylesheets and could get into 
XSL:FO if the engine could give me some raw XML to work with.  Also if 
you got the SOAP stuff working, it'd be fun to learn XUL while writing 
a Mozilla/SOAP front-end.

Oh, homepage here:



Andrew Vardeman