[sword-devel] genbooks and commentaries (was: proposed patch: adding n=X marker content to footnotes and xrefs)

Daniel Owens dhowens at pmbx.net
Sun Feb 12 13:19:31 MST 2012

Greg is right and Troy is right. :) The need to support specified 
footnote markers in Bibles is less than for genbooks and commentaries. 
Implicitly I meant to refer to the latter.

Again, this gets back what philosophy of module creation to use. It is 
fine to separate form and structure as long as a module creator (perhaps 
acting on behalf of a publisher) has SOME input into how a module is 


On 02/11/2012 10:27 PM, Greg Hellings wrote:
> OK, we seem to be talking past each other. You are using Lockman and
> the NASB as your example because of its prevalence all over the web.
> I'm specifically not talking about Bibles. As I stated in my previous
> email, most of those have footnotes which start over on every page,
> even in print. If you get a basic NASB or NIV or other modern
> translation with just translator's footnotes, all the versions from
> every publisher I've ever used have footnotes, labeled with letters,
> that begin anew on every page and ignore verse, chapter and even book
> boundaries.
> I'm talking about general books and commentaries and to that point...
> On Sat, Feb 11, 2012 at 11:43 AM, Troy A. Griffitts
> <scribe at crosswire.org>  wrote:
>> And I still disagree with you that module author wish to retain their own
>> style (or should want to retain their own style).  I hear from module
>> publisher that they simply want their content presented professionally and
>> represents their intention for the content.  None have ever tried to dictate
>> to me specific visual attributes they need attached to content.  Think of
>> all the other attributes a print publisher attaches to content: 2 column,
>> center-row footnotes, page content start and end summary lines at the top.
>>   We write software where these things don't make sense.  I would tend to
>> place footnote labels in this bucket.  I understand why others disagree with
>> me.  I want to give us both the ability to display things how we think best.
> I have about 950 modules (none Bibles) that disagree with your claim.
> They're from all manner of publishers, but they all come through
> Wycliffe. True, not all of them will be available for public
> consumption due to copyright, but those to which Wycliffe is the
> publishing holder are still potentially going to be released for
> consumption.
> When we were evaluating software, and I was getting my first real look
> at SWORD development we lined up BibleTime and GnomeSword against one
> another to compare their features - since we were only interested in
> Linux and this was back in 2005. Key problems they had me tackle when
> I first got there were:
> 1) Styling was not being preserved, even though a CSS file was
> included in the ThML header and that same file styled an HTML file
> properly - we handled this by using an XSL stylesheet to insert
> style="blah" tags on every ThML element. Styling was extremely
> important to them - they nearly abandoned SWORD to develop their own
> library because they couldn't get SWORD to preserve their styling
> until they moved to inline inclusion of a style tag. This styling is
> not preserving print styles, but rather styles that are able to be
> applied to the content in another display application (Logos/Libronix)
> - and it is very necessary to proper display of the contents.
> Some of it is as innocuous as font sizes and weights, others were
> standardizations of titles (turquoise background, centered and italics
> on by-lines and the like, borders). Still more of it was very
> important for display - selection of different fonts for Greek vs
> Hebrew vs Aramaic displays. OSIS provided no way to specify these
> things and SWORD refused to support an external stylesheet. So we were
> forced to use an HTML-based application that had a solid rendering
> engine with good language support and poorly designed ThML modules
> with inline style content. This was not a small issue and, at the
> time, Gnomesword/Xiphos was the only option that had all of this
> support and possibly BibleTime.
> 2) Footnote markers were not being preserved in BibleTime, no matter
> the content type. This was a deal-breaker for them and they insisted
> on using Gnomesword/Xiphos unless they create a custom patch that
> allows BibleTime to honor the n=X setting for footnotes.
> I've documented this before, but you continue to insist that no
> publishers anywhere care about the display of their modules so long as
> the content looks right. But I'm telling you - this is not an
> academic, "What if..." or an "I prefer..." This is a real module
> creator and SWORD software user who has demanded these features, and
> is limiting their use to only Xiphos because it remains the only
> application on Linux which supports both of these "killer features"
> that they require. So you waving the Lockman example - which has
> already been conceded on the basis of even print Bibles going by the
> same motif - is a moot point. At the very least honoring the n=X (and
> it might be in the on-hover box that it pops up, I dunno, not
> necessarily on the inline marker) by default and allowing a user the
> ability to disable them would be behaving "as advertised" on the OSIS
> label. Claiming to support OSIS and then willfully behaving in a way
> that the specification claims is not behaved amounts to a bug. We are
> not following the spec we purport to follow.
> --Greg
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