[sword-devel] CrossWire News ain't that new!

David Haslam dfhmch at googlemail.com
Sun Feb 12 15:12:19 MST 2012

Although the lengthy detailed discussion in the mailing list about the
footnote and reference markers has brought up the observation that some
publishers have nearly walked away from SWORD because of such unresolved
technical issues, I'm rather more inclined to believe that the real reason
is that we are still so turned in on ourselves as a cummunity of programmers
that we have given scant attention to the importance of:

1. Marketing
2. Brand image
3. Customer service and satisfaction
4. Communications
5. Quality

Having a website that gives the impression that nothing has been happening
recently (the News page) just adds to this lamentable state of affairs.

It was recently brought to my attention that there was a Thai edition of The
SWORD Project for Windows around several years ago (based v1.5), but that
the publisher had dropped it in favour of other Bible software. I'd hazard a
guess that they were totally unaware of the front-ends other than SPW.

It doesn't help that we generated confusion by using the name 'SWORD' for
both a back-end and a front-end. It's had the effect that outside CrossWire,
few people even know the difference. To a Bible translator or a potential
publisher this distinction is quite below the radar.  To them it's all just

Whether we can recover lost ground with the society concerned is something
I've taken the initiative about - by enlisting the support of a good contact
who works with OMF in Thailand, someone who is keen to help. We need friends
like that.

I've come to this field of operations (Bible software) after a 36 year
career in manufacturing industry. I might not be the world class expert in
the science of marketing products and services, but I've worked with people
who are. 

We are putting far too much weight on the "better mousetrap" model for much
of what we do, vainly imagining that Waldo was right. In a highly
competitive world, and a global market-place, having the best design is not
enough. The VHS vs Betamax story should have told us that. Have we learned
nothing from that saga?


PS.  For the fellow-pedants among us, I have already read this page:
and have noted that the phrase was a misquotation of what Emerson actutally

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