[sword-devel] some new (draft) modules: Berean Bible

Karl Kleinpaste karl at kleinpaste.org
Wed Jun 6 19:30:15 MST 2018

There was recent mention on sword-devel of a new English translation,
the Berean Bible. Its creators lean really heavily on easy licensing and
maximized distribution, hence its name in reference to Acts 17. The NT
support is complete, but as yet OT has been only partially published.
For my purposes in module generation, the tables distributed for NT do
not yet have full equivalents for OT.

Nonetheless, I was interested in generating modules particularly because
the content allowed me to produce for the first time a genuine
interlinear Bible module. While any Sword app can use them, Xiphos'
blocked display provides for especially good presentation -- better than
their own PDFs, considering that they doesn't use a vertically blocked
layout. (Their PDF actually looks like regular Sword engine output, with
parenthetical alternate content.)

So there are now 4 modules, 2 Bibles and 2 dictionaries. I need to
emphasize that these are draft modules, proofs of concept. I have worked
on ways to generate these for a few days, scripting content auto-editing
out of CSV-formatted content from the distributed *.xlsx tables.

In Xiphos repository:
BIBdraft - Berean Interlinear Bible - Hebrew + Greek with English
interlinear encoded as lemmatized content
BSBdraft - Berean Study Bible - basic English Bible
There isn't yet a Hebrew dictionary.

The generating scripts are part of the module content for each.
Generating BIBdraft takes about a minute and a half on my laptop, once
the relevant columns from the *.xlsx have been saved to the needed
separate file. The scripts describe their needed input.

When the OT support is finalized, I will work these up again without the
"draft" name and obsolete these.

Because OT support isn't complete, these are somewhat minimal other than
the interlinear support. No footnotes, paragraph breaks, headings, or
red letters. Content necessary to describe these features is present in
the NT tables, but in trying to generate consistent form, I didn't try
to use it all because it doesn't yet exist for OT as well. They are
Feature=NoParagraphs (verse per line).

The use of their own morphology means that I generated a module for it.
This will lead to some changes in Xiphos soon so that Strongs and
morphology dictionary choices can be associated per-Bible rather than
(as now, in Prefs) for the application as a whole.

Strong's numbers are present in both regular markup form as well as
simpler per-word footnotes. Enable either or both; the n=X attribute
uses the Strong's number itself, which may be useful, or in Xiphos you
may wish to disable that aspect from the context menu, if you prefer
that simple mouse-over of plain "*n" reveal the number in the previewer.
The reason for providing both ways is that enabling regular Strong's in
Xiphos means that the English lemma content no longer lines up with the
original word, because the order of content out of the engine presents
the Strong's number first. So you can disable regular Strong's display,
keep the footnoted Strong's, and have lined-up interlinear content.

There were some considerable oddities in how the markup worked,
especially for OT, forcing me through a bunch of attempts to get
something that worked at all. The released content provides Strong's
numbers plus BDB commentary, as well as minimal parse content. The
oddities come out of Hebrew being an RtoL language. In Xiphos, whose
display is driven by WebKit, a regular all-Hebrew module like WLC
displays in strict RtoL form: Verse number beginning on the right, and
text flowing from there to the left. This is achieved simply by issuing
"dir=rtl" in the preamble to output. But BIBdraft is listed as Lang=en
(it contains English from one end to the other, plus Greek, both being
LtoR, and only the Hebrew is RtoL.) In BIBdraft, apparently WebKit
notices that there is LtoR content right off the bat (English
lemmatization), and goes halfway: The verse number displays on the left,
but the content is RtoL as expected. This is OK with lemma display
enabled. However, with Strong's encoded in both the regular mode as well
as in a per-word footnote that links internally to StrongsRealHebrew,
when footnotes are enabled (each precedes the word), without any other
control offered to WebKit, the display goes entirely LtoR, which is of
course wrong for Hebrew, but right for English. Bluntly, WebKit can't
get the right result, no matter what any one person wants.

Also, even more weirdly, an early cut used the BDB content as the
per-word footnote. With footnotes enabled, OT text display went
completely insane -- one line per word, and a great deal of unused
vertical whitespace, 2 or 3 lines' worth between every pair of words.
Useless. Disable footnotes, and it goes back to normal. Now, these are
footnotes, they don't display inline at all, yet being enabled made
things insane in the mainline display. I couldn't explain it, and I
couldn't control it, so I scaled down the per-word footnotes to the
prev'ly-mentioned refs to StrongsRealHebrew.

I didn't originally intend to make these modules public, but I am
curious how others feel about the display. So I thought I'd name them
carefully with "draft" suffixes and unleash them for others to critique.
I'd like to know how you feel about them, in any frontend, though of
course Xiphos concerns me personally the most, and questions of how to
improve the interlinear presentation will top the list.

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