[sword-devel] Question about backwards compatibility and search index download-ability, especially in relation to low-cost, low-power computers (such as might be in developing countries?)

DM Smith dmsmith at crosswire.org
Sun Apr 7 17:28:01 MST 2019

I maintain JSword. We try to maintain backward compatibility with the lowest common denominator version of Java on devices that are up to 10 years old for computers and 5 years for mobiles. The OS version needs to be vendor supported. Android at this point is our boat anchor.

For me the most important backward compatibility is that old module continue to work. If an old module is updated then I’m not concerned with the prior version.

The other kind of compatibility is whether a frontend will work with a simple recompile with the current engine.

WRT to C++ SWORD, binary compatibility is not that important because linking is static. The interface has been backward compatible for over a decade. It still supports very old modules.


> On Apr 7, 2019, at 7:20 PM, TS <outofthecube at icloud.com> wrote:
> Hi,
>      To put it simply, I was wondering what is Crosswire's or perhaps Troy's position on backwards compatibility. I thought that the desired goal, if possible, was for Sword to be able to run on as many devices as possible. However, recently I've seen in mailing list postings or emails that perhaps I was mistaken? It's also occurred to me that perhaps my impression is with regards to the Sword engine only and that this does not include front-end backwards compatibility? So, I'd appreciate some clarity on the matter.
>      In specific, I'm asking this question because in the past, I know that organizations have made projects to create simple, low-cost computers (such as OLPC). I know that the first gen OLPC was made around the same time as the first iPhone and had roughly similar specs (if I'm interpreting the specs correctly). It was the size of a small laptop, but did not have enough processing power to play videos. This type of computer was created for developing countries. So, if computers such as these exist enough, then it also seems to me that they may have problems generating search indexes the same way that the first iPhone did. Therefore, I'm wondering if perhaps there is still a good reason for the search indexes to be downloadable?
>      On the other hand, David's post back in Feb. 16,2019, titled "[sword-devel] ParaTExt Lite (Android OS)", contained a link to an article about the development of ParaText Lite. This article seemed to suggest that smartphones have penetrated even the most remote of places. So, it makes me wonder if the situation of people (such as those in developing countries) being stuck with old computers is perhaps not very large? I guess I don't know either way, but since nobody here (I think?) has brought it up and it would possibly be impacted by search indexes download-ability, this all seems like something worthwhile to ask/talk about.
>      (Btw, it seems to me that Android would probably be the dominant smartphone OS. I don't want to derail this post explaining "why", so it may be sufficient enough to mention that ParaText Lite was only made for Android OS.)
>     (Also, the current gen laptop of OLPC does have enough power, I think. I would also imagine that the current Raspberry Pi computers have enough power as well.)
> -TS
> -- 
> - Timothy
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