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This page is oriented to the SWORD API, but the ideal features listed could apply equally as well to the JSword API.


Ideal Full Featured SWORD Front-end

What makes an ideal front-end is dependent upon the platform and the targeted audience. A hand-held, such as a PDA or phone, or an application targeted to children, probably would not be full featured.




CD or read-only SD cards


Today each SWORD front-end provides a different work-flow. This is good for users as it gives them the ability to choose one that works best for them.

Ideally, a SWORD front-end would allow:

General UI features

Module support

For bibles, the following should be able to be turned on and off (if included in the underlying module and if the front-end does not implement that feature in some other way):

Other general support requirements:

  1. Genbooks, dictionaries and commentaries should all be supported.
  2. Must be able to unlock locked modules.
  3. Modules using poetry with supported markup should display it as in a print Bible (i.e. with indenting)
  4. Modules with OSIS tables should display them properly.
  5. Support for modules with Alternate Versification


  1. Currently in SWORD, there is no separate Global OSIS filter for OSISDictionary.
  2. e.g. By making use of the title attribute type="x-intro".
  3. Not yet supported by the SWORD API.

User resources

The front-end should support user created material. Users should be able to put references in to any passage in the bible, or to any other module. Users should be able to create both commentaries and hierarchical books (and possibly dictionaries, i.e. topical notes).

Users should also be able to manage (create, edit, save) verse lists, possibly with comments on each verse.

Users should be able to manage bookmarks in a tree list. These bookmarks should be so that they could be shared between different frontends. A Standard for bookmarks is under discussion.

User generated material should be for that user alone (on a multi-user OS), unless specified by the author for viewing by all users.

Search features

Search should have the following features:

The search should also be able to complete a search very quickly (<5 seconds). Typically this is done using (C)lucene indexing.

Ideally the different SWORD search engines would be supported.

  1. The default should be match for whole words (i.e., a search for 'eat' doesn't match verses with 'meat')
  2. e.g. Search KJV for Tarshish should also find Tharshish in 1 Kings 10:22, 22:48, 1 Chronicles 7:10
  3. e.g. To find all phrases that begin or end with a certain word.
  4. To allow for saving search results as a "verse list" and utilizing all the features available (such as cross-references and dictionary lookup)
  5. Similar to using the separate Sword utility emptyvss.exe, but restricting the search scope to within available books. e.g. For modules that are NT only


The front-end should be easy for users to use. Most of its features (and all of its major features) should be able to be used without having to look at the manual. Also, it should not contain bugs or crash.


Front-end capability to provide multimedia additions to modules.

Module installer features

Managing modules




Existing front-ends compared

Other front-ends based on SWORD technology

Please report in this section details and links to third-party applications based (wholly or partially) on SWORD technology.
These should be front-ends that aren't otherwise featured or promoted on CrossWire pages (web or wiki).
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