[sword-devel] Unicode Bible program

Joel Mawhorter sword-devel@crosswire.org
Thu, 24 Feb 2000 11:20:42 -0800

Hello everyone,

As I've mentioned before on this list, I'm interested in a Bible program that
can used with languages that are not Latin based (i.e. don't use ASCII or
ISO-8895 encodings). I have the following options and I would appreciate
comments on them.

1. Find free Bible software that supports Unicode.
2. Modify SWORD to support Unicode.
3. Create a new Bible program that is focused on Unicode support.

I've looked for free Bible software that supports Unicode and I haven't been
able to find any. (If anyone here knows of a program that I've missed, please
let me know). 

Since SWORD is written in C++, Unicode support would have to be done with a third
party library. Using a library would allow processing of Unicode text but there
isn't any consistent way to render Unicode text across platforms. I'm not really
familiar with the SWORD code; would anyone care to comment on how easy it would
be to subclass SWText to create a Unicode text class? Does anything in the
parent classes assume 8 bit chars?

Creating a new program has some potential. Java would be the obvious choice for
a language since Unicode support is native and it has a standard
cross-platform way to render Unicode text. Also, new software wouldn't burden
SWORD with a lot of code that would only be used for Unicode texts. Troy, would
it be possible to include new software like this under the SWORD umbrella?

I am curious what people think about this. Clearly there is a need for free
Bible software that handles non-European languages/scripts. What is the best
way to make it happen?

In Christ,