[sword-devel] search idea

Paul Gear sword-devel@crosswire.org
Sun, 16 Jan 2000 03:53:33 +0000

darwin@ichristian.com wrote:

> Paul Gear writes:
> > (Incidentally, Craig Rairdin warned me that bsisg.com might not last very long, so i took a copy of the site
> > with GNU wget.  If anyone wants a look at it, i can provide it.  It's a 700 Kb tarball.)
> I would be innterested in exploring STEP.  In fact, I was just getting
> ready to ask here if anyone knew if the web site was  coming back.
> Actually, what I would be more interested in is someone giving a relatively
> unbiased rundown on strengths and weaknesses of each bible format.
> ...
> I am open to any knowledge that anyone can pass on.

I've had a look at the STEP specifications, and i don't really like them.  They're based on RTF, which i don't
have a lot of experience in programming with, but gut feel tells me it is quite hard to parse and display, and it
certainly has a reputation for such.

However, STEP is the only real Bible software standard that exists.  They are to be commended for defining the
text and binary formats, documenting them, and writing a library that can be used to implement them.  Logos,
despite their marketing claims that they are a standard, have not ever documented their data formats.  As far as
i'm concerned, a standard that no one else can implement is not a standard at all.  Hopefully with their latest
project under the auspices of Librionix will be different, but only time will tell.

Personally, i would like to see us define a standard based on free software, with an extensible data format that
is capable of handling both Bible and non-Bible texts and multiple languages (ThML is the only contender for this
that i'm aware of), and a "compiled" binary format which is endian-neutral (i.e. both Intel and Motorola formats)
word length portable (i.e. doesn't need modifications to be implemented on 16-bit, 32-bit, or 64-bit platforms),
and supports different compression and encryption algorithms.

Oh well, i guess i can work on this after i've finished writing a GNOME frontend, set up a secure email service
for all my missionary friends, and brokered the Middle East peace process... ;-)

"He must become greater; i must become less." - John 3:30