[sword-devel] Early Church Fathers

Paul Gear sword-devel@crosswire.org
Sun, 22 Apr 2001 16:03:10 +1000

Chris Little wrote:

> ...
> Does anyone have any suggestions for how this format ought to be done?
> Should we design a format that subdivides a text into arbitrarily small
> divisions?  The Early Church Fathers* series could be broken down into set,
> volume, section, & chapter for example.  Schaff's History of the Christian
> Church into volume, chapter, & section.  Etc.  So the divisions meet the
> needs to the text rather than making the text conform to a set division
> structure like we have with Bibles, where the text must break down to book,
> chapter, & verse.  From there, we just create index files similar to the
> bss, css, & vss files but for as many ranks of division as the book
> requires, and set the value of the smallest division equal to the start
> position & length of the section of text within the data file (identical the
> way all the other module formats are done).

There is a need in Sword for text that are free format, i.e. without any
imposed divisions.  I know all texts have divisions, but by providing a text
type that has no divisions, arbitrary divisions could be added with external
indexes (or indices, if you prefer), which provide the type of key that they
want and link that to an offset into the text.

Jerry's suggestion about sentences might work in most cases, but what do you do
about tables and figures?  By making the text just a stream, you avoid the
problem of having to classify the type of every text.  (Of course, you create
other problems, but that's not relevant to my suggestion right now.  ;-)

Think about the way Logos works (for those of you who know it): books can be
indexed by verse (e.g. Bibles, commentaries) or by topic (e.g. Nave's, Bauer's,
TDNT), but they all work like normal books.  It would be great if we could have
the same arrangement in Sword.

> * Sorry if this offends, but that's it's name.


A totally off-topic tip for everyone: an easy way to remember how to tell the
difference between "its" and "it's" is that possessive pronouns (e.g. his,
hers, whose, their, your, my, etc.) don't have apostrophes, and contractions
(e.g. it's, you're, he's, they're) do.  (Courtesy of my Greek teacher last
year.  :-)

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